Working Together for Change: The Role of Families in Generating, Using and Transmitting Knowledge in Higher Education and Research

Children, youth and young adults with disabilities and their families currently play a crucial role in changing the attitudes and expectations of their neighbours, those in the helping professions and public policy makers. We believe that they can be important agents of change in influencing education of post secondary students and research conducted at post secondary institutions.

The purpose of the project is to influence the thinking and behaviour of researchers, educators and students in post secondary educational settings in ways that will:

  • Increase their understanding of issues of importance to children, youth and young adults with disabilities and their families.
  • Increase collaborative partnerships between families and university and college researchers in regard to teaching about disability issues, research directions and collaboration in the research process.

We believe that the perspectives and values of persons with disabilities and their families should influence education and research. Community Faculty are persons with a disability and their families, who participate in and influence education and/or research, in order to facilitate social change.

Specific Objectives

  1. To promote and increase the involvement of people with disabilities and their families as 'Community Faculty' in the post-secondary educational institutions where those who will work with children, youth and young adults with disabilities are educated and/or where researchers are trained.
  2. To prepare people with disabilities and family members to act as 'Community Faculty' and create post-project support for these activities.
  3. To increase the involvement of people with disabilities and their families in all phases of research that is conducted on disability issues within post-secondary institutions.
  4. To facilitate the creation of an interdisciplinary network of educators/researchers/community members interested in furthering our understanding of changes required for children, youth and young adults with disabilities to live in the community with dignity, participate fully in community life and to enjoy the entitlements of citizenship.

Research Team

  • Barbara Ostroff (Family Alliance Ontario)
  • Mary Law (CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research, McMaster University)
  • Melanie Panitch (School of Disability Studies, Ryerson University)

  • Jan Burke-Gaffney (Family Alliance Ontario)
  • Sandra Barbadoro (Family Alliance Ontario)
  • Salina Jaffer (Research Assistant/Coordinator)

For more information about this project, please contact: Salina Jaffer - (905) 525 - 9140

Funder

SickKids Foundation (2004 - 2007)

Sickkids foundation 300