My name is jan Walmsley. I’ve been involved in learning disabilities since the mid 1980s when I happened to get a job at the Open University working on a pack called Patterns for Living. I knew nothing about it till then, other than having a friend, April, with Downs Syndrome when I was a child.
My first impression was what is all the fuss about. Of course people should have an ordinary life, normal patterns of living, why ever not? I still believe that, and I cannot believe how difficult it is to get it right, or even not to get it so wrong.
I’ve had two big interests. One has been pioneering the history of learning disability, particularly as told by people who have experienced it – people with learning disabilities, family members, staff, professionals. the other has been working alongside people with learning disabilities as researchers – inclusive research I called it – which has been of great pleasure and interest over many years.
There is a lot more about me on my website www.janwalmsleyassociates.com
My friend Neil asked me why I don’t blog under my own name, why Jannie Wannie? It’s a name of affection for me, and I like it. Is that a good enough answer, Neil?
This photo of me I rather like because when I am not writing I am often walking, with my dog Teazel, a border collie.