Cultivating Disability Leadership: Implementing a Methodology of Access to Transform Community-based Learning
In this paper, we describe a methodology of access developed and applied during a three-year project in the Niagara region focused on cultivating the next generation of disability leaders. We describe the theoretical approach to the project and highlight the significance of doing this work in Niagara. A literature review of adult, transformative, and community-based learning scholarship revealed that little research or writing has focused on describing a thorough approach to access in transformative projects in community-based settings. Writing with two participants from the study, we elaborate on the five dimensions of our approach: 1) funding; 2) local and focused; 3) intimate, relational, and interdependent; 4) curating access, and 5) welcoming disruption. We also describe the tensions in taking on this work. We conclude with an invitation to scholars, community groups, and organizations to consider integrating our methodology in their next research project.
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