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Critically discuss the advantages and disadvantages of disabled people undertaking disability research. Illustrate your answers with material from Chapter 13 by Lewis and Kellet in Reader B and the research paper by Monteith in chapter 9 of Reader A.

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Introduction

JACQUELYN KNIGHTON U4222403 TMA 04 Critically discuss the advantages and disadvantages of disabled people undertaking disability research. Illustrate your answers with material from Chapter 13 by Lewis and Kellet in Reader B and the research paper by Monteith in chapter 9 of Reader A. In considering what are the advantages and disadvantages of disabled people undertaking disability research, it is first necessary to define what disability research is; what are the main issues concerning this type of research and whether there are advantages or disadvantages in disabled researchers undertaking such research. Issues in Disability Research The word disability has a multitude of meanings. The term used to describe different disabilities can often convey a particular attitude towards people with disabilities. There are terms that are frequently used in the past, and still used by some people in the present day which are derogatory and convey a negative image of disabled people. It is important for all researchers undertaking disability research to consider how they talk about disabled people, because the terms used may be perceived by others including people with disabilities in a different way from that intended (Lewis and Kellet 2004). ...read more.

Middle

Ethical considerations need to be heightened and greater consideration given to gatekeepers in order to protect children with disabilities from becoming prey to unscrupulous researchers. Disability thinking has moved away from the medical model, where the "problem" is seen to be within the child to a social model where society is seen as disabling not the child; this has encouraged research with its focus on the social environment of the children with disabilities. There has also been an increase in educational research which places a greater importance on the quality and flexibility of teaching approaches and less on pupil disability. This has lead to the development of a research base for interactive teaching approaches with children who have a learning disability, which has replaced most behavioural research which was popular in the 1980's. There are questions being asked as to whether able bodied researchers should be undertaking disability research. However, are there advantages in disabled researchers undertaking such research or do the disadvantages out way any advantages; and should research into disability issues be conducted by those best qualified to undertake it, be they themselves be disabled or able bodied. ...read more.

Conclusion

The inclusion of a disabled researcher in disability research may be seen as tokenism and may be resented by the disabled participants taking part in the research and seen as an attempt to con them into taking part in the research or revealing more about their opinions or feeling than they would normally have been prepared to do. Conclusion In conclusion I think that on the whole the inclusion of disable researcher in projects undertaking disability research has more advantages than disadvantages. The knowledge and understanding of what it means to be disabled, that only disabled researchers can bring to a project can be invaluable. However, it would not always be practical for disabled researchers to undertake all disability research. A compromise would be to include disabled people in all stages of the research project. Monteith did this in her research by including a disabled young woman at the design stage and the writing up stage. To go further, if disabled people helped to formulate and monitor the researcher project, providing constructive criticism at all stages, but allowing the process of data generation, analysis and writing up to be undertaken by professional researchers, be they able bodied or disabled, then this would seem like the best compromise. ...read more.

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