The Crook Fellowship Scheme at the University of Sheffield supports future leaders in public and not for profit sectors to work with academics on pressing a policy issue or challenge. We worked with Professors Dan Goodley and Katherine Runswick-Cole, from iHuman and The School of Education, to map the state of play for self-advocacy groups of people with learning disabilities.  We consulted people with a learning disability and their families around the country.

  • We used Twitter, email and phone calls to contact all known self-advocacy groups in the UK. 
  • We presented a workshop at the 2018 National Self-advocacy Convention and three further workshops in Blackpool, Sheffield and Sunderland to learn from people with learning disabilities about how they understand self-advocacy. 
  • We devised and sent out an accessible questionnaire to all self-advocacy groups in the country to find about how they work, how they are funded, the impacts of austerity and the challenges they faced. 
  • We created an online accessible map so that people with a learning disability and their families can find out where their nearest self advocacy group is and what services it provides. 

In 2019, Sunderland People First were awarded the Michael Ludlam Award for Advocacy, Policy and the Media as part of the Learning Disability Leaders List. 

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