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UCL Psychology and Language Sciences

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Research on Intellectual Disability Stigma

Our work is based on a firm conviction that intellectual disability stigma needs to be challenged at multiple levels.

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To this end, alongside our research focused at the intrapersonal, familial and interpersonal levels, we also advise relevant bodies on how to achieve structural change. Organisations we have provided such advice to include: the Royal Mencap Society, Special Olympics, and the United Nations Committee tasked with overseeing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

We have also published a call for more action to tackle intellectual disability stigma aimed at a global audience: (16)00060-7/fulltext 

Current Research Projects
CONTEST / STORM Project

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This project consists of the development and evaluation of a new psychosocial group intervention designed to increase the capacity of people with intellectual disabilities to manage and resist stigma. The intervention developed as part of this project is called STORM (Standing Up For Myself). It draws on social identity theory, CBT, narrative approaches and liberation psychology in aiming to support people with intellectual disability to cope with and stand up to the stigma they often have to face on account of having an intellectual disability.

Self-advocate advisors

We work closely with a team of self-advocate advisors and self-advocacy organisations (The Elfrida Society and People First Dorset) who are members of our project steering group and inform all aspects of the research developed within CONTEST/STORM. We have regular meetings where we discuss new ideas, evaluate materials and gather feedback. We will be co-presenting the findings from the Standing Up For Myself Programme at the Open University's Social History Learning Disability Conference in July 2018.

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(Left to right) Harry Roche (Mencap Ambassador), Celia & Adrian Brown (Self Advocates, Elfrida Society).

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Paul Davies (Self Advocate, Elfrida Society).

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(Left to right) Laurie Poole (Research Assistant, UCL), Richard Maxfield (Self Advocate, People First Dorset), Laura Kerr (Manager, People First Dorset), Katrina Scior (STORM Principle Investigator & Senior Lecturer, UCL).

Other Projects

Other projects under the umbrella of UCLUS seek to advance our understanding of intellectual disability stigma, its impact on people with intellectual disabilities and their families, and effective ways to challenge stigma faced by people with intellectual disabilities. Below is a list of researchers and the projects they are leading:

Winnie Chege

Winnie is a trainee on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology programme at UCL. For her thesis, she is investigating how to combat stigma/prejudice associated with intellectual disabilities in Kenya, under the supervision of Katrina Scior.

Sophie Colman

Sophie is a trainee on UCL's Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. For her thesis, she is developing a measure to assess the extent to which individuals with intellectual disabilities internalise stigma, under the supervision of Katrina Scior.

Rebecca Cooper

Becky is a trainee on UCL's Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. For her thesis, she is assessing the long-term outcomes of the STORM intervention, under the supervision of Katrina Scior.

Kristina Fenn

Kristina is a trainee on UCL's Doctorate in Clinical Psychology working on the CONTEST project - she is assessing the feasibility and preliminary outcomes of the STORM intervention, under the supervision of Katrina Scior.

Sophie FitzGerald

Sophie is a trainee on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology programme at UCL. For her thesis, she is investigating the feasibility and preliminary outcomes of the All In Award run in partnership with the Royal Mencap Society.

This award is a direct contact intervention designed to improve acceptance of children with and without intellectual disabilities by their typically developing peers. Under the supervision of Katrina Scior.

Natasha Mitter

As part of her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, Natasha is studying the experience of affiliate stigma among families in the UK who have a child with intellectual disabilities. She is particularly interested in comparing differences in stigma experiences between White and South Asian families. This study is supervised by Katrina Scior and Afia Ali.

Deborah Odukoya

Deborah is a trainee clinical psychologist at UCL. For her thesis, Deborah is examining effective ways of challenging the stigma associated with intellectual disabilities in Nigeria, under the supervision of Katrina Scior.