Professor Katherine Runswick-Cole has just returned from the European Academy of Childhood Disability: Innovation for participation Conference 23rd – 25th May, 2019 in Paris.
Katherine was invited to present as part of an international panel including: Dr Tillie Curran, Dr Marisol Moreno Angarita and Emeritus Professor Don Wertlieb, who are all members of the international research management group for The Inclusive Early Childhood Service System Project based at Ryerson University, Canada. Dr Kathryn Underwood leads the project; she also spoke on the panel. Their presentation, A Theoretical and Methodological Basis for Early Childhood Intervention, focused on the importance of centering the concerns of children and families in research about their lives.
Katherine spoke about current research she is working on with colleagues in The School of Education, Kirsty Liddiard and Dan Goodley. Living Life to the Fullest: life, death, disability & the human draws on arts-informed methods and is being carried out in co-production with young people.
Katherine said: “I was encouraged to attend a medical conference where the theme was focused on participation. Participation has to be understood as a two-way process. A failure to recognize this can mean that, despite the rhetoric of participation and innovation, ‘patients’ or ‘research participants’ are required to adopt professional modes of communication and engagement in order to be included. We have to shift away from the view that people lack the skills to participate in research and, instead, focus on developing researchers’ skills to ensure that they enable participation for all.”