Views and Experiences of People with Intellectual Disabilities and Their Families. (1) The User Perspective

Authors

  • Paul Ramcharan,

    1. School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Sheffield, Samuel Fox House, Northern General Hospital, Herries Road, Sheffield S5 7AU, UK
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  • Gordon Grant

    1. School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Sheffield, Samuel Fox House, Northern General Hospital, Herries Road, Sheffield S5 7AU, UK
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Abstract

The present paper presents a descriptive summary of the views and experiences of people with intellectual disabilities (IDs) as they have been represented in research and other literature. The authors develop further the DoH Research Initiative on Learning Disability: Proposal for a Research Review on the Views and Experiences of Users and Carers, a review report commissioned by the Department of Health on the views and experiences of users and family carers focusing on the ways in which research might contribute to policy and practice. The literature review of user views and experiences produced three broad categories: (1) ‘testaments of life’, which are mainly ethnographies and life histories; (2) ‘user movement media’ produced in an accessible format for people with IDs or by people with IDs themselves; and (3) ‘research based studies’ in their varying forms. It is demonstrated that no single approach is able to encompass all the interests of knowledge production, policy planning, and action or practice on its own. Some of the methodological issues associated with these gaps are more fully discussed. A more coordinated and broad-based research approach to user views and experiences is advocated.

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