Towards an agenda for disability research in Europe: learning from disabled people's organisations

L.B. Waddington, M. Priestley*, C. Besozzi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper addresses the challenges of building capacity for collaborative participatory research with disabled people’s organisations in European countries. The paper presents initial findings from the project 'European Research Agendas for Disability Equality' (EuRADE), which seeks to build the capacity of civil society organisations to participate in future research collaborations in partnership with academic institutions. The findings draw on survey data identifying the research capacity, needs and priorities of 68 organisations in 25 countries and focuses, in particular, on responses from national or European level representative organisations of disabled people. The findings demonstrate a high degree of motivation and readiness for collaboration in academic research but raise concerns about the readiness of academic institutions to engage disabled people as equal partners within social model and rights-based approaches. Respondent organisations identified a wide range of research needs that raise challenges for collaborative responses from the academic community. In this way, the findings provide a basis for developing user-led agendas for European funded research within the emancipatory paradigm, and indentify important opportunities for new international research collaborations between activists and academics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-746
Number of pages16
JournalDisability & Society
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • Europe
  • disabled people's organisations
  • participatory research

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