Researching Inclusively with College Students with Intellectual Disabilities

By John Kubiak.

Published by The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 3, 2015 $US5.00

This paper reports on an inclusive research project which was conducted in one Irish higher education institution where a certificate program is offered for students with intellectual disabilities (ID). A definition of inclusive research is presented and the current research project is placed within this framework with the roles of both participants (six co-researchers with ID), and sample (eighteen students with ID) outlined. This paper focuses on the processes of this collaboration and the benefits and challenges encountered. While the input and expertise of co-researchers were vital in providing guidance to the design and presentation of information on the research to their peers with ID, the participation of these students also involved risks. These included the identity shift that came with the role of co-researcher that was on occasions, problematic for co-researchers to navigate, and the inherent difficulties with the unequal power relationships between this author and co-researchers. Despite these challenges however, it is concluded that participation of these co-researchers with ID goes some way in addressing preconceived notions that come with the label of ID, and that the research field stands to benefit significantly from their involvement.

Keywords: People with Intellectual Disabilities, Inclusive Research, Student as Co-Researchers, Higher Education

The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities, Volume 22, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.37-50. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 3, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 446.688KB)).

Dr. John Kubiak

Teaching and Learning Officer / Research Associate, The National Institute for Intellectual Disability, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland