Disabilities | Free Full-Text | Learnings and Benefits from Co-Researching: Views of Advisors with Intellectual Disabilities

Disabilities | Free Full-Text | Learnings and Benefits from Co-Researching: Views of Advisors with Intellectual Disabilities

The presentation of the results is carried out in accordance with the codes and sub-codes established in the analysis, and is accompanied by quotations from the members of the Advisory Committee. It specifies in which document and year the above-mentioned opinions were collected.

3.1. Sharing Your Own Experience

The members of the Advisory Committee stressed that one of the relevant factors of their participation in research was to share their own experience with other people, as well as knowing different experiences of their colleagues. They agreed on the great value they attach to being able to express their feelings and views that they cannot express in other contexts. They appreciated the support of their peers and the respect shown among them when expressing their opinions.

At first I was very shy, but over time I opened up and explained how I felt, and I really liked it.

(advisor, meeting transcript, year 4)

Another aspect highly valued by the advisors is the possibility to express their opinions. Not only because they consider it important to be able to give their opinion and listen to different perspectives, but also because it is something that allows them to feel well. They also mention the importance of showing respect when expressing their opinions.

A very positive experience because I have been able to express myself and listen to different opinions about what I think and what others think, and being able to do it is very important.

(advisor, informative video, year 2)

3.2. Learn

Members of the Advisory Committee appreciated the opportunity to share diverse views among themselves as a source of learning. They noticed several differences between them, whether in points of view, age, or opinion, among others; and they valued this existing diversity, since it allows them to acquire knowledge about different social generations, or about life experiences that they have not yet experienced but might like to.

You learn things from what your colleagues tell you, from the experiences they have lived, you learn from others. So, even if you have not experienced it, you can learn about how it is.

(advisor, transcript meeting, year 5)

It has helped me to understand the changes that have taken place in the family, in school, in friends… With this research that we did, now I am considering things in a different way. There are several experiences, of people of different ages, and you learn from them, becoming well prepared to make decisions.

(advisor, video transcript, year 1)

The crossing of knowledge between academic researchers and the Advisory Committee was also welcomed: the knowledge in which the academic researchers are experts (research processes), and the knowledge that belongs to Advisory Committee members (the experience of living with a disability). Thus, the members of the Advisory Committee affirm themselves as being experts on the basis of experience.

You (academic researchers) also learn from us.

(advisor, informative video, year 5)

In the richness of university work, all points of view must be taken into account: the researcher’s point of view and the advisory point of view, as we have advised.

(advisor, informative video, year 2)

When it comes to disability, what better teachers than us?

(advisor, meeting transcript, year 5)

The members of the Advisory Committee also indicated lessons learned about the research process itself: the phases in which it is distributed, the different methods that can be used, various techniques and tools for data collection, etc. This implies the acquisition and development not only of theoretical knowledge, but also of competences linked to research.

An investigation is a process, you need planning. Differences are seen at different times of the investigation; you ask yourself questions, you give your opinion…

(advisor, questionnaire, year 2)

In addition, participation in research also provided Advisory Committee members with useful learning for their daily lives, now or in the future.

Working on the topic of life as a couple is a help for people who have never done so. Knowing the pros and cons can help someone, tomorrow, to live better.

(advisor, informative video, year 5)

It has helped me, because it’s a bit complicated with the partner, and talking about it with everyone has helped me to know how to do it; it is good to talk about it with everyone.

(advisor, meeting transcript, year 4)

However, it is not only about current daily life issues or about possible life projects, but also about the development of personal skills, such as social and communication skills, for instance.

Here I have learned to intervene, to say things and to open up more to my colleagues, to respect my colleagues, and also to get rid of my shame.

(advisor, video transcript, year 1)

3.4. Contribute to the Change and Improvement of Knowledge

The members of the Advisory Committee valued their contribution to the advancement of knowledge regarding the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, and their contribution to social change in relation to improving the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.

We can bring several things to the table from our own experience. (…) People who don’t know anything (about disability) can’t give advice as we do.

(advisor, meeting transcript, year 5)

The members of the Advisory Committee consider their own life experiences, views and opinions to be crucial for academic researchers to be aware of the reality of persons with intellectual disabilities, so that the research carried out is based on their realities, as well as their interests and needs.

We bring them face to face with reality (to the academic researchers).

(advisor, meeting minutes, year 5)

In any case, not only does the academy benefit from the participation of people with intellectual disabilities in research, but there is also a positive impact on society. Both people with disabilities and professionals working with and for them can benefit from the different advances in research related to the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.

The important thing is that the professionals have benefited from the studies we do.

(advisor, questionnaire, year 2)

In addition to their social service undertaken, the members of the Advisory Committee also expressed the benefits that they can bring themselves to the people in their closest circle, as they can give them advice, or motivate them to participate in research.

Here you learn several things. And if later a friend of yours has any doubts, you will be able to give him better advice.

(advisor, video transcript, year 5)

3.5. Social Value

According to the members of the Advisory Committee, participation in research allowed them to feel useful, important and socially valued. They are aware that both their collaboration and their active participation in different research activities are useful and can generate social benefits.

I feel important. I contribute. In other places, they might not listen to us as they listen to us here.

