Covid conversations: horror and hope

Joe Powell, Victoria Jones, Katarina Luce, Jennifer McElwee, Mark Haydon-Laurelut

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


People with learning disabilities have experienced a disproportionate impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. They had a four times higher death rate from the virus in Spring 2020 (Public Health England, 2020) and there have been many examples of human rights abuses in relation to life itself, liberty, a private and family life and freedom from discrimination (for accounts by self-advocates, see All Wales People First AWPF, 2021). We came together on Zoom as a group of people with a common interest in ensuring these experiences and their implications are considered and reflected upon by family therapists and our communities of practice. We hope the opportunities and challenges posed by Covid-19 for people with learning disabilities are not overlooked, normalised or missed. We had a reflective conversation in three stages. First, Victoria (family therapist) interviewed Joe, the Chief Executive of All Wales People First, an umbrella organisation for self-advocacy in Wales. We wanted the voices and experiences of people with learning disabilities to start the conversation. Next Katarina and Jennifer reflected on the first conversation from their perspectives. Katarina is a mother of three boys, one of whom has profound learning disabilities. Jennifer is a clinical psychologist working with children with complex needs and their families. Finally, in the third section, Mark and Victoria reflected upon the second conversation from their perspectives as family and systemic psychotherapists who work with people with learning disabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Specialist publicationContext: The Magazine for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice
PublisherAssociation for Family Therapy & Systemic Practice
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • Disability
  • Covid-19
  • Learning Disability
  • Family Therapy
  • Systemic Psychotherapy


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