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|Title: ||A qualitative enquiry into the process of supporting self-directed researchers with learning difficulties|
|Authors: ||Forrest, Vic|
|Keywords: ||Self-advocacy support|
Supporting people with learning difficulties
Research by people with learning difficulties
User controlled research
|Publication Date: ||2009|
|Publisher: ||Brunel University School of Health Sciences and Social Care PhD Theses|
|Abstract: ||This dissertation is concerned with the under-researched subject of supporting people with learning difficulties to be in control of their own self-advocacy group while undertaking self-directed research.
Guided by the social model of disability and emancipatory disability research principles I supported a group of people with learning difficulties within a self-advocacy organisation throughout the course of their own self-directed research project. At the same time, drawing upon various sources of data, I reflexively studied and analysed my own support practice, constructing the critical ethnography that is this dissertation. There were two purposes for working in the above way: (a) to provide the most effective support I could for the researchers to gain and maintain control of their research group and (b) to analyse the processes and challenges involved in providing support for self-directed self-advocacy group members and researchers (in order to develop the literature in this area).
Analysis of data revealed the following. Supporting self-directed researchers with learning difficulties requires a broad range of involved, interconnected interpersonal support skills. Working in this way can present supporters with unforeseen time-consuming tasks as well as intellectual and psychological challenges as they respond to the needs and requests of the supported group. Supporting people with learning difficulties to be in control in this way, where the balance of power is actively weighted in their favour, is not only complex it can lead to the supporter facing institutional pressures to assume control over the group, feelings of psychological discomfort or stress and ethical dilemmas.
Anaysis of the data led me to conclude that drawing specific boundaries around supporter behaviour and monitoring or developing an actively non-authoritarian practice through a process of critical reflection can be an important aspect of providing consistent and effective support for self-directed researchers with learning difficulties.|
|Description: ||This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University.|
|Appears in Collections:||Health|
School of Health Sciences and Social Care Theses
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