Following its launch in April, the Dignity Project Community Hub has made progress towards its goal to bring citizens and scientists together to reform barriers faced by people with disabilities.

The Dignity Project is presented by Griffith University’s The Hopkins Centre: Research for Rehabilitation and Resilience and the Queensland Government, Office of the Queensland Chief Scientist.

It is a research and community building agenda aimed at disrupting stereotypes and breaking through barriers that people with disabilities experience every day.

Researcher Kelsey Chapman

Kelsey Chapman, a researcher at The Hopkins Centre, said the collaboration between Griffith University and Metro South Health would identify how dignity is understood and experienced by people with disability in all aspects of their life.

“​The response has been really positive so far both from people with disabilities and our partner organisations,” she said.

“We currently have nearly 50 citizen scientists signed up in the Community Hub.

“We are excited about the data that is coming through the Hub survey and hope to attract more participants over the next month.

“We created the Community Hub as a safe and committed space to talk, analyse and re-contextualise experiences so that we can produce real change through our research.

“This research is about understanding dignity and looking to challenge and disrupt the environmental, attitudinal, systemic, and physical barriers that limit participation and access.

“We are co-designing research with people with disability to produce something that’s going to impact all of our lives in the future.”

Citizen scientist Angel Dixon

Angel Dixon is a Citizen Scientist and a moderator of the Community Hub.

She’s also 2019 QLD Young Australian of the Year and encourages anyone with a disability who is interested in making a difference to join the hub.

“It’s really important for the people with lived experience, of our experiences, to be involved and help researchers without disability, shape their projects and build things so that our services and environments can be accessible to everyone,” she explained.

“Working in a team and co-designing research, is probably the most important thing that we can do.

“Everyone has unique experiences, we’re a melting pot, we’re diverse and we need everyone’s experiences.

“I’m aware that it is a very vulnerable and scary experience to share your stories, but what I hope people will understand about the dignity project, is that there is power behind these stories, they will be utilised to change.”

The Dignity Project Community Hub is also supported by the Queensland Motor Accident Insurance Commission.

Visit The Dignity Project websiteto learn more or to join the Community Hub.