Inclusive Research with People with Learning Disabilities: Past, Present, and Futures

Inclusive Research with People with Learning Disabilities: Past, Present, and Futures

Inclusive Research with People with Learning Disabilities: Past, Present, and Futures

Inclusive Research with People with Learning Disabilities: Past, Present, and Futures

Synopsis

"In this book, Jan Walmsley and Kelley Johnson discuss participative approaches to research and provide an up-to-date account of inclusive practice with individuals with learning disabilities. Drawing on evidence from two major studies, they explain how lessons learnt from inclusive research in the learning disability field are applicable to others working with marginalized groups. They look at the challenges inherent in this work, such as balancing the voice of the researcher with that of disabled participants and clarifying roles within research projects, and explore how it can become more inclusive and empowering. Providing valuable information and advice to researchers, policy makers and students as well as other health and social care professionals, this book presents a comprehensive examination of participative research in social care." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

In social research you are usually either disreputable or unhelpful.

(Marris and Rein 1969, p.14)

This book is about inclusive research as it has developed in the learning disability field in the past two decades. We will be spending a lot of time explaining and debating what is inclusive research in the course of the book, but for the moment we will define it as research in which people with learning disabilities are active participants, not only as subjects but also as initiators, doers, writers and disseminators of research.

Many researchers struggle to resolve the tension that exists between research which is academically rigorous, acceptable to funding organizations and publishable, and research which is of use to the people who are subject to it, which is relevant to their needs and can inform and promote needed social change. a resolution of this tension is probably not possible. Rather it is met anew with each study and involves a continual process of balancing and compromise. It is a 'big ask' to be both reputable and helpful – and it is not enough.

The quotation itself encapsulates some of the dilemmas that have led us to write this book. a certain degree of reputability is necessary. Without it future research will not be funded and there will be a lack of trust in the work itself. Yet being reputable alone can mean books, reports and articles left on dusty shelves, unread, untouched and of little use to those about whom they are written. To be helpful sounds worthy and practical. But helpfulness can be a problematic way of perceiving . . .

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