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Independent futuresCreating user-led disability services in a disabling society$
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Colin Barnes

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9781861347183

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861347183.001.0001

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Researching user-led organisations

Researching user-led organisations

(p.51) four Researching user-led organisations
Independent futures

Colin Barnes

Geof Mercer

Policy Press

This chapter begins with a review of disability theorists' criticism of traditional ways of researching disability, particularly its theoretical standpoint and the disempowering role of ‘research experts’. Second, it explores the key features of an alternative approach to conducting disability research in line with a social model framework: what has been termed ‘emancipatory disability research’. This stresses its commitment to the central outcomes of the empowerment of disabled people and political change, while also informing the process of conducting research. However, as explored in the third section, the emphasis on political partiality has often deflected attention away from important debates about the choice of methodology and methods and their implementation when undertaking disability research. The final section describes the Creating Independent Futures project on user-controlled organizations. It covers the overall research strategy and design, including the main data sources, sampling, data collection and dissemination techniques.

Keywords:   disability research, emancipatory disability research, empowerment, disabled people, Creating Independent Futures project, user-controlled organizations

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