Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Death of Prof. Jim Mansell

I've just learned of the death of Prof. Jim Mansell after a protracted illness. And I'm greatly saddened though I didn't know him myself.

Prof. Mansell wrote the report 'Raising Our Sights' (amongst many other achievements) which was the report that identified how many people there were out there with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities, and how badly served they were by current health and social services. But he wasn't negative about it - although his report pointed out how poor the situation was, he also made sure that throughout, it indicated how things could be improved and gave solid examples of best practice which could be built on.

He worked at Kent University and set up the Tizard Centre there that does research into learning disability. People like myself, who had a child with profound and multiple learning disabilities as well as physical disabilities, have much to thank him for. He put our families on the government map. We used his report to justify asking for services for our son - and it worked. It gave us a respectable source we could quote that health and social services couldn't ignore - it proved it was Dept. of Health policy after all and they had no right to refuse us.

Thank you Prof. Mansell. We owe you, and you will not be forgotten.

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