Analyzing Roles, Barriers, and Supports of Co-researchers in Inclusive Research

Vanessa Vega-Córdova, Izaskun Álvarez-Aguado, Cristina Jenaro, HERBERT GEORGE SPENCER GONZALEZ, Mauricio Díaz Araya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Current research demands that we rethink the roles of people with intellectual disabilities (IDs) in the research that affects them. The paradigm of inclusive research responds to this need. Although the specialized literature is progressively adopting a more inclusive research approach, the study of roles and relationships within inclusive research and reflections on the process of doing participatory research has received little attention. From a qualitative approach and a participatory action research framework this study aims to: (1) report the experience of involving adults with IDs in inclusive research, and their improvements in terms of developed competencies; (2) identify their perceived roles as researchers, and (3) describe their perceived barriers and facilitators during the research process. This study describes the experiences of 11 adults with IDs who participated in a project aimed at evaluating the cognitive accessibility of public spaces and services in a Chilean city for 14 months. Different roles emerged, ranging from apprentices to experts by experience, and were adopted to different extent by co-researchers as the process evolved. Co-researchers developed conceptual, procedural, and attitudinal skills. They also identified contextual and personal barriers as well as facilitators consisting of natural, professional, and community supports, as well as assisted technology while performing their role as co-researchers. Inclusive research is a challenging, evolving process and it requires ongoing support and feedback to monitor the process and the outcomes to guarantee that all the participants perform different roles involved while meeting the goals of the research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-331
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • adults
  • inclusive research
  • intellectual disabilities
  • self-perceptions

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