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Unit for Stigma Research


Sharing initiatives and insights


Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

The UCL Unit for Stigma Research will officially launch on 16th February 2018. We look forward to welcoming you to the event.

ucjulpo12 January 2018

The Unit for Stigma Research (UCLUS) seeks to produce boundary crossing research that increases our understanding of stigma in relation to disability, mental health problems and dementia and informs the development of effective interventions designed to tackle stigma at all levels. (more…)

“I don’t like wheelchairs. I am ok, I am” – Partner Selection and the Stigma associated with Outward Indicators of Disability | By Dr Claire Bates (Choice Support, Tizard Centre, University of Kent).

ucjulpo7 December 2017

What do people with learning disabilities want in a partner?         

My PhD showed me that people with learning disabilities want to find love just like anyone else, that they value similar characteristics and attributes to the general population: a kind, affectionate and loving partner. However, traditionally desirable characteristics among people without learning disabilities, such as physical attractiveness and social status, were unimportant (Bates et al., 2016). To help more people with learning disabilities to find love, I have subsequently established a national network comprising both professionals and people with learning disabilities called ‘Supported Loving’ (https://www.choicesupport.org.uk/our-work/supported-loving-campaign). (more…)

SICK! Living with Invisible Illness. An exhibition at Sun Pier House Chatham | By Lisa Richardson

ucjulpo31 October 2017



Ok, hands up! This blog post is not about intellectual disability per say, but more broadly about stigma experienced in a number of contexts by people with invisible illnesses (intellectual disabilities are not illnesses and they are not always invisible, but sometimes they are).

I have been moved to write about this exhibition challenging the stigma experienced by people with invisible illnesses which I happened to visit in August of this year. The event was ‘Sick!’, an art exhibition at Sun Pier house in Chatham in Kent.


Stigma Experienced by the Families of Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities – Development of FAMSI by Natasha Mitter

ucjulpo13 October 2017


Individuals with intellectual disabilities are one of the most ostracised groups and face stigma, prejudice and significant obstacles that restrict their human rights (European Union Monitoring and Advocacy Programme, 2005). Often, people associated with the target individual are also subjected to stigmatisation, referred to as family stigma, courtesy stigma (Goffman, 1963) or associative stigma (Mehta & Farina, 1988). Related to these is the construct of affiliate stigma, which involves the internalisation of stigma by associates, such as family caregivers of individuals with intellectual disabilities


Mencap’s new All in Award: Can it improve children’s attitudes towards peers with learning disabilities? | by Sophie FitzGerald, UCL

Katrina Scior31 August 2017


Children’s attitudes towards their peers with intellectual disabilities (or in UK terminology: learning disabilities) have been found to be negative and children with intellectual disabilities are less accepted across a wide range of settings and countries. As attitudes are still developing in childhood, early intervention is likely to be more successful.

Contact with another group has been found to be most effective in improving attitudes towards that group. Carter, Biggs and Blustein (2016) highlight five core elements most likely to foster positive relationships between children with and without intellectual disabilities:

  1. sustained shared experiences,
  2. common connections,
  3. valued roles,
  4. relevant information,
  5. balanced support from facilitative staff which encourages but does not hinder new relationships.


The Era of Digital Interventions: Combating intellectual Disability Stigma in Africa | By Deborah Odukoya and Winnie Chege, UCL

UCL ID Stigma Blog21 July 2017

winniedeb1In September of 2016, over 1000 Kenyans and Nigerians took part in research studies that tested if a film based e-intervention could contribute to efforts to raise awareness and tackle intellectual disability stigma. Participants were recruited through social media and asked to watch a 6-minute film designed to increasing awareness of intellectual disability and its causes, and to challenge stigmatising beliefs commonly found in African countries. (more…)

‘Standing up for Myself’ (STORM) –now recruiting participants to take part in a new group programme for people with learning disabilities

UCL ID Stigma Blog14 July 2017

Wembley Big Day Out Main pic

Our research team at UCL have developed a new psychosocial group intervention aimed at helping people with learning disabilities feel good about themselves, say no to bad attitudes and actions, and speak up for themselves.

This project is based on evidence that attitudes are becoming more positive but that people with learning disabilities still frequently experience prejudice because of their disability and can be the targets of negative and undermining actions within their social circles and the wider community. (more…)

Croatian families also experience intellectual disability stigma, don’t they? | Blog post by Marko Buljevac

UCL ID Stigma Blog9 June 2017

Being a person with an intellectual disability or having a member of your family who is a person with an intellectual disability sometimes can be challenging and hard. Some of these challenges are inadequate formal support, lack of information, lower quality of life, and inability to accomplish your life goals. My opinion is that one of the biggest challenges is stigma of intellectual disability.

Why I write about stigma of intellectual disability?

After working for four and a half years with young people with intellectual disabilities (having weekly discussions about life, expectations or just having a great time) I decided to find out what families living with a family member with an intellectual disability say about stigma. (more…)

What negative attitudes mean to me and other self-advocates | Blog post by Harry Roche

UCL ID Stigma Blog19 May 2017

Harry Roach

Harry in Brussels at the EPSA Steering Group Meeting

My name is Harry, I am in my late 20s and live in a small village in Hertfordshire, UK. My hobbies and interests include working out at the gym, going on long country walks in the summer and walking my dog Oscar. I currently work for the Royal Mencap Society (RMS) full-time as an Office Assistant and Ambassador in the CEO office. I also serve as the UK representative on the European Platform for Self-Advocates (EPSA) steering group and sit on the board of Inclusion Europe. I was diagnosed with a learning disability at age 3 (more…)

Challenging Stereotypes through the Arts

UCL ID Stigma Blog28 April 2017

john livingstonThere are often misconceptions or beliefs about what people who have intellectual disabilities can do or achieve and because of this their passions or talents are often not showcased or developed.

Such misconceptions are challenged by an increasing number of persons with intellectual disabilities who are making strides in the arts and gaining public and media attention for their talents in their craft, rather than their disability.

One such person is John Livingston, a professional contemporary dance choreographer and dance artist who has Down Syndrome. John, together with his family, has challenged expectations of what people who have intellectual disabilities can accomplish. (more…)