On January 25, at Victoria’s Emmanual Baptist Church on Cedar Hill Cross Road, Victoria self advocate leader Sheenagh Morrison will be participating in a special event to celebrate the recent launch of her Spectrum Press book Researching Researchers: Interviews with researchers about disability.
Co-hosted by the Self Advocates for a Brighter Future and Spectrum Consulting, this event will be a great opportunity to hear Sheenagh’s inspiring experience first hand and learning more about the research she has done on the excellent researchers who are doing work for people who have diverse abilities (disability).
“I was asked by my friends at Spectrum Consulting, which is part of Spectrum Society in Vancouver, if I would be interested in researching and then interviewing a variety of people about the research that they do,” said Sheenagh. “They had been looking at inclusive research in England and Ireland and other ideas about participatory research. I wondered what happens to research questions and answers if the people being researched are part of research that matters to them.”
After she said yes to Spectrum’s invitation, Sheenagh identified a number of researchers and asked each several questions. There were two questions she asked everyone because of their importance: I thought were really important:
- Can you tell me about someone with a disability who has been important to you?
- Do you think that it is important for people with disabilities to be involved in research that relates to them?
Sheenagh’s interviews were initially published as a monthly blog for www.101friends.ca. In the end, she had completed 15 interviews and the blog posts had such an overwhelming response that Spectrum Press decided to turn it into a book.
In October 2013, the book was first previewed during British Columbia’s Community Living Month celebrations with a foreword from Dr. Michael Kendrick.
Spectrum Press is considering doing another book based on inclusive research and is thinking about how to get people together to decide what the book might be about.
“One idea we have talked about is “success stories” about the ways different people do planning, said Sheenagh. “They are looking at ways inclusive research techniques can be used with groups of people with disabilities to research what matters to them in ways and then report back in ways that are more fun – like doing skits and drawings.”
Sheenagh will be reading from the book and signing copies at the January 25 event. Singer and recording artist Peter Bourne will also be performing music from his new CD.