About Research Voices


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People with learning disabilities experience major health inequalities that can impact on all aspects of their lives. They also face barriers to engagement in research that seeks to identify, influence and address their health needs. Organisations that fund, approve and review research all agree that patients and the public should be involved in research. However, very little is known about the views of people with learning disabilities on health research.

The Research Voices project was funded by the Wellcome Trust in 2018 as a joint project between The Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory and Talking Mats. This project is about bringing people with learning disabilities together to:

  • Provide insight into the views of people with learning disabilities on health research
  • Challenge attitudinal barriers to involvement of people with learning disabilities in research as participants, subjects and collaborators
  • Challenge structural barriers that limit opportunities for inclusion in research
  • Generate recommendations supporting inclusive public engagement in health research.

This project established a Citizens’ Jury of people with learning disabilities to debate and deliberate on health research. A Citizens’ Jury is a demographically representative group of Citizens who come together to deliberate on important issues and offer recommendations for the future.

The Research Voices Citizens’ Jury explored this key question:

  • How can people with learning disabilities influence health research?

This involved looking at the different types of research to help people with learning disabilities and how this research is done.

The recommendations from the Jury are available and the project will also share key learning from the process of the Citizens’ Jury as well as tools and resources that others can use.

If you’d like to get in touch to find out more, please contact Rhiann McLean via Rhiann.Mclean@glasgow.ac.uk