Access All Areas and Baroness Hollins present- ‘A Symposium on the History of Institutionalisation of People with Learning Disabilities and MADHOUSE re Exit’

Access All Areas and Baroness Sheila Hollins invite you to a symposium on the history of institutionalisation of people with learning disabilities, alongside a performance of MADHOUSE re:exit at Shoreditch Town Hall on Monday 19th March 2018, 10.30am to 5.30pm.

The symposium seeks to raise public awareness and debate on the effects that isolation and confinement has on people with learning disabilities.

It will question the ‘history’ of institutionalisation,
asking whether the closure of long-stay hospitals has ended institutionalisation, or if contemporary isolation at home has similar physical and mental effects. 

This event will bring together self-advocates, academics, activists, policymakers, service providers and other allies of people with learning disabilities to discuss the history of institutionalisation and the inspiration behind the creation of MADHOUSE 
re:exit. Speakers include Nick Llewellyn (Artistic Director of Access All Areas and Director of MADHOUSE re:exit), Baroness Sheila Hollins (Professor of the Psychiatry of Learning Disability and Member of the House of Lords), Jan Walmsley (Visiting Professor in the History of Learning Disabilities at the Open University). 

Alongside the symposium will be the launch of books Beyond Words and Access All Areas’ book, ‘Belonging’, which explores a contemporary account of social isolation using a visual story to enable people with learning disabilities to identify solutions to their situations. Following this will be an artistic response to these issues, a large-scale immersive performance called MADHOUSE re:exit. 

Inspired by a refusal to be silent, and a history of being ignored, 5 learning disabled artists take us on a wondrous adventure underground. 

As they tear back the walls to their lives, past and present spin together in a powerful expression of what it feels like to have a learning disability today.

During the day, we hope to create a manifesto for a better future for people with learning disabilities in our communities and policies. 

Over two years, the Madhouse project has built on the legacy of Mabel Cooper, a resident of a long-stay hospital for people with learning disabilities, who pressed the button that blew up one of the last of these institutions in the UK.

For more information about the Madhouse project, visit the website

Lunch and refreshments provided.

Shoreditch Town Hall is fully accessible. If you have any access requirements that you would like to let us know about before the event, please click here or call 0207 613 6445. 

Please book your place by Monday 5th February to be guaranteed a space as there is limited capacity.