University of East London

Multimedia to help people with learning disabilities

Andy Minnion is Professor of Media Advocacy and Director of RIX Research & Media, a research and development centre, at the University of East London. Using innovative ‘RIX Wiki’ and ‘East Survey’ software, Professor Minnion has pioneered a multimedia advocacy approach to help people with learning disabilities shape and control the way they are supported and cared for in their daily lives.

This approach involves the use of photos, video and sound clips with easy-read text to help learning disabled people organise their thoughts and communicate their needs and aspirations. It has gained recognition for addressing the health inequalities and higher mortality rates experienced by these populations, who are often misunderstood when they communicate.

Claire Bosanquet’s son, Tom, uses RIX tools to communicate. Claire said, “One of the biggest benefits is that if you’re new to working with Tom, you can get to know him very quickly, what he likes and dislikes, and what is going on for him at any particular time.”

Professor Minnion said, “I have always focused on ways that media can help people have a voice to transform their lives. The work at RIX, in partnership with families, professionals and organisations, has demonstrated the power of these tools in ensuring learning disabled people have the best possible health and wellbeing, and are genuinely listened to and understood.”

RIX Research & Media was established in 2004 as a non-profit research centre. It launched its RIX Wikis software in 2015 and its Easy Survey package in 2018, alongside a comprehensive suite of information and training resources. The centre now works with more than 20 local authorities and over 100 schools and voluntary organisation in the UK, USA and Europe. "

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