Sharing meaning across the neurodivide: Research through illustration alongside people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD)

Johanna Roehr (Lead / Corresponding author)

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Abstract

The perspectives of people labelled with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD) remain significantly underrepresented in academic research. This article introduces a developing research methodology that explores how illustration-based methods might assist researchers in attuning to, and amplifying, non-linguistic contributions to knowledge made by people who do not use conventional language to communicate. As a medium that champions alternative forms of communication and aims to make complex subjects accessible to a wide range of audiences, illustration offers additional opportunities to open up the research arena to people with PIMD. This potential is discussed here within the framework of the author’s ongoing Ph.D. research. The methodology outlined in this article is developed within the Sensory Studio, a mobile workspace purpose-built for artistic exchange and co-creation between artists with PIMD and Frozen Light Theatre, a Norwich-based organization creating multi-sensory shows specifically for PIMD audiences. Reflecting on the ethical considerations that shaped the design of this methodology, the author shares some of the unanticipated findings that research through illustration has so far brought to light.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-256
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Illustration
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2024

Keywords

  • methodology
  • sensory ethnography
  • multimodal communication
  • disability rights
  • epistemic injustice
  • accessible research
  • AAC

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