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Unit for Stigma Research


Sharing initiatives and insights


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

By ucjulpo, on 31 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.

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

By ucjulpo, on 13 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

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

By ID Stigma UCL, on 31 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.

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

By UCL ID Stigma Blog, on 21 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. Read the rest of this entry »

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

By UCL ID Stigma Blog, on 14 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. Read the rest of this entry »

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

By UCL ID Stigma Blog, on 9 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. Read the rest of this entry »

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

By UCL ID Stigma Blog, on 19 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 Read the rest of this entry »

Challenging Stereotypes through the Arts

By UCL ID Stigma Blog, on 28 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. Read the rest of this entry »

Announcing publication of our new book – Intellectual Disability and Stigma: Stepping Out from the Margins | Blog post by Katrina Scior

By ID Stigma UCL, on 18 October 2016

Final Cover

We are pleased to announce the publication by Palgrave Macmillan of Intellectual Disability and Stigma: Stepping Out from the Margins’, edited by Katrina Scior and Shirli Werner.

This book:

  • – Highlights how those with intellectual disabilities and their families are affected by stigma
  • – Provides a framework to tackle intellectual disability stigma across a variety of environments
  • – Emphasises the centrality of self-advocacy in fighting against stigma of intellectual disabilities


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Challenging Intellectual Disability Stigma Around the World | Blog post by Katrina Scior

By ID Stigma UCL, on 7 July 2016

Last year we completed a scoping review of attitudes to intellectual disability and initiatives that aim to increase awareness of intellectual disability and challenge stigma around the globe. With the help of researchers, and representatives of advocacy and disabled people’s organisations we produced an overview picture. Read the rest of this entry »