This is a description of the project I am doing as a doctoral researcher at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway.
People with intellectual disabilities are often left out of decisions that are made about their lives.
Self-advocacy is when people stand up and speak for themselves and work to improve the lives of others. Self-advocacy groups are directed and led by people with disabilities.
I am learning about the work of self-advocacy groups that are led by people with intellectual or learning disabilities. I will talk to the leaders about their work, how they communicate, and how they make decisions.
The leaders will let me read written reports about their work.
I will talk to the members and supporters of the group and to some of the key people that they work with to make their voice stronger.
I am learning about the different ways that people in the group communicate with each other.
I am learning about the ways of doing work that work well and not so well in the group.
I am learning about the ways that the group makes connections with people in power and how this makes their voice stronger.
Everything I learn about the groups will be written up in a long document called a thesis. I will give this to my university.
I will also write about all the things that work well and not so well in an Easy-to-Read book. I will put this on my website so that anyone can read it for free.
The project will finish in 2019.
All the way through my project, I get direction and advice from my PhD Advisory Group. You can learn more about them here.