Research and empowerment: Involving people with learning difficulties in oral and life history research

Atkinson, Dorothy (2004). Research and empowerment: Involving people with learning difficulties in oral and life history research. Disability & Society, 19(7) pp. 691–702.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0968759042000284187

Abstract

This paper takes as its central theme the argument that inclusive learning disability research has the potential to be empowering for the people who are involved in it. The author draws from two oral and life history projects to explore the multiple uses of story-telling and the multi-layered picture of learning disability history that emerged. People with learning difficulties were involved at all stages of the research process, contributing their stories as oral and life historians but also co-researching written records in a bid to know and understand more about their own and other people's past lives. The research enabled participants not only to tell their stories but also to reflect on them, to develop new insights into their meaning and to see them in a wider social and political context.

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