Co-researching with people who have intellectual disabilities: Insights from a national survey.

P. O’Brien, Roy McConkey, E.G. Iriarte

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    64 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Inclusive research with people with intellectualdisabilities is growing internationally but withfew studies examining its feasibility.Methods: In undertaking a national study exploringwhat life was like in Ireland for people withintellectual disabilities, a community of practice wasdeveloped involving a core group of co-researchers:five people with intellectual disabilities, four universityresearchers and three service support staff. Anadditional cadre of 15 co-researchers with intellectualdisabilities was recruited to undertake data gatheringand analysis with 23 focus groups involving 168participants. The research experience was documentedthrough oral feedback, progress reports, minutes and aproject review.Results and conclusions: The key learning is documentedarising from the setting up of an inclusive advisorygroup and implementation of each of six research steps.The study demonstrates feasibility and the added valueof university co-researchers recruiting and developingskills together with co-researchers with intellectualdisabilities. Topics for further research and developmentare identified.Accessible Abstract: This paper tells you about howpeople with intellectual disabilities worked with agroup of university researchers. Both groups werecalled co-researchers and together they ran 23focus groups across Ireland. People with intellectualdisabilities talked about their lives and what couldmake them better. They said they needed to have agood place to live; a job; enough money; relationships;and acceptance as respected citizens.The university co-researchers wrote about what it waslike doing research together and how people withintellectual disabilities joined the advisory group;decided on the questions; ran focus groups; andpresented findings.Together they grew into a community of researcherswhere the university co-researchers shared theirresearch skills and people with intellectual disabilitiesshared what it was like living with a disability. Theyboth saw great value in working together and plan towork more to make this type of research happen.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)65-75
    JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jan 2014


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