A Design for Life exists as a story with the potential to illuminate the readers’ understandings of what life is like – or can be like – for a group

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difficulties field which has drawn attention to what Dexter (1956) called the social problem of learning difficulties. I have described elsewhere how a number of accounts of people with learning difficulties have clarified the socially constructed nature of disability (Goodley, 2000). These include The World of Nigel Hunt (Hunt, 1967), Ed Murphy’s story by Bogdan and Taylor (1976, see also 1982), Tongue Tied by Joey Deacon (1974), Kaufman’s (1988) account of a mother and disabled daughter and Atkinson and Williams’s (1990) anthology of prose, artwork and poetry. In addition, Korbin (1986) presents the life course of Sarah – a Down’s syndrome child to show the impact of social factors on development, and Lea (1988) refutes pathologising clinical definitions via the poetry of people defined by such criteria. Potts and Fido (1991, see also Fido and Potts, 1989) collected the oral histories of a number of long-term residents in an English mental hospital, and Oswin (1991) uncovered people with learning difficulties’ experiences of bereavement. Cheston (1994) provides the accounts of ‘special education leavers’, while Angrosino (1994) talks of how he collected life stories in On the Bus with Vonny Lee, and Booth and Booth’s (1994) Parenting under Pressure explores the personal stories of parents with learning difficulties. All of these narratives – to which perhaps we could add A Design for Life – can be considered to be enlightening stories. These accounts aim to move the reader into feeling the lifeworlds of people whom they may not (want to) know in a number of ways.