Building Bridges research group is an inclusive research group of people with a learning disability who live in the West Midlands. Most people have no support from services, and a couple have just a little tenancy support.
The group have been involved in researching their lives, and the social barrier they face, since 2010 and particularly enjoy sharing their stories with other people. Their research enables others to have a better understanding of these challenges so they can make changes that make a real difference to their lives. The group has completed two research projects and two written reports and has had a number of articles in practitioner journals. Their first research project, Money, Friends and Making Ends Meet, was completed in 2011 and Our Lives, Our Research followed in 2014.
Over the five years they have used a range of visual methods to understand their lives and tell their stories, including photos, drawing activities, producing illustrations and making a short film.
They would like to tell people about using some of these visual methods of collecting data, show some examples and share why this is important to them as social researchers.
Samantha regularly provides training about making a difference for parents with a learning disability. She has been involved in the 'Our lives, our research' project and has done a research methods course with Builidng Bridges Training. Samantha lives with her husband, grown-up son and two cats. Samantha enjoys cross stitch and keeping her home tidy. She also enjoys using public transport.
Satnam has been involved in the 'Our lives, our research' project and has done a research methods course with Building Bridges Training. He also likes to support others in the group with reading and writing. He likes using public transport, FaceBook and is a big football fan of Tipton Town and Aston Villa.
Maxine is involved with Building Bridges as a trainer and has been part of the research group from the beginning. She hates jargon and likes to have information in easy read, simple large text with pictures. She loves to do presentations about her life and experiences and in her spare time makes jewellery.
If you woud like to get in touch with the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group, please contact:
Chair of the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group
School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies
The Open University
If you have any feedback or would like to report a problem with the website, please contact WELS-Research-Admin@open.ac.uk.