12 comments on “Emancipatory Disability Research (or: Why it matters that the ‘academy’ isn’t more accessible for disabled people)

  1. Pingback: Balancing Responsibilities: Community and University | Uncovering the Roof

  2. Only just read this… d’oh. Thank you, though, for clarifying what you meant.

    Questions, essentially, that strike to the very centre of what empiricism might be, and its authority in research…

    • Ah, glad you found this post, Heather! That’s only really one part of the ‘why this subject is important’ question. This explains why I want to do it in the *way* that I do. There’s also the question of why bother researching the church and disability in the first place. I touched on that in my opening post, but I want to come back to it and explore what ‘uncovering the roof’ means to me, at some point soon. And I shall! Eventually. Silly research and theory, getting in the way of blogging.

  3. Great post. You raise some really interesting and difficult issues.

    “I’m interested in finding creative and accessible ways to put disabled people in control of research that affects them…”

    To be honest I think academia in general can often (although not always) fail at creative and accessible anything. It is so often a closed institution in which any different voice (other than white western males) difficult to hear. But I think that culture and circumstance also play their part in restricting diversity and perhaps academia needs to recognise, not only its own shortcomings, but this as well and compensate accordingly.

    • Apologies for missing this comment before. I’ve seen research blogging but didn’t know whether my blog would be intellectual enough to submit! I’ll have a closer look – thanks 🙂

  4. Kim: Objectivity and subjectivity are issues, yes – but then, so is the social model of disability, and other standpoint approaches. There are many people in many social science disciplines that argue that objectivity in research is a myth, though.

  5. Oo, do the critics cite proximity to the subject as a cause for concern? Implying that an emotional connection will cloud the objective reasoning?

    Would these critics really rather all resaerch was conducted by psycho/sociopaths?

  6. What of all the things we do not know because no one has thought to ask?!

    There should be more disabled researchers. whatever the subject of research, but especially conducting disability research.

    If the observer influences the observed, then the traits of the observer will be influential. If all researchers could be identified by their green hair, it would impact the resaerch process if a researcher dyed their hair pink. Sometimes the act of being in a role can challenge assumptions.

    Hmm… perhaps those who are opposed to X researching X are those who would rather the filaings of their own reaserch, of the bias of their assumptions, were not highlighted? Or is it a fear of such that strikes a defensive blow?

  7. Kim: I wouldn’t say emancipatory disability research itself is very controversial (although it does have a lot of critics). My concern that there should be more disabled researchers conducting disability research is more controversial. But I entirely agree with your point. Different perspectives give quality to research.

    • Hi Naomi,
      My name is Nadia and I just started a PhD. Just saw you blog and enjoyed reading it. For me its highly informative as I am a disabled researcher and my research is about disabled academics. Your quest to find outwhy they should be more disabled researchers conducting research on disability intrests me cause I was wondering its not necessary for a Cardiologist to have a heart problem in order to experience it to become a heart doctor.

  8. It’s VERY controversial? That logic would be controversial, pointedly in research, is shocking but sadly unsurprising.

    Whenever the common trait central to the research can be present, represented, in the research team it makes sense for that to be the case. It makes sense to have a diverse field of researchers. Perspective is a great influencer of truth. With a mix of people comes a mix of assumptions, as well as a mix of traits, methodologies, and ideas. Different perspectives lead to different questions, different approaches, different results. Who conducts research matters.

    It os good to have different viewpoints because we learn different things, & the overall sum of knowledge increases, & isn’t that what The Academy is really for?

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