Presence in Research with Joanna Grace

The exclusion of people with learning disabilities and neurodivergent conditions from research happens in a multitude of ways, whether it’s the result of not being able to sign a consent form or researchers not wanting their results skewed.

In today’s episode, Joanna Grace joins Dale to focus on the presence of people with disabilities in research. We explore the exclusion they face and the importance of their active involvement. As a researcher working closely with individuals with profound disabilities, Jo knows first-hand the significance of their presence in research. For example, autistic individuals have been excluded from mental health studies, leaving us with limited knowledge on supporting their well-being.

Listen to hear how inclusive research, born out of the disabled rights movement, has developed over the past 20 years. Inclusive research adds value and ensures research benefits EVERYONE, however, existing definitions of inclusivity unintentionally exclude those with profound intellectual disabilities. This inspired Jo’s work, which explores meaningful research with individuals who have profound intellectual and multiple disabilities.

Join our podcast to learn why presence in research matters, discover examples of inclusive research, and explore steps for fostering inclusivity in your own work.

Joanna Grace

About Joanna Grace

Joanna Grace is a sensory engagement and inclusion specialist, doctoral researcher, author, trainer, TEDx speaker and Founder of The Sensory Projects.  

Joanna has worked with people with learning disabilities and neurodivergent conditions aged from 0-100 (well 1 day old – 87 years old to be precise) in a range of settings and context. 

Through all she does Joanna is seeking to contribute to a future where people are understood in spite of their differences. 

Contact Joanna


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