University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

The Missing Voices of Disabled People in Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities

Unwin, Peter ORCID:, Meakin, B. and Jones, Alexandra (2020) The Missing Voices of Disabled People in Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities. Project Report. University of Worcester, Worcester.


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The voices of GRT Disabled people were identified as ‘missing’ by a project group led by the University of Worcester in partnership with Shaping Our Lives Service User and Disability Network, a user-led organisation.
This project provided a platform for the narratives of Disabled people who live in GRT communities regarding experiences in accessing health and social care services. Their potential to join with Deaf and Disabled people’s Organisations (DDPOs) and have their voices heard in key policy forums was explored.
Surveys, interviews and focus groups were arranged via ‘community connectors’, within England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, this project having been the first to explore issues of disability within GRT communities. Findings were that stigma and shame were often associated with a range of Disabled people in regard to their various sensory, cognitive and neurodiverse conditions, learning disabilities or physical impairments, mental health issues or long-term health conditions.
DDPOs took the general stance that they were inclusive organisations whose ‘doors were open to all’, but the reality was that only a tiny minority of GRT members were involved in such organisations and the voices of Disabled GRT members are not heard in policy debates.
There was no general agreement across GRT communities about whether their Disabled members wished to combine with existing DDPOs.
This project started an open conversation about the position of Disabled people within GRT communities and we all have a responsibility to take this forward. Recommendations are that DDPOs should work together with GRT organisations in the interests of including all Disabled people. A charter to promote this way of working, particularly reaching out to the missing voices of men, is seen as a positive next step.

Item Type: Report (Project Report)
Additional Information:

A Pdf file of the report is available to download from this WRaP record.

The full-text of the published report can be accessed via the Official URL.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Gypsy, Roma, Travellers (GRT), disabilities, discrimination, inclusion, assimilation, Deaf and Disabled People's Organisations (DDPOs)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Allied Health and Community
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Peter Unwin
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2021 11:08
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2021 11:08

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