Learning Disabilities Problems

Personal background.

The author began his working life in a City office before taking a more active role in war work prior to joining the RAF in 1943.

Following two years flying and two years ground duties; he returned to civilian life in 1947, but left within weeks to train and work as a customer service engineer for the Time Control Division of IBM.

Fifteen years were spent visiting and gaining valuable insight into every conceivable form of commercial, industrial, and institutional working environment when carrying out his daily duties. IBM phased out its Time Control Division in 1962, and employment as line supervisor with a local electric motor manufacturing company followed.

Head-hunted by an American business machines corporation, appointment as area service manager followed but was short-lived. Work duties involving contact with local Health Departments opening day centre establishments on industrial estates in the mid-1960s opened up the prospect of a more fulfilling day job.

Resignation from the management post was followed by employment as a temporary assistant supervisor at an 80 place occupation centre for mentally handicapped children and adults at Poole, Dorset. Another temporary post 30 miles away in Hampshire followed the cessation of this post, with permanent employment following with the return to Poole in 1968.

  • Posts as an assistant supervisor, instructor, deputy manager, and finally as manager followed;
  • Varied experience was gained under five different local authority regimes;
  • Work at mixed children and adult centres was involved until the separation of responsibility in the early 1970s;
  • Centres ranged in sizes of 24 - 190 places; deputy manager experience was gained at a 190 place Centre (including 10 place special needs);
  • Then as manager for almost a decade at the Conquest Centre, Hastings. This 80 place Centre grew to 100 plus 10 special needs.
  • After retirement he served as adviser to the Committee of the Friends of Conquest, and as staff training adviser and staff liaison Committee member of the local Mencap hostel until resigning to focus on campaigning for choice and justice.
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