After the Outrage

In the aftermath of yet another shock story of people with learning disabilities being abused at the hands of people who should be caring for them and years of cuts to social care services and community support. We are launching

Mark Brown

Over recent years there have been dozens of news stories about the plight of people locked away in inpatient hospitals and now is no exception. But the threat to the rights of autistic people and people with learning disabilities goes far beyond being locked away in inpatient hospitals. 

As part of 7daysofaction and more recently Rightfullives we have played a role in bringing some of those stories to light. But there comes a point when you realise that the repeated disclosure of the horrors that some people have to live with, simply isn't enough to make the difference that needs to be made. It is important to be transparent about the reality that some people have to endure but it is equally important that those horror stories aren't seen as a reflection of everything that is going on in the lives of people with learning disabilities and autistic people. will be transparent about things that have gone wrong and harm that has been done. But the purpose behind sharing those harsh realities will never be to bathe in the outrage of indignation and horror, it will be so that we can be transparent about the things that need to be learnt and hold to account those who need to learn those lessons.

But beyond learning lessons, our experience with Rightfullives have taught us that peoples' stories are often a wonderful mix of inspirational, ordinary and everyday. They reflect everyday lives and sometimes they reflect the extraordinary efforts that people have to go to in order to live those ordinary everyday lives. They are often uplifting. They are often incredibly creative.   

So hopefully will be about people and the work that tens of thousands are doing across the country. It will share the bad, the good and the amazing. It will share stories that won't make the newspapers or be featured in documentaries. It will ask questions of politicians and senior civil servants and hold them to account, but above all it will be a commitment to building the ordinary in the everyday lives of people with learning disabilities and autistic people because after the outrage there has to be hope.