Understanding quality in inclusive research: a process of dialogue


The case for research by and with (rather than on) people with learning disabilities has been successfully made. Calls for emancipatory research have drawn attention to the ways that research owned by disabled people can better tackle social oppression. For learning disabled people moves towards a productive rather than passive role in research have largely retained some involvement of non-disabled people. This paper reports on a study in England which brought together learning disabled researchers leading their own research, learning disabled and non-disabled researchers working in collaborative research partnerships, and academic researchers using participatory design or methods. We adopted Walmsely and Johnson’s (2003) concept of inclusive research to recognise the overlaps between emancipatory and participatory research and the need for research that matters to the people involved, represents their views, involves them in the research process, treats them with respect, and may improve their lives. The intention was to work together in a series of focus group discussions to take stock of what we had learned about doing inclusive research and to answer Walmsley and Johnson’s call to ‘grapple honestly’ with the challenges. This is necessary if quality in inclusive research is to be understood. In the paper I reflect on the research process and the resulting model of ways of researching together and guidance in the form of questions to ask ourselves: when judging the quality of inclusive research; when negotiating how to work together in inclusive research; and when using the case study materials the project generated

    Similar works

    Full text


    Available Versions