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Involvement in research: what helps or gets in the way for people who use AAC

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Research paper
This presentation will report on the findings of a small-scale international research project. The project explored the ways in which people who use AAC are or could be involved in research.
The project used qualitative methodologies to collect interview and survey data from a group of participants with different perspectives and experiences of the roles of people who use AAC in research. Participants included people who use AAC, researchers and practitioners from 4 different countries.
The data were analysed for content themes and four major themes were identified:: (i) the inclusive research process (from planning to dissemination), (ii) the researcher who uses AAC role (the participant-researcher continuum), (iii) research employment barriers and facilitators for people who use AAC (policy, physical, social, emotional), and (iv) engagement of people who use AAC in the research questions (a passivity - activity continuum).
While the role of People who use AAC in research is the focus of increasing attention, most of this research occurred prior to the advent of Web 2.0 technologies facilitating global engagement online. People who use AAC and AAC researchers consider that there are under-utilised opportunities for enhancing the impact of research teams through the inclusion of service users as core team members. The findings of this research offer a range of considerations for future research teams, research topics and research data collection methods.


Janice Murray    
Manchester Metropolitan University
United Kingdom

Bronwyn Hemsley    
Newcastle University


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