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Tips for Doing Inclusive Research

What is the Inclusive Research Network (IRN)?

The Inclusive Research Network (IRN) is a group of researchers and supporters from all over Ireland. All members have research experience. Some have intellectual disabilities, some have experience supporting people with intellectual disabilities to conduct research, and some are paid professional researchers. This group was started in 2008.

Our Studies

We have done two studies.

1. Relationships and Supports Study

Relationships and Supports Study (2010) (PDF 3.19 MB)

2. Where We Live

Where We Live (2009) (PDF 1.07 MB)

last updated 09/09/2013

The Research Workshops

The Inclusive Research network started with three workshops. These took place during 2008 - 2009. They were held in Galway and Dublin. In these workshops people with intellectual disabilities learned research skills.

To find out more about the workshops and the IRN you can read a report by Tierney, Curtis and O' Brien (2009)- click here for the easy - read version (PDF 5.59MB)

IRN members do a role play at a research workshop at Trinity College. The workshop was in June 2010.

IRN members doing role play at a research workshop

IRN members use a research handbook at a research workshop at Trinity College.

IRN members using a research handbook


April 2012:

The second meeting of the new IRN steering committee took place in Kilmurry Lodge Hotel, Limerick on the Friday, 27th April. The committee discussed electing officers. There was also an update on the new National Platform for Self Advocates. The next meeting will take place in Dublin in June.

Members of IRN steering group committee at April meeting in Limerick.

February 2012:

The IRN members have a new steering committee. They had their first meeting led by members with intellectual disabilities in 2012 in Galway. The next meeting will be in April 27th in Limerick. The group of co-researchers from Limerick will host the meeting.

January 2012:

Meeting: The new steering committee of the IRN met for the first time in January in Clare.

November 2011: PATH- 2nd Meeting:

A second meeting took place in Galway for IRN members who were not able to come to the meeting in Dublin. At this meeting, Edurne presented the PATH chart to people at the meeting so they could add their opinions to the chart.

This meeting took place on 25th November 2011 at the National Federation of Voluntary Bodies, Galway. One of the suggestions from the PATH was to have a steering committee for the IRN. Siobháin facilitated the group to think about a steering group. At the meeting IRN members talked about:

  • Who would be in the steering group
  • When it would meet
  • What help would the steering group need to get started.

This is part of the final PATH chart after everybody's suggestions in Galway.

This is the PATH chart made in Dublin with suggestions of IRN members from Galway.

PATH from Galway meeting

September 2011: PATH 1st Meeting

PATH (Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope) meeting
The IRN had a meeting on Monday 19th September at the National Institute for Intellectual Disability (NIID). This was organized to plan the future of the IRN. The aim of the meeting was to talk about:

•What is important?
•What we would like to do next (for the next 2 years)?
•Who can help and support us?

IRN members took part in a process called PATH, Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope.

How it works: One or more people facilitate the PATH. Two staff at the NIID acted as facilitators - John Kubiak (Teaching and Learning Officer) and Dr Julie Byrne (Research Fellow). This means they help the group to come to their own decisions about what to do.

John and Julie facilitating a PATH at the NIID, Trinity College. John and Julie work in Trinity College.

Julie and John facilitate a PATH

Below is a photo of part of the PATH the IRN members worked on:

Part of the PATH chart from the meeting at Trinity College. The drawings explain the words on the PATH chart

Below is a photo of some IRN members who attended the PATH

Members of the IRN talking about the PATH at the meeting in Trinity College.

March 2011: Meeting with Law Reform Commission

Members of the IRN were invited by the Law Reform Commission to a review meeting of the Criminal Sexual Offences Act (1993). Members of the Law Reform Commission and managers of services also attended the meeting. The IRN members talked about what they had found out in their research about relationships and their opinions at the meeting.

Members of the IRN and staff from the Law Reform Commission after the meeting.