Friendships: a personal story of formation, loss and maintenance

Friday, November 1, 2013
First author:
Josh McDonagh
Belonging 'Inside-Out

Bristol, UK

All authors:

Josh McDonagh

Disability, belonging, leisure

I am a young man (20 years old) who has cerebral palsy with learning and physical disabilities. I am currently studying a BSc in Architectural Studies at Cardiff University, Wales, United Kingdom.

As a person with physical and learning disabilities being a member of the ‘able-bodied’ world has been experienced as both enabling and disabling. This has been particularly manifest through the formation, loss and maintenance of friendships.  Whilst a mainly positive personal experience will be shared a few unhappy experiences will also be explored through consideration of those friendships:

* which worked/ are working well

* I would have liked to happen yet did not develop

* which I chose to end

Through telling the story of my friendship experiences the influence of assumptions about:

* disability

* the intellect of people with disability

* the capabilities of people with disability

will be considered and challenged. The presentation will be concluded with my views on how positive friendship experiences could be supported and so the social inclusion and psychological well-being of people with disability enhanced.

Relevant imagery will be used to tell my story through a power point supported presentation.