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Article Type: Editorial From: Tizard Learning Disability Review, Volume 21, Issue 2.
A few years ago we included a call for submissions of articles profiling the lives of people with learning disabilities in countries outside of the UK. I am very pleased to note the inclusion in this issue of TLDR’s first “country profile”. The article on Brazil by Erenice Carvalho and her colleagues, and the accompanying commentary, illustrate nicely the benefits of a comparative approach. Readers in the UK and elsewhere will recognise some elements with which they are familiar and others that are very different to their own local experiences. In an increasingly global society, these comparisons point to areas that are likely to need attention in all countries. I will give one illustration of this. Carvalho and her colleagues describe the “insufficient State commitment” to the social inclusion of people with learning disabilities. It is not hard to identify similar concerns in the UK and other countries, especially at a time of austerity in public expenditure. A counterpoint to this in Brazil has been the self-advocacy movement, working in alliance with interested and committed academics and professionals. This sounds not dissimilar to the work of the Learning Disability Alliance (www://learningdisabilityalliance.org/) in the UK, which is also about combining the voices of people with learning disabilities, their families, professionals and academics to ensure a continued fight for a better and more inclusive society.
Please do consider submitting your own country profile. Below are the previously published guidelines for such articles.
Guidelines for country profile articles
Currently, most of the articles published in TLDR are written by UK-based authors and focus on service development and research in the UK. As a result the journal is particularly relevant to readers in the UK and in other countries whose service systems are similar. In a sense this is the journal’s “niche” and we have no plans to change it. TLDR does, however, have growing international usage and there is increasing scope to learn from and draw inspiration from diversity. The editorial board, therefore, wishes to encourage the publication in TLDR of an increasing number of articles emanating from outside of the UK.
Initially, we seek submissions for an occasional “country profile” section of the journal. Articles of approximately 4,000 words are sought which profile the lives of people with learning disabilities (or sub groups) in a country outside of the UK. We are happy to consider a variety of contributions which meet this overall objective but articles might be structured along the following lines:
brief introduction to the country emphasising particular aspects (historical, geographical, political, religious, etc.) which have an impact on the lives of people with learning disabilities (intellectual and developmental disabilities);
history of attitudes towards/services provided for people with learning disabilities;
current patterns of living/service provision;
critical and comparative appraisal of the current position of people with learning disabilities; and
future challenges and opportunities.
Articles will be reviewed in the normal way and commentaries sought. The editor would be happy to discuss ideas at an early stage and can be contacted at: mailto:P.McGill@kent.ac.uk