Tackling Disabling Practices: co-production and change

Project Details


This programme of research responded to the widespread concerns about the problems faced by disabled people, in many different areas of their lives. There is often a gap between policy and practice, and we aimed to understand more about social practices, so that we could know about how to shift and change them to include disabled people.‌

The study actively involved disabled people within the research, particularly through the partnership with Disability Rights UK, but also within each of the projects, within the staff teams and in co-production groups who were active in the research.

The objectives that cut through the whole project were to:
a) identify the barriers facing disabled people in the UK, and understand better how social practices get ‘stuck’;
b) discuss and connect micro and macro theories of social practice, by applying them within the field of disability;
c) explore disabled people’s own solutions, and understand better the conditions under which ‘co-production’ can have an effect on practice;
d) develop detailed understanding of how organisations and practices can be shifted, on the terms of disabled people themselves;
e) recommend what can be done by disabled people, practitioners and policy makers to tackle the injustices experienced by disabled people.

This core work package was about cross-disciplinary theories of change. A series of ‘change’ workshops were organized, led by experts on specific approaches during the first part of the project in 2015. At the end of this phase, we brought together the key findings from the seminars, in Ideas Briefings.

The theories subsequently continued to interact with five strands of research:

Getting Good Support
Changing the Academy
Reasonably Adjusting Health Services
Supporting Successful Parenting
Disabled People as Commissioners

Each of these strands of research pursued a particular type of practice in which we knew there may be problems for disabled people. We particularly wanted to see how these problems can be tackled and changed.

There were four further Change workshops towards the end of the intervention phase, and in the final stage (‘Embedding Change’), including the five events and the final public event.

Our basic question was ‘what theoretical lenses enable us to understand better how to tackle underlying inequalities in practices?’
Alternative titleGetting Things Changed
Effective start/end date1/03/1531/05/18


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