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'We have the right to get married and have children’

Research findings from a collaborative study on relationships and sexuality from a research team of adults with intellectual disabilities

Friday 23 September 2022, 13.00-14.00

We are the relationships and sexuality research team. Our research was about exploring relationships and sexuality perceptions and experiences of adults with intellectual disabilities. This study stemmed from a research idea from Jess Mannion’s Ph.D. in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, supervised by Dr Fintan Sheerin and Dr Vivienne Brady.

The research team consists of co-inquirers with intellectual disabilities, Rhena Gallagher, Trevor Gallagher, Bryan Higgins, Mairead McHugh and Jennifer Mulligan. Jess and the research assistant Tricia Blee, also have experiences of disability as they are neurodivergent.

Using creative methods to help us explore topics important to us regarding relationships and sexuality, we co-created the findings based on our own experiences. We were involved in all the decisions in this study. This included deciding what topics to research and what methods to use to explore these topics. We co-constructed the data analysis method and analysed the data together. Some of us co-wrote funding applications and were successful in receiving funding. We decided and worked on the study’s actions as a team. Together we presented at an international action research conference and co-authored an academic publication.

This public lecture will be presented by the research team and will provide an overview of the study, with a focus on the research findings of one of the topics that was important to the research team. This topic is about people with intellectual disabilities rights, barriers and needs regarding getting married and having children. This lecture will be of specific interest to those with intellectual disabilities, and their families, partners, friends, and carers. It will also be of interest to disability studies students, academics, and disability professionals who would like to know more on this topic. We will use presentation, creative methods, and audience engagement to share our research findings.

We would like to thank the Trinity Equality Fund for supporting our project.

Click here to register to attend