Presentation at ICCP Congress, HGI & Taos Institute. Hosted by The Institute for Research in Inclusive Education at the Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Description of Activity

The power of dialogue: Connecting with those at risk of dehumanising practices.

When was the last time you felt really connected to a person? What did that feel like? Take a moment to consider. As you connected to that person what else were you connecting to? A shared interest, a shared workplace, a shared passion, an experience enjoyable or difficult. Perhaps you have widened and lengthened this connection a shared community a shared culture. Can you go further? We know the impact the quality of our relationships has on the quality of our lives (Stewart, 2013). What was it like for you in a moment where you felt a connection broken? Perhaps one that felt it never really got started, or at least in the way you would have wished it to? I have worked for many years with people with learning disability (intellectual disability), their families and the services that support them. There are decades of scandals in the UK such as Winterbourne View in 2011. These have not stopped. The UK Guardian newspaper recently reported on another story Vulnerable residents of the homes in Devon were held in the bare seclusion rooms for hours and sometimes overnight, on occasions wetting or soiling themselves because there were no bathroom facilities. The service system answers we have are, arguably, based on further surveillance and scrutiny of those (often low paid, low status workers) employed to support people with learning disability and they are not working.

What might it be like if we explored these continuing events as a sign of broken connections with our humanity and the humanity of those we serve?

I want to suggest one part of this complex picture relates to the stories we tell and ways in which we tell story’s (Pearce, 2007). Story telling may be as important as the content of the stories we tell. In this talk I will explore preparing oneself to connect more fully, more dialogically (Anderson, 1997), more expansively and more hopefully with those we serve. How can we prepare the ground for dialogue with those are risk of being storied in narrow, stigmatised and even dehumanised ways?
Period28 Jun 2019
Event title4th International Congress Collaborative Dialogic Practice.
Event typeConference
LocationBrno, Czech RepublicShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Dialogue
  • Inclusion
  • Collaboration
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Learning Disability