Developing Inclusive Research Spaces for Disabled Researchers
School of SSESW academic Bronagh Byrne (Social Policy) has launched a new book with co-editor Ciaran Burke (University of West of England) entitled ‘Social Research and Disability: Developing Inclusive Research Spaces for Disabled Researchers’. It argues that the ways in which we conduct research makes assumptions about the ability of researchers to see, hear, walk and communicate. In short, the disabled researcher is often not considered when we talk about how research can and should be undertaken.
The book brings together research-active academics who identify as disabled, to consider their lived experiences in a largely ableist academic world, as well as strategies employed and issues faced when conducting empirical research. It advocates for a sociological future that values the presence of disabled researchers and normalises research methods that are inclusive and accessible.
Bronagh’s own chapter in the book is on ‘Deaf Research Methodologies? Confronting Epistemological Silences and Challenges in Qualitative Research’. Bronagh commented:
‘Being an academic means carrying out research on a whole host of issues. Most of us are taught or receive training about the various ways in which we can do ‘good research’. Yet methods such as focus groups and interviews, and textbooks about them, always assume that the researcher is able to hear and communicate in traditional ways. This is not always possible for me as a deaf person and I have to consistently adjust how I work. In co-editing this book I wanted to highlight these additional but unspoken labours that disabled researchers have to engage with and disrupt traditional ways of doing things. We have been disabled by ableist research methods for too long.’
The interdisciplinary focus of ‘Social Research and Disability: Developing Inclusive Research Spaces for Disabled Researchers’ appeals to a broad audience of both disabled and non-disabled students, academics and those working in research in public and private sectors. It is available from Routledge at https://bit.ly/3sPW87x ISBN 9781138387652.