Intersectional perspectives for community inclusion: Understanding the past, shaping the future with older marginalised IDD and LGBT+ people

Project Details


Many older people experience exclusion from the communities they live in. The World Health Organisation has recognised this through their Age Friendly Cities and Communities programme, which encourages the development of different spaces and places to improve older peoples' inclusion in their communities and cities. Historically and politically people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and people who identify as lesbian, gay, bi, trans + (LGBT+) have been socially excluded from their communities throughout their lives; when people with IDD were housed in institutions and homosexuality was seen as an illness or criminalised. These life experiences put older people from these two groups at greater risk of inequality, discrimination and exclusion in community contexts. Using online technology has also been difficult for older people, particularly for people who already experience exclusion such as those with IDD and those identifying as LGBT+. So far, very little research has been done with these two groups to hear their experiences of local and online community inclusion and exclusion and to better understand how community inclusion can be strengthened in England and Scotland.
This study aims to develop knowledge of the community spaces and places (local and virtual) that people with IDD and LGBT+ use in their everyday lives. The main research questions examine how older people with IDD and LGBT+ describe and experience inclusion and exclusion and what these mean to them. We will explore how local and online community places can be improved to reduce social inequalities. Finally, the research will look at how these new ideas might be used to shape government policy and organisational practices.
The research is organised in five related work packages. Which are jointly led by university researchers and practitioners in third sector organisations. All stages of the research will be guided by people with lived experience in IDD and LGBT+ in advisory groups. People with IDD and LGBT+ lived experience will work as trained co-researchers on the project. We will use a variety of verbal, visual and geographical methods to access marginalised voices in appropriate ways and enable diverse people's views to emerge.
In work package (WP) 1 we will build strong relationships within the study communities, set up advisory groups of older people with IDD and LGBT+, train co-researchers and create an international reference group of 'critical friends' for the project. In WP2 we will recruit participants and access their stories of spaces and places in their communities over time. This will involve generating and co-analysing interactive mapping software data, photography and social network interviews to gain a rich and authentic understanding of inclusion and exclusion. Third sector representatives will also be interviewed for their views. In WP3, we will bring the different data sets together, jointly reflect on and synthesis findings, analysing patterns of inclusion and exclusion across both IDD and LGBT+ groups and understanding what they mean in real world contexts. Four events will be held in WP4 with participants, family members, carers and service providers to evaluate potential new policy and practice solutions for local and online community inclusion. WP5 will translate and share co-produced project knowledge (via knowledge mobilisation champions) across communities, private, public and third sector organisations. This will lead to practical, accessible ideas and a road map for change in community inclusion for people with IDD and people who identify as LGBT+. Findings will also be shared in local, national and international conferences/seminars, publications, third sector and two showcase events and across social media. An impact tracking and evaluation plan has been devised to make sure that findings from this project have impact at individual, community, and policy levels.
Effective start/end date5/09/224/01/26


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