Service user and carer engagement is a foundational requirement of social work education. Despite this questions remain about how diverse experiences are represented and who might be excluded from involvement. This paper is focussed on one group of people who it is suggested are excluded from involvement, people with profound and multiple learning disabilities. Evidence is presented which demonstrates the extent to which this group have been marginalised and excluded from processes of involvement. The paper then provides a case study of one universities experience of developing work in this area, when a man with profound and multiple learning disabilities was commissioned to design and deliver specialist teaching for a group of qualifying social work students. We argue that the main barrier to inclusive involvement for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities is the attitudes and assumption of others about what they are capable of. We demonstrate how involvement in social work education helps to address these barriers by challenging the assumptions of students, the academy and society more broadly.
- People with profound and multiple learning disabilities
- inclusive involvement
- attitudes and beliefs