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Biography - Melanie Nind

I began my teaching career in the school of a long-stay institution (Harperbury Hospital) where I worked with colleagues to change the curriculum and to develop the approach of Intensive Interaction.

My primary interest in learning disabilities is in supporting learning, communication and emotional well-being. This has taken me into the realms of the social history of education and advocacy and critiques of the normalization movement and concepts of age-appropriateness. I was also involved in collecting and editing the stories of family members for the Witnesses to Change book. I led a series of seminars on Concepts of Access for People with Learning Disabilities, and I am currently involved in another concerned with pushing the boundaries of participatory research, both funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. I have a strong interest in methodology, editing International Journal of Research and Method in Education, co-directing the ESRC National Centre for Research Methods, and recently having completed an ESRC-funded study of quality and capacity-building in inclusive research (see

Recent and relevant publications

  • Nind, M. and Vinha, M. (2013) Doing research inclusively: Bridges to multiple possibilities in inclusive research, British Journal of Learning Disabilities, i1-8. DOI: 10.1111/bld.12013.
  • Child, S. and Nind, M. (2012) Sociometric methods and difference: A force for good - or yet more harm? Disability & Society, i1-12 DOI:10.1080/09687599.2012.741517.
  • Seale, J., Nind, M. and Simmons, B. (2012) Transforming¬† positive risk-taking practices: the possibilities of creativity and resilience in learning disability contexts, Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, i1-16.
  • Nind, M. (2011) Participatory data analysis: A step too far?, Qualitative Research, 11(4), pp. 349-63.
  • Nind, M., Flewitt, R. and Payler, J. (2010) The social experience of early childhood for children with learning disabilities: Inclusion, competence and agency, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 31(6), pp. 653-70.
  • Nind, M. and Seale, J. (2009) Concepts of access for people with learning difficulties: Towards a shared understanding, Disability & Society, 24(3), pp. 273-87.
  • Nind, M. (2009) Promoting the emotional well-being of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities: a holistic approach through Intensive Interaction. In Pawlyn, G. and Carnaby, S. (eds) Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities: Nursing Complex Needs, Oxford, Blackwell (pp.62-77).
  • Nind, M. and Seale, J. (eds) (2009) Understanding and Promoting Access for People with Learning Difficulties. London, Routledge.
  • Samuel. J. and Nind, M. (2008) An evaluation of Intensive Interaction in community living settings for adults with profound intellectual disabilities, Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 12(2), pp. 111-126.
  • Nind, M. (2008) Learning difficulties and social class: exploring the intersection through family narratives, International Studies in Sociology of Education, 18(2), pp. 87-98.
  • Nind, M. (2007) Supporting lifelong learning for people with profound and multiple learning difficulties, Support for Learning, 22(3), pp. 111-15.
  • Nind, M. (2006) 'Stereotyped behaviour: resistance by people with profound learning disabilities'. In Mitchell, D. et al., (eds) Exploring Experiences of Advocacy by People with Learning Disabilities: Testimonies of Resistance, London, Jessica Kingsley.

Contact us

About the Group

If you woud like to get in touch with the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group, please contact:

Liz Tilley 
Chair of the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group
School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes

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