Dr Laurence ClarkVisiting Research Fellow

Laurence Clark is a prominent disability activist and comedian with a high media profile. Laurence has written and presented a film about disability and the Abortion Act for BBC 2's Newsnight. He has also written on disability issues for The Guardian, The Times, BBC News Online, Community Care and Disability Now amongst other publications. He regularly blogs on disability rights and other issues for The Independent.

Laurence also works as a researcher and has undertaken service evaluation work for a number of local authorities in the North West. He has strong links to the North West Development Agency, Breakthrough UK and Age Concern and Liverpool Primary Care Trust. Laurence has been a guest lecturer on disability issues for University of Leeds' Center for Disability Studies, Edge Hill University College, Liverpool Hope University and the University of Cambridge.

Laurence brings experience and networks to Critical Disability Studies at MMU that will enhance the impact of the research, particularly in relation to public engagement and 'real world' impacts.


Northwest Training and Development Team/Sefton Council

Undertook a qualitative study of disabled children and young people and their parents' perceptions of the performance and progress on Aiming High for Disabled Children in Sefton, in part focussing on uptake of Direct Payments for young disabled people.

Barnsley Age Concern

Conducted research on the experiences of people who fund their own support in setting up their own care services, which in turn was used productively to inform the development of effective peer support brokerage services.

Breakthrough UK/North-West Joint Improvement Partnership

With Dr Pam Thomas, facilitated and developed Building Positive Partnerships, an agreement between Family Carers' Organisations, Disabled People's Organisations, Deaf People's Organisations and User-Led Organisations.

Breakthrough UK/Trafford Council

With Dr Pam Thomas, undertook the feasibility study and developed an incremental business model for the establishment of a Centre for Independent Living in Trafford which now supports local disabled people to apply for and manage Direct Payments. Most recently they have written a best practice guide to developing CILs based on this process.

North-West Training and Development Team/Liverpool PCT

With Dr Pam Thomas, developed a short breaks strategy for Liverpool City Council/PCT which promoted the provision of short breaks to people with learning disabilities via Direct Payments.

Step-by-Step Living Network

Conducted a review to investigate how this organisation of disabled people and family carers could become more user-led.

North-West Training and Development Team/Lancashire County Council

Conducted a review of current investment in advocacy arrangements for Central Lancashire and investigated whether there was support amongst people with learning difficulties for the development of their own user-led self-advocacy organisation.

Breakthrough UK/Liverpool City Council/Liverpool PCT

Research to identify how to make information and advice easily available to disabled people in Liverpool.

Breakthrough UK/Wrexham County Borough Council

Conducted a review and training programme for Wrexham Council into local Direct Payments support.

Skills for Care

Conducted interviews for a Practice Learning Task Force research progject on the participation of service user and carer-led organisations in practice learning opportunities for social work students.

Disability Network Hounslow/Hounslow Council

Conducted a 4-month research project to identify disabling policies and practices which create barriers to communication with disabled people.

Project Manager - Central Liverpool Primary Care Trust

Researched how the NHS can remove barriers to accessing health information and communicate effectively with disabled people. The project report was launched at a large conference and can be accessed here.

Research Outputs

Book Chapters

Clark, L. (2013 forthcoming) Barriers, in Disability Studies: A Student's Guide (ed. C. Cameron), London: Sage

See also papers on the University of Leeds disability archive.

Conference Presentations

Runswick-Cole, K. and Clark, L. (2014) "What is Big Society? Self-advocates Conference", North West Learning Disability Forum, 26 February, Blackpool, UK

Laurence Clark

Research Centre

Social Change & Wellbeing

Email: laurence@differencematters.co.uk

Twitter: @Laurence_Clark