Wednesday, 31 October 2007

The symposium will consider the unique challenges of doing life story work with people with intellectual disability and writing history that captures and represents the thoughts and experiences of people with little capacity to represent themselves.

Keynote Speakers Dorothy Atkinson. Professor of Learning Disability at the Open University, U.K. Dorothy has undertaken groundbreaking life story research with people with intellectual disability, pioneering methods of working with them to record and relate their previously unheard stories, memories and experiences.

Alistair Thomson. Professor of Oral History at the University of Sussex. Alistair has expertise in research and teaching using oral history and life history documents and combines research experience in both academic and community contexts in Britain and Australia.

The Symposium is part of an ARC-Linkage Grant between the History Program and School of Social Work, La Trobe University, and the Victorian Department of Human Services, to research the history of Kew Cottages, Australia’s first specialised institution for people with intellectual disability. It also marks Professor Atkinson’s visit to La Trobe as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar from September – November 2007.

We are calling for expressions of interest for papers or poster presentations from practitioners, scholars and others working in this field and from people who wish to attend the conference.

Please send your expression of interest in attending or abstract to: Associate Professor Christine Bigby, School of Social Work and Social Policy La Trobe University [email protected].

Deadline for abstracts: 30 June 2007. Further details of the program, costs and registration details will be available by August 2007.