Disabled citizens as researchers – challenges and benefits of collaboration for effective action and change

Hollinrake, Susan, Spencer, Sara and Dix, Geof (2019) Disabled citizens as researchers – challenges and benefits of collaboration for effective action and change. European Journal of Social Work. pp. 1-14. ISSN 1468-2664

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Abstract

This article reports on the evaluation of an initial pilot for a collaborative research project undertaken in an English county between a service user-led Coalition of Disabled People, the local authority and local university. The project sought to map the assets and resources for/of disabled people in their local community as well as needs and gaps, to inform the Coalition’s strategic planning and raise awareness of disability issues across the county.

The article discusses an inclusive, co-productive approach using participatory action research. It focuses on experiences from the pilot stage of the project and considers how the authors worked together with the required knowledge exchange and power-sharing to recruit and train researchers with expertise from their personal experience of disability. Recruitment ensured they had relevant qualities and skills that could be developed, to increase their confidence, knowledge and skills set as researchers. They then undertook photo-elicited, semi-structured interviews with other disabled people, analysed findings and created photographic exhibitions for dissemination and awareness raising.

Demonstrating a commitment to emancipatory research and collective action for change, the discussion considers the promotion of shared values within the research team, and explores the benefits and challenges encountered during the process and how the particular stages were managed to achieve the beneficial outcomes of the pilot. The article seeks to add to the literature of participatory/emancipatory action research for social work.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Participatory action research, photo-elicitation, social change agenda, citizen activism
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Business & Applied Social Science > Department of Applied Social Sciences
SWORD Depositor: Pub Router
Depositing User: Pub Router
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2019 11:34
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2019 11:34
URI: http://oars.uos.ac.uk/id/eprint/822

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