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European Research Agendas for Disability Equality (EuRADE)

The EuRADE project was funded by a grant from the EU Framework 7 'Science in Society' programme and was a collaboration between the European Disability Forum (EDF), the University of Leeds and the University of Maastricht (Netherlands). The principal academic researchers are Professors Mark Priestley (Leeds) and Lisa Waddington (Maastricht). The purpose of the project was to build the capacity of European disabled people’s organisations for participation in the Framework 7 research programme and other relevant initiatives. In summary, the support action increased the research capacity of European disabled people’s organisations (via EDF), by enabling them to:

  • identify their own priorities for research that will support of the full participation and equality of disabled people in European societies
  • gain knowledge and information about the methods and approaches used by researchers in these fields of study
  • communicate information about their ideas and capacity to participate to those with influence over future research agendas and opportunities
  • identify European research teams with expertise in these areas, and with commitments to disabled people’s participation in research
  • engage as active participants in the development collaborative ideas for future funded research projects

This was achieved by engaging representatives of European disabled people's organisations in consultation, knowledge development and research mapping over a period of 18 months (Jan 2008 - Jun 2009).

Review of policy priorities

The first task was to review the existing priorities of disabled people's organisations in relation to opportunities for future research. This involved a mapping of existing policy documents produced by European Disability Forum and Disabled People's International, and the substantive Articles of the UN Convention. The review identified civil society priorities of policy relevance on a thematic basis and linked them to potential topics for future research. These themes provided a typology for the consultation.

Consultation Questionnaire

A consultation questionnaire for disabled people's organisations in European countries was produced (in English and French) for completion online or in print. A presentation was made to delegates at the European Disability Forum Annual General Assembly (Slovenia, May 2008) and a copy of the questionnaire distributed. In June 2008 details of the survey were also distributed in a mailing from EDF to its member organisations. The questions and prompts sought information about each organisation, past experiences of research, priorities for future research, and interest in research participation. The design included both closed and open questions. This survey is now complete, but copies of the questions are available below, together with an initial summary of findings.

Summer School

In July 2008 a week-long research Summer School was held in Leeds, involving representatives of disabled people's organisations and researchers (from 15 European countries). The main purpose was to share research knowledge and to build the capacity of disabled people’s organisations for research participation. The participants also worked to develop their ideas for future research projects.