The Values of Assessment

  • Williams, Val J (Principal Investigator)
  • Porter, Susan M (Co-Investigator)
  • Symonds, Jon P (Co-Investigator)
  • Miles, Caroline J (Co-Investigator)
  • Steel, Mike (Co-Investigator)

Project Details


In the light of the 2014 Care Act, this research delivered detailed understanding of how social care assessments of disabled people are carried out, and sought to find ways to improve those practices. We were aware that, in order to gain legitimate access to services, disabled people have to portray themselves as ‘needy’, in very specific personal ways, with consequent negative effects on self-esteem. However, there is also a drive towards personalized equitable practices, especially since the Care Act.

This study was co-produced with disabled people who took part in peer-support activities at a local disabled people’s organization, and carried out narrative research with disabled people to develop more detailed understanding of the experience of assessments. Thirty interviews with practitioners were carried out, followed by seven recordings of assessments in action. We ran three very successful workshops for assessors which were led by the disabled people’s group, based on scenarios and role-plays. We also produced a seriea of videos, based on the research, to enable practitioners and disabled people to learn about the research and explore different aspects of assessments.

In these films, you will see five issues being discussed by members of the research team and some reconstructions of situations based on audio recordings of assessments in people’s homes. The films can be viewed at the School for Policy Studies YouTube channel.

We would like to know how you have used any of these films, and who has benefited from them. Please tell us more, using the feedback form.
Effective start/end date1/09/1430/04/16


  • National Institute of Health Research (NIHR): £225,278.00

Structured keywords

  • SPS Norah Fry Centre for Disability Studies
  • Social care
  • Social work
  • Assessment
  • Co-production


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