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Does every child matter, post-Blair? The interconnections of disabled childhoods (poster presentation)
Dan Goodley, Manchester Metropolitan
How have disabled children, between the ages of 4 and 16 years old and their families, faired under the Blair government? This project will answer this, and other questions, by exploring the extent to which, over the last 10 years, policies, legislation and practices have tackled matters of exclusion and regeneration for disabled children. We will engage with parents, children and professionals to help us to explore the impact of the Every Child Matters agenda; the adequacy of existing theories about disabled children, parents and professionals; how the concepts of 'good parent', 'enabling professional' and 'disabled children' are promoted; the ways in which forms of 'enabling healthcare', 'inclusive education' and 'accessible leisure' can work together. Our study employs a critical review of policy, interviews with 10 disabled children and 10 parents, focus groups with a mix of professionals and 18 months observation of families as they participate in the arenas of health, education and leisure. Our work is informed by critical disability studies, critical and community psychologies and sociologies of childhood and families. It will be of interest to parent organisations, practitioners, policy makers and organisations of disabled people.
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