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Developing Inclusive Research Methods: Collaborating With People With Intellectual Disability as Co-Researchers

By: Published: 2017 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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Inclusive research is about academic researchers collaborating with people with intellectual disability as co-researchers. The research topics are ones which are important for people with intellectual disability and the methods used take into account their support needs. This case first sets out briefly the principles of emancipatory disability research, linking them to the development of inclusive research with people with intellectual disability. It then presents a case study that shows how both academic researchers and co-researchers with intellectual disability can collaborate meaningfully in research projects. This case study is based on my own experiences, first as a doctoral student and subsequently as a researcher in studies that evolved from my doctoral research and that have involved people with intellectual disability initially only as research participants and increasingly as co-researchers. The case study shows how inclusive research is an evolutionary process in which those involved develop the skills necessary to carry out research together, and how incremental changes can bring about an increase in the direct involvement of people with intellectual disability in all the stages of the research process. It also shows the importance of reflexivity in inclusive research in order to ensure that its principles are being applied through practices that enable inclusion in meaningful ways.

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