Alternatively, they don't understand they need to make themselves accessible and just assume when they get no interest from learning disabled people, that there aren't any learning disabled people interested.
In reality, they may not have advertised in a way that would be accessible. For example, they may have used complex language or not promoted the project in places learning disabled people have access to. Or they may have made the project seem like it would be inaccessible, difficult or unappealing to learning disabled people.
This is very unfortunate, because we are literally losing history.
Yes, learning disabled people have access needs, but that doesn't mean their stories shouldn't be remembered.
It may be that they need things communicated in a more accessible way. Maybe they need things explained differently or broken down more. Maybe it will take them longer to process and think of answers. It may be that they need to have a couple of shorter opportunities to share their experiences, rather than one longer interview.
Some ways to manage this would be to communicate with learning disabled people, those who support them and learning disability organisations, to make things accessible.
Planning time and budget for accessibility and inclusion is really important. If there are limited amounts of time or money, the other option to consider is changing the scope of the project in another way. Maybe the amount of people included could be reduced to leave some resources for making the project accessible to disabled people.
The other issue with learning disabled history, is that people often assume that learning disabled people don't lead very interesting lives.
This belief is usually the result of internalised bias against learning disabled people and this is quite often an unconscious thing.
Learning disabled people quite often lead lives that are different to most peoples'. Maybe they don't work. Maybe they still take pleasure in games and entertainment aimed at much younger children. Maybe they communicate through sign language or some other non—verbal method.
These are all quite interesting aspects of life for learning disabled people, that it is important to record in history, so we can examine how things have changed over time. Unfortunately, people often dismiss them as not interesting, purely because they're different.
The other issue is that many people haven't actually met learning disabled people. So, they only have misconceptions and assumptions to go on. So, they may not realise just how fascinating learning disabled history is.
I think historians really need to open their minds up to learning disabled history and make a conscious effort to explore the lives and history of this fascinating group.
Why should certain peoples' ideas about what's interesting or important dictate whose stories get remembered?
They shouldn't. Which is why learning disabled history is so important.