Open Access: creative ways of sharing research stories

Moving HomeOpen Access: Creative ways of sharing research stories – presented at NNDR 2015



Abstract: Traditional approaches to knowledge translation typically exclude people with intellectual disabilities. Research findings are often presented as academic journal articles which are closed to those without the relevant credentials. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) promotes accessible research. Article 21 provides for access to information and communications at no extra cost to people with disabilities. Making research findings available to a wide audience is challenging and exciting. This talk draws upon stories of 30 people with intellectual disabilities in Nova Scotia and the island of Ireland who moved to the community. A research team of self-advocates, students and academics collaborated over 18 months to develop open access research stories.

Stop motion animation and graphic novels are presented here as two of the creative options used. All are published free-to-view online. These knowledge translation activities produced accessible summaries of the larger study and enhanced the communication and technology skills of everyone involved. This further connects with the CRPD. Article 33 includes people with disabilities in monitoring the implementation of the Convention. Engaging as partners in knowledge translation is central to building research capacity among people with intellectual disabilities. These experiences support the research team in preparing to evaluate the implementation of the Convention in Ireland. Discussion focuses on the steps involved in creating graphic narratives. Skills, challenges and rewards of producing research outputs that do not require the ability to read are reviewed.

Accessible presentation available here:

Burns, E.Q. & Salmon, N. (2015). Open Access: Creative ways of sharing research stories. Paper presented at the Nordic Network of Disability Research Conference, Bergen, Norway, 7 May 2015.


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