Self Advocacy Support: paradox or parity?

R. Chapman, E. Tilley

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


    Appropriate support in self advocacy organizations is a complex issue, often underpinned by basic contradictions such as support workers supporting their own employers and trying to work themselves out of a job.This paper draws on research data from two PhD studies which explored different models of governance and operational practice in self-advocacy organizations run for and by people with learning difficulties in the UK.We are interested in the claims and rhetoric about the organizations in relation to how supporters come to know what is expected of them and how they can learn to deliver empowering support.The discussion will focus on:a) The 'public' representation of the groups we studied; how roles are negotiated and the claims made in official discourses.b) Participants’ perspectives of issues of control, management and leadership, locating members’ perceived identity within the context of the group.c)How support workers across different self-advocacy groups narrate their roles in relation to the roles of members.d) The findings of our investigations in relation to practice evidenced within the organizations.The research points to the need for much greater transparency, openness and reflection in terms of how self-advocacy organizations are managed and led, and how issues of power are negotiated on a daily basis. Finally, the paper will reflect on the current policy context in the UK, suggesting it may in fact be hindering such developments, rather than facilitating them.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAdvocacy and Identity
    Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2011
    EventNNDR - 11th Research Conference - Reykjavik, Iceland
    Duration: 27 May 201128 May 2011


    ConferenceNNDR - 11th Research Conference
    CityReykjavik, Iceland
    Internet address


    • self-advocacy, governance, support, reflection


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