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Title: Defined by a label : how collective action brought about change during the second half of the twentieth century for people with cerebral palsy
Author: Hillier, Teresa
ISNI:       0000 0004 9353 5142
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2020
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Inequality of access to the education system in Britain, in the second half of the twentieth century, effectively discriminated against many children with cerebral palsy. Individuals with the condition, were judged by their physical impairment and their cognitive abilities were ignored. This thesis considers the key factors which brought about a change in attitudes and the provision of services for individuals with cerebral palsy. Concerned parents took action by forming parent-led associations, advocating on behalf of their children and establishing parent-led schools. Their proactive approach challenged medical authority and perceptions of cerebral palsy. Transnational networks provided a significant contribution to a greater understanding of the symptoms of cerebral palsy and effective treatment. National campaigns, to raise awareness and funds, utilised the media of the day, often employing emotive images to reinforce their message. The imagery portrayed presented a dichotomy for associations as it often hid the real progress that was being made. Social reform had a significant impact on individual and family lives, influencing change through the development of the voluntary sector. This sector has transformed from providing relief through, ‘charitable good works’, to delivering a professional multi-agency approach which now plays a significant role within society. An extensive analysis of the records of two parent-led associations, in Swansea and in the Midlands, reveals how successful these associations were at providing support and services. The influence and achievements of the national body for people with cerebral palsy are also considered. Despite achievements made, the actions taken by parent-led associations had an unforeseen effect on the future employment prospects for people with cerebral palsy as they contributed to the development of an institutional culture. Oral history records used in this thesis reveal the real-life experiences of people with cerebral palsy and how they were generally perceived in post-war Britain.
Supervisor: Turner, David M. ; Clifford, Rebecca Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral