Recruiting co-researchers

I have written quite a bit in recent months about the forthcoming rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and what this will mean for Australian disability services.  Much of the commentary that I have developed on this has been based on the experiences of other systems in developing these types of schemes.  But now I have the opportunity to explore the experience of individuals with disabilities who have actually been through the NDIS process through a project funded by the Melbourne Social Equity Institute.

Working with colleagues in Melbourne Law School, Melbourne School of Global and Population Health and  Deakin’s School of Health and Social Development this project will explore the experience of people through the NDIS trial site at Barwon.  We will particularly explore a human rights based analysis of the individual rights and state obligations implied in individualised funding programmes such the NDIS. It will use the rights established in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as a framework for this analysis.

The really exciting part about this project is that we will do this work in conjunction with co-researchers who have lived experience of disability.  The project will employ people with disabilities as co-researchers in exploring the experience to date of people with disabilities who have accessed support from the NDIS. In doing so we will explore the degree to which people with disabilities have been able to exercise choice and control in directing their care packages and what further information and support services they would have liked to have been provided with in order to allow them to better self-direct their care.

We believe that working with people with people with disabilities will improve our research process in a number of ways and help us to produce superior data that is better able to reflect the reality of the experience of the NDIS process.

In total we will be looking to recruit about six co-researchers.  Previous experience of research is not necessary, but enthusiasm and an interest in research is.  The co-researchers will be paid to take part in a research training and development process and will then be involved in shaping the design of the data collection process, collecting data, analysing data and reporting on findings.  We are recruiting for co-researchers now and the person description and details of how to get in touch with us can be found PD for Community Researchers.


2 thoughts on “Recruiting co-researchers

  1. Dale Reardon April 22, 2016 / 2:32 am

    Hi Helen,

    I have written to you privately as well but just wanted to congratulate on your research into the NDIS and even more importantly that you are going to work with disabled people as co-researchers.

    Personally I wouldn’t beat around the topic and would actually say the co-researchers will be disabled people – saying lived experience put me off to start with as that can mean anything – your third cousin twice removed happens to go to coffee once a month with you which doesn’t give them any real experience of disability at all. Lived experience is a phrase over used by Government Departments to make their appalling employment of the disabled look better by including non disabled people.


    • helendickinson April 22, 2016 / 3:59 am

      Dale many thanks for your comments and we will definitely be working with people with disabilities in this work and I will certainly take your points re language on board. You are right that meaning is so important and I will keep this in mind. All the best, Helen

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