Takeaway: Researchers need to make a more concerted effort to include stakeholders in the research process.
Cite as: Colombo-Dougovito, A. M. (2020, Oct. 7). We are in this together: Improving research outcomes by including key stakeholders. Building session presented to the AERA Research on Learning & Instruction in Physical Education special interest group (SIG93).
In recent years, communities of individuals with disabilities have become more vocal about their own desires through the empowerment of social media and other technological advances. As a part of this empowerment, individuals with disabilities have stated that there will be, “nothing about us, without us” (Charlton, 1998), imploring researchers to be included in major rolls throughout each stage of research, ensuring that no policy or programs are designed or implemented without full participation or representation from all affected stakeholders. While centered around traditionally marginalized communities, such as those with disabilities, the definition of stakeholders could be extended to all those impacted by the research conducted about them. Several articles (Balcazar, Keys & Kaplan, 2006; Haj-Bolouri, Bernhardsson, & Rossi, 2016; Hassouneh, Alcala-Moss, & McNeff, 2011) have attempted to breakdown strategies for participatory designs and present practical steps for including those being researched. Yet, many studies default to “tokenistic” forms of engagement. Too often researchers and stakeholders are uncertain about how to engage with one another. As the individual traditionally in a “power” position, researchers have the capacity to change this dynamic and begin to authentically include stakeholders within the research process.