Building belonging and connection for children with disability and their families: a co-designed research and community development project in a regional community
Robinson, S & Notara, D 2015 , 'Building belonging and connection for children with disability and their families: a co-designed research and community development project in a regional community', Community Development Journal, vol. 50, no. 4, pp. 724-741.
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Belonging and connection of children with disability and their families are contested and fragile in many regional communities. This article reports on a project that aimed to better understand and strengthen belonging and connection for young children with disability and their families within a regional Australian community. The project involved a series of community capacity building initiatives which were grounded in participatory research about facilitators and barriers to belonging and connection. It used co-design principles to involve children and their families in the research design and collection of information, and in the direction of project resources post-research. This article describes the research, reviews the effectiveness of the methods used to facilitate involvement of children with disability and family members at a range of points in the project, and discusses the innovative way the project extends participatory methods used in research into project management and community development with a group not often included in either participatory research or community development.