Practical Guides for Participatory Methods: Disability Inclusive Research
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In the past, people with disabilities have been left out of many aspects of life including research. They have not usually been included in ‘mainstream’ studies about key topics such as health, education, WASH, gender empowerment, social and political participation, while other groups in populations are more routinely asked for their views and their qualitative data is collected. It is often perceived to be too difficult or expensive to include disabled people. This is discriminatory and leads to continued lack of understanding about their lives. We need to collect disability inclusive data to understand disabled people’s situations and needs, alongside others’ views. Additionally, disability-specific research has been rare and poorly funded. Now, partly in response to the game-changing UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD, 2007), the rights of disabled people to participate in all aspects of life are recognised, and research priorities are changing to include disability data and disabled people’s perspectives on many topics.