By Jan Walmsley and Kelley Johnson.
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Including people with learning difficulties in carrying out research is exciting and ethically important for many academics and practitioners, and this book provides a readable and honest account of the issues, dilemmas and some of the solutions.
Both authors have experience of working inclusively with people with learning difficulties and they give detailed accounts of the projects in which they have engaged. This is, however, far more than a “how to do it” handbook. The pages are filled with thought-provoking suggestions, and nothing is taken for granted. The book was inspired by “questions we dared not ask”, as the authors confess, and it does indeed consider a range of sensitive issues about power, ownership, initiation and value.
Although this book presumes that only a small minority of people with learning difficulties could take part in the debates about inclusive research at present, this situation is changing quickly.
Indeed, projects that are initiated and maintained by self-advocacy organisations need to be written about and discussed more. This book therefore opens the door to those self-advocates and their supporters who would like to join in the debate.
Val Williams is researcher, Norah Fry Research Centre, University of Bristol.