Mencap's External Advisory Forum (EAF) is a group of respected individuals in the field of learning disability A learning disability is to do with the way someone's brain works. It makes it harder for someone to learn, understand or do things. .
The group meet regularly and use their many years of experience to provide Mencap with independent guidance Guidance means being given clear instructions to be able to do something well. on issues such as policy, activities and research.
Professor Richard Hastings - Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal and Research, University of Warwick
Richard is a researcher in the field of learning disability and autism Autism is a disability. Autistic people find it difficult to understand what other people think and feel. They also find it difficult to tell people what they think and feel. Everyone with autism is different. .
He is an Editor for the Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, and the Cerebra Chair of Family Research in the Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal and Research at the University of Warwick.
Andrew Holmes-Smith - Social Care Consultant
Andrew's career started in a day service, during the 1980s he was the director of an innovative and respected supported living Supported living is when you live in your own home with support from staff. People who live in supported living have a tenancy agreement. service.
Andrew then became a care consultant in 1991, with a particular interest in strategy A strategy is a plan to show what an organisation An organisation are a group of people who work together. , or a person, wants to do and how they are going to do it. , quality managements and performance management. He has recently retired.
Dr Katrina Scior - Centre for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research, University College London
Katrina is a Senior Lecturer in the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences at University College London (UCL), and is a founding member of UCL's multi-disciplinary Centre for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research (CIDDR).
Katrina is a clinical psychologist by background. Her research focuses on attitudes to children and adults with learning disabilities and the development of effective strategies to improve them. She is particularly interested in the global dimension of attitudes to learning disability and cultural and religious aspects and to this effect is working with colleagues, self-advocates and parents in Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
Professor Roy McConkey - Institute of Nursing and Health Research, University of Ulster
Roy is Emeritus Professor of Developmental Disabilities at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland.
Roy is a psychologist by training and a native of Belfast; he has previously held posts in England, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.
He is currently visiting professor at the University of Cape Town, the University of Sydney and at Trinity College, Dublin. His work as a consultant to various United Nations agencies and International NGOs has taken him to over 20 countries in Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and South America.
Dr Steve Beyer - Welsh Centre for Learning Disabilities, Cardiff University
Steve is a Senior Lecturer at Cardiff University and has been a researcher in the area of learning disability and services for over 30 years.
He is particularly interested in the area of supported employment Employment means having a job. , and improving the options for young people when they leave school.
Professor Bryony Beresford - Social Policy Research Unit, University of York
Bryony currently works as part of the Social Policy Research unit at the University of York, and is responsible for the Children and Families Team research programme.
She currently holds a number of Social Policy Advisory positions and her research interests include; children's experiences of illness and disability, service provision and multi-agency working and disabled or chronically ill children and adolescents and their families.
Linda Redford - Mencap trustee, specialist tribunal member, consultant
Linda Redford is a trustee of Royal Mencap Society and also of the National Association of Special Educational Needs (NASEN). She is a specialist member of the SEN and Disability Care Standards and Upper Tribunals.
She is a former teacher, local authority officer and advisor/ manager A manager is a boss at work. They tell you what you need to do and give you support if you need it. in the voluntary and community A community is the people and places in an area. sector.
Professor Brahm Norwich - Graduate School of Education, University of Exeter
Brahm is Professor of Educational Psychology and Special Educational Needs at the Graduate School of Education, University of Exeter.
He has worked as a teacher, a professional educational and psychologist and researched and published widely in these fields.
Professor Juliet Goldbart - Research Institute for Health and Social Change, Manchester Metropolitan University
Juliet is a developmental psychologist by background, but has worked primarily with allied health professionals (speech and language therapists and now also physiotherapists) for over 30 years.
She has a passionate interest in the development and enhancement of communication, particularly with people with very complex needs.
Juliet is also very committed to the design of relevant services for families, both in the UK and in under-served countries. She has a long-standing collaboration with the Indian Institute for Cerebral Palsy in Kolkata and, more recently, has worked on a project to support the first speech and language therapy programme in East Africa.
Professor Ruth Norway - Faculty of Life Sciences and Education, University of South Wales
Ruth is a professor or learning disability at the University of South Wales, having previously worked as a learning disability nurse in a range of residential and community settings.
She is Editor of the Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, co-chairs the Welsh Government Learning Disability Advisory Group, and leads the Unit for Development in Intellectual Disabilities (UDID) at the University of South Wales.
Ashwin Kumar is the Director of Liverpool Economics, Vice-Chair of the homelessness charity, Broadway, and a board member of the National Housing Federation. He is also a keen photographer, an FA-qualified referee and a Labour Party activist An activist is a person who campaigns to bring about change. .
Ashwin has worked as an economic advisor to Gordon Brown, as Rail Passenger Director at Passenger Focus, the consumer watchdog for rail and bus passengers, and as a Senior Economic Advisor at the Department for Work and Pensions The Department for Work and Pensions is sometimes called the DWP. It is part of the government and manages payments and benefits like Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is the name of a benefit that some people with a disability or health condition get. The money is to pay for extra help you might need to look after yourself and to get around. Some people who used to get Disability Living Allowance Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is the name of a benefit that some people with a disability get. The money is to pay for extra help you might need to look after yourself and to get around. Disability Living Allowance is being replaced by a benefit called Personal Independence Independence means doing things on your own. Making your own choices. Payment (PIP). (DLA) now get PIP instead. , Employment and Support Allowance Employment and Support Allowance is sometimes called ESA. It is a benefit for people who find it harder to get a job because of a disability or a long term health condition. , and Income Support. .