Inclusive methods attempt to actively involve population groups to collaborate in research throughout the various stages and activities of the research process. Collaboration occurs within an inclusive research team when researchers and people with IDD work in partnership and make joint decisions. Inclusive methods align with principles of person-centredness, facilitating and supporting participation through doing, and learning through active engagement. Doing inclusive research makes sure that how a research team collects information and communicates about its activities and findings respects people’s abilities and the way they like to communicate.
Our inclusive research teams include young adults with IDD, community partners from organizations serving young adults with IDD, family members of young adults with IDD, and university researchers and their students. As active research team members, community members (young adults with IDD and family members) and community partners participate in every stage of research. For example, in the VOY project, the team worked together to develop recruitment materials (including an information video for potential participants) and the questions for participant interviews. The team also collaborated in looking at what the participants in the study said (i.e., the findings from data) and deciding what that meant, as well as making a film about the study findings and launching it at a public event.