In the Living Life to the Fullest project we believe that you can’t do high quality research about young disabled people’s lives without including young disabled people in the process: making decisions, co-leading the project, undertaking fieldwork (collecting data), collaborating in data analysis, and writing, sharing and promoting the research and its findings.
We are proud to say that The Co-Researcher Collective, a group of young disabled people who have committed to the project, is radically impacting the way research is typically carried out. The Co-Researcher Collective is a key part of our Research Management Team. It is important to us that our research project is as flexible as possible; participation and leadership can be shaped and adapted to fit around the needs and wants of young people. Much of the Co-Researcher Collective takes place online. Below, two co-researchers, Emma and Sally, explain why they chose to co-lead Living Life to the Fullest. You can learn more about co-researchers on our blog, here, here, here, and here!
As a young disabled person I answer a lot of surveys on my disability, my care and other similar topics. But I’m rarely asked about what it is really like to be 24 and disabled. No one has asked me whether I’m scared about my future or whether my life-limiting condition has impacted my life choices. These are not pleasant things to think about, but I can promise you, nearly every disabled person has thought about them. When I was asked whether I wanted to be a co-researcher for Living Life to the Fullest, I was excited by the idea of a project that focuses on those unasked questions. I wanted to help find out what our lives’ are really like and how we really feel about them.
The reason why I wanted to get involved in this project is because I feel that we have a duty to help young disabled people live their lives as they wish. To have experiences that, although are different and adapted from the experiences of our healthy counterparts, are just as rewarding – after all, we deserve that. Life is precious, let’s live it to the fullest.
Want to become a Co-Researcher?
We are inviting people (aged 18-30) who live with a life-limiting and/or life-threatening impairment to join our Co-Researcher Collective. There are many benefits to becoming a co-researcher in Living Life to the Fullest. The chance to lead, influence and shape research can be an exciting and empowering process. It can also offer many opportunities to gain research, technical, artistic and academic skills, as well as build confidence, make friends, and work with a variety of different people on an important research project that aims to improve the lives of disabled young people with life-limiting and life-threatening impairments and their families. Additionally, the co-researcher role is something that can be added to a curriculum vitae (CV), and/or benefit a college and/or university application. Many of our Co-Researchers have had little or no experience of leading a research project before, so don’t worry if you haven’t done anything like it before and it’s all new to you.
If you are interested or have any questions, please email Kirsty on firstname.lastname@example.org Alternatively, ask your questions via our contact form.