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Working with Children with Learning Disabilities and/or who Communicate Non-verbally: Research experiences and their implications for social work education, increased participation and social inclusion

Mitchell, Wendy, Franklin, Anita, Greco, Veronika and Bell, Margaret (2009) Working with Children with Learning Disabilities and/or who Communicate Non-verbally: Research experiences and their implications for social work education, increased participation and social inclusion. Social Work Education. pp. 309-324. ISSN 0261-5479

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Abstract

Social exclusion, although much debated in the UK, frequently focuses on children as a key 'at risk' group. However, some groups, such as disabled children, receive less consideration. Similarly, despite both UK and international policy and guidance encouraging the involvement of disabled children and their right to participate in decision-making arenas, they are frequently denied this right. UK based evidence suggests that disabled children's participation lags behind that of their non-disabled peers, often due to social work practitioners' lack of skills, expertise and knowledge on how to facilitate participation. The exclusion of disabled children from decision-making in social care processes echoes their exclusion from participation in society. This paper seeks to begin to address this situation, and to provide some examples of tools that social work educators can introduce into pre- and post-qualifying training programmes, as well as in-service training. The paper draws on the experiences of researchers using non-traditional qualitative research methods, especially non-verbal methods, and describes two research projects, focusing on the methods employed to communicate with and involve disabled children, the barriers encountered and lessons learnt. Some of the ways in which these methods of communication can inform social work education are explored alongside wider issues of how and if increased communication can facilitate greater social inclusion.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © Copyright 2009 The Board of Social Work Education. This is an author produced version of a paper published in 'Social Work Education'. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: Disabled children, social exclusion, participation, research methods, user-involvement, communication methods, social work education, learning disabilities, non-verbal communication, deaf children, Social Sciences (miscellaneous), Education
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Social Policy Research Unit (York)
Depositing User: R Pitman
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2010 14:01
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2014 04:11
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02615470802659530
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/11165

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