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Deafblind and Neglected or Deafblindness Neglected? Revisiting the Case of Beverley Lewis

SIMCOCK, Peter and Manthorpe, J. (2013) Deafblind and Neglected or Deafblindness Neglected? Revisiting the Case of Beverley Lewis. British Journal of Social Work, 44 (8). pp. 2325-2341. ISSN 0045-3102

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Abstract or description

Deafblindness is a particularly complex impairment and deafblind people are considered to be some of the most vulnerable members of society; this includes vulnerability to abuse and harm. This paper explores this unique impairment in the illustrative case of Beverley Lewis, by reviewing archived published and audio material about the life and circumstances of the death of this young woman, including media reports, parliamentary debates and commentaries. Whilst it appears that the implications of Beverley's deafblindness may have been ‘overshadowed’ in media reports and inquiries, the paper suggests that further lessons for practice can be learned from the case by focusing on this condition. Drawing on contemporary research by specialist charitable organisations (Sense and Deafblind UK), the authors identify research highlighting deficiencies in support for many deafblind adults, which have implications for safeguarding policy and practice. It is concluded that attention is needed in three areas: increased awareness amongst social care and health practitioners of the particular vulnerability to abuse of deafblind adults; improved access to specialist assessment and specialist social care support, including one-to-one human support; and improved communication between social care and health agencies, alongside more tangible signs of acceptance of shared responsibility for supporting deafblind adults.

Item Type: Article
Faculty: Previous Faculty of Health Sciences > Social Work, Allied and Public Health
Depositing User: Peter SIMCOCK
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2016 13:55
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:43

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