Advancing disability inclusion in research: the Disabled Youth Investigates project

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The Unit’s Disability Research Group implements the Disabled Youth Investigates project, a qualitative action research study focused on capacity building for youth with disabilities in research. The project equipped 7 youths with disabilities and 7 peers without disabilities aged between 18 to 30 years with skills in data collection and analysis through internship placements in research studies in the Unit’s core research themes, that is, Viral Pathogens, Vaccine research and Non-Communicable diseases.

“By involving youth with disabilities in our projects, we are fostering an environment that respects the rights of all participants while promoting fair and equitable research practices,” says Dr Femke Bannink Mbazzi, head of Disability Research Group.

Akwii Betty, a youth with albinism and participant of the training program said, “As a youth with a disability, my involvement in research not only raises awareness but also highlights the necessities crucial for my workplace. This journey encourages growth, connecting me with mentors and diverse projects. Through community engagement, I will confidently champion disability rights.”

The program empowers the youth through inclusive research, professional training and networking opportunities, cultivating confidence and promoting diverse representation in health research. It creates awareness on disability inclusion.

Tukasingular Naume Adong, a youth trainee with a hearing impairment said, “The Unit provides a supportive environment for me and my peers. My involvement in research challenges assumptions, raises awareness and promotes inclusivity.”

This Disabled Youth Investigates capacity building project is funded by AHRC/UKRI and implemented by the Unit’s Disability Research Group, which strives to generate knowledge on disability health and make research inclusive of persons with disabilities. Other studies implemented by the group in partnership with the International Centre for Evidence in Disability at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) include the Missing Billion study, the Young Africa Works and Obuntu Bulamu study. The Disability Research Group is part of the Unit’s Non-Communicable Diseases research theme.

About The NCD Research Theme

A multidisciplinary team of epidemiologists, social scientists, and clinical and basic scientists in the NCD research theme seeks to understand the distinct manifestations and drivers of various chronic illnesses in Africa and to develop appropriate prevention and management intervention strategies through research.

Learn more about the NCD Theme

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