Research calls for young people with physical disabilities to share their experiences

Wheelchair in a scenic setting 

A new Western Sydney University doctoral study aims to understand the unique skills and perspectives of young people who live with a physical disability.

Aaron Millerand, a PhD Candidate from the School of Social Sciences and Psychology, is conducting the study, which will explore any barriers that prevent young people from living a full and active life, as well as their positive experiences of challenging and removing these barriers.

Young people aged 15-24 within the communities of Fairfield, Maitland and Casino, who are living with a condition or injury that affects their mobility – such as Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida and spinal cord injuries – are invited to participate.

"We know that physical disabilities can make it difficult to actively participate in society. But we also know that young people with disabilities can also be very connected and active in their communities," says Aaron.

"We want to hear from a range of young people, to find out their own experiences – not only the negative barriers they may face, but also the positive ways that they have overcome these challenges and the changes that they would like to see in society regarding inclusion and participation."

Depending on their needs and wishes, the young people may be invited to participate in individual interviews and focus groups, or take part in the study interactively online using Facebook and Second Life.

"This is an opportunity for young people to make their voices heard and be involved in all aspects of the project to shape its direction, as well as to connect with others who may share similar experiences and opinions in a supportive environment, if they choose to," says Aaron.

To indicate an interest in participating in the study, contact Aaron Millerand on: A.Millerand@westernsydney.edu.au

Participants under the age of 18 will require parental consent to participate in the study.

Ends

10 August 2017

Danielle Roddick, Senior Media Officer