Doing research inclusively: guidelines for co-producing research with people with disability

Co-design Collaborative research People with disability Australia

These guidelines have been developed for academic researchers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney) and beyond; people with lived experience of disability; disability organisations; and other stakeholders who understand and appreciate the importance of co-producing research together with people who have lived experience of disability.

The guidelines set out key benefits, principles and strategies that underpin the DIIU and UNSW’s approach to co-producing research with people with disability. The content is drawn from a comprehensive review of the literature, the experience of leading inclusive researchers at UNSW, and DIIU’s community partner organisations of people with disability.

The Disability Innovation Institute at UNSW Sydney is committed to a process of co-production to underpin our approach to inclusive research. In inclusive research, people with disability are involved not just as participants, but as co-creators of knowledge. The Disability Innovation Institute recognises that inclusive research:

  • Promotes the inclusion and well-being of people with disability.
  • Explores issues that are or are likely to become important to people with disability, drawing on their experience to shape research process and outcomes.
  • Recognises, fosters and communicates the contributions people with disability make to research.
  • Provides information that people with disability can use to campaign for change. 

This document draws on a comprehensive review of contemporary evidence in co-production. It was developed drawing on the views and experience of a range of Australia’s leading disabled people’s organisations and disability representative organisations together with disability researchers with expertise in inclusive approaches to research, and was particularly informed by input from participants in a workshop on co-production in disability research held at UNSW Sydney on 12 November 2019.

In addition to the downloadable resources above, the DIIU website provides the guidelines in the following formats:

  • DIIU Doing Research Inclusively Easy Read PDF
  • DIIU Doing Research Inclusively Easy Read Word version
  • DIIU Inclusive Research Factsheet PDF 
  • DIIU Inclusive Research Easy Read Factsheet Word Version


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