(advisor, interview, year 6)

In addition, this social value was perceived by the members of the Advisory Committee when they realized the prejudices that they have helped to break/overcome by regularly attending a university institution. According to some of the advisors, the people in their social circle had never believed that they might ever participate in a university context.

It’s an honour for me to come here to the university. Go to university… Who might have imagined that? Coming to college is an honour, and that they count on you is an honour.

(advisor, meeting transcript, year 1)

My family didn’t expect me to come here to the university.

(advisor, meeting transcript, year 5)

3.6. Sharing and Being Part of a Safe Space Where You Feel Respected

Another aspect highly valued by Advisory Committee members was the opportunity to be part of a group of people who are valued and respected. They attach importance to the good group atmosphere and feeling included in the group.

It’s a little therapeutic too, because you don’t feel special, you feel in a very united group, very cohesive…

(advisor, informative video, year 2)

The members of the Advisory Committee also concurred with the idea that it is a group of people and a space in which they can vent and express themselves freely, relying on the people to whom they open up and express their feelings, thoughts and ideas.

Here we speak more confidently than with other people. We can talk about more personal things.

(advisor, meeting transcript, year 5)

In addition, some of the members of the Advisory Committee stated that being able to share their personal experiences allowed them to feel helped by their colleagues, since they expressed their perspectives, allowing them to assess different possible solutions to a personal conflict. Likewise, they showed the equal treatment that exists among all members of the group, which they do not always receive in other social contexts.

(…) explain things, because then others can tell me how I can do it to do it well, help me to do things well and think a little differently.

(advisor, meeting transcript, year 4)

3.7. Discussion on Topics of Interest to Oneself

The members of the Advisory Committee stressed the importance of being able to choose the topics on which they carry out their research. In general, these are issues of interest to them, but, mainly, they agree that these are usually issues that they cannot discuss or talk about in other contexts or environments in which their lives develop and therefore decide to investigate them as soon as they have the opportunity.

I use research to discuss topics that interest me.

(advisor, individual interview, year 7)

(Academic researchers) Ask us what topics we are interested in, and we vote on which to research.

(advisor, individual interview, year 7)

More specifically, the members of the Advisory Committee believe that there is a direct relationship between the topics they decide to investigate and their personal interests and day to day needs. They decide to research topics with which they feel identified, or life situations that are familiar to them. They think that what they learn by researching is useful in their lives.

I was able to understand the situation of leaving home, when I found myself in that situation.

(advisor, meeting transcript, year 5)

3.8. Impact That They Would Want the Research They Carry Out to Have

As for the impact that the members of the Advisory Committee might like to have with their participation in research, it is mainly to make people with intellectual disabilities visible, and to convey the idea that they have several abilities. They want society to treat them well, respect them and believe in their several possibilities. They believe that their participation in research can contribute to the reduction of both misunderstanding and discrimination suffered by several people with intellectual disabilities.

Make people with disabilities more visible.

(advisor, meeting minutes, year 5)

It might be nice if people thought we have possibilities.

(advisor, meeting transcript, year 5)

One way to promote that society becomes more respectful towards people with intellectual disabilities might be by giving them the opportunity to be recognized; being aware of the research work they develop and valuing it, for instance. In this way, society can not only value them more, but also learn from them. The members of the Advisory Committee wish to continue to contribute to change and to the improvement of knowledge in order to generate social change and improvement.

I think that, of barriers, they are always going to give us barriers, because we are these types of people in particular, that we have a difficulty. I believe that, in a few years’ time, companies and society as a whole should look at these issues from a different point of view. If these people have this difficulty, then help them more, do not say no from the outset. Participating in the Advisory Committee is a way to break down these barriers, because people are telling each other, and it is a way to reach all people.

(advisor, informative video, year 2)

Disasters Expo USA, is proud to be supported by Inergency for their next upcoming edition on March 6th & 7th 2024!

The leading event mitigating the world’s most costly disasters is returning to the Miami Beach

Convention Center and we want you to join us at the industry’s central platform for emergency management professionals.
Disasters Expo USA is proud to provide a central platform for the industry to connect and
engage with the industry’s leading professionals to better prepare, protect, prevent, respond
and recover from the disasters of today.
Hosting a dedicated platform for the convergence of disaster risk reduction, the keynote line up for Disasters Expo USA 2024 will provide an insight into successful case studies and
programs to accurately prepare for disasters. Featuring sessions from the likes of The Federal Emergency Management Agency,
NASA, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NOAA, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, TSA and several more this event is certainly providing you with the knowledge
required to prepare, respond and recover to disasters.
With over 50 hours worth of unmissable content, exciting new features such as their Disaster
Resilience Roundtable, Emergency Response Live, an Immersive Hurricane Simulation and
much more over just two days, you are guaranteed to gain an all-encompassing insight into
the industry to tackle the challenges of disasters.
By uniting global disaster risk management experts, well experienced emergency
responders and the leading innovators from the world, the event is the hub of the solutions
that provide attendees with tools that they can use to protect the communities and mitigate
the damage from disasters.
Tickets for the event are $119, but we have been given the promo code: HUGI100 that will
enable you to attend the event for FREE!

So don’t miss out and register today: https://shorturl.at/aikrW

And in case you missed it, here is our ultimate road trip playlist is the perfect mix of podcasts, and hidden gems that will keep you energized for the entire journey


This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More