Participate in this research

To find out more about this study contact the research team in the following ways:

What ways can people take part?

You can choose a 60 minute face-to-face interview, phone or video call; or an interview over email or instant messenger.

You can provide responses using a journal. We can send a research pack in the post. Or, you can create a digital journal using your computer’s Word, video or illustrator software and send it to us.

Who is eligible?

All young disabled adults are welcome to take part. You must be aged between 18 and 30, have experience of managing your support arrangements, and live in England.

You do not have to have a PA right now. It does not matter what your gender or sexuality is.

You will get a £20 gift voucher as a thank you for taking part.

This image shows a figure holding their chin in their hands. The figure is surrounded by arrows and question marks that symbolise the questions people might have about this study
Art by Jem Clancy Insta @othergirlart 

About the research

What is the project about?  

This research project is about how young disabled adults (age 18-30) make decisions about hiring personal assistants (PAs). We want to speak to young disabled people, with a range of genders and sexualities, about the decisions they make about working with PAs so that we can understand what makes good inclusive practice.

We want to improve the information that young disabled adults and PAs get about this kind of support. We have ethical approval to conduct the research and are now recruiting participants to take part in this research. 

A visual cartoon representation of a group of disabled young adults reflecting a range of identities and disabilities
Art by Jem Clancy Insta @othergirlart 

Who can take part?

All young disabled adults, whatever your sexuality or gender, are welcome to take part. You must be aged between 18 and 30. You should live in England and have some experience of managing your support arrangements. You do not have to have a PA right now. 

If you think you might want to take part in this research or want more information relating to this research, we would like to hear from you. Please use the contact details provided at the top and bottom of this page.

What do you mean by gender and sexuality?

Our sense of ourselves as women, men, or non-binary people, and who we are attracted to or want to have relationships with, are part of our identity.

In other words, gender and sexuality matter for who we are.

For young disabled adults who have personal assistants (PAs), gender and sexuality can often be part of the decisions they make about who helps them. Who they think is the right person for them. 

Getting the right support is important. We might prefer the people who help us to be the same gender as us. We might want someone who shares our interests, or is sensitive to our personal support needs, including sexual support needs. Some people, such as people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT+), might worry that they will be treated unfairly. Not being able to explore or express these things can be distressing and make people’s lives less rich and fulfilling.

Young disabled adults may have to think hard about these issues when getting support. For some people, there may appear to not be an issue.

We want to find out about these different experiences.

This picture represents the different ways a person can take part. The images shown on the left include a phone with the words phone or email next to it. On the right of a screen, an image of a laptop shows two figures talking on screen. The words 'in person' or 'online' are above the laptop. Besides the laptop, the two talking figures talk in real life. A zig zagging line cuts down the middle separating right and left.
Art by Jem Clancy Insta @othergirlart 

What will the research involve? 

We will invite you to an interview (a conversation about your experiences of working with PAs) via your choice of communication method – such as face-to-face, video-chat, email, instant messenger or phone call. This will last about 60 minutes. 

You can also choose to receive a journal for you to you fill out in your own time over 4 weeks. 

Participants can say which parts they do or do not want to do. All participants will get a £20 pound voucher as a thank you for taking part. 

Who should I contact to take part?

If you think you might want to take part in this research or want more information relating to this research, we would like to hear from you. To get in touch, you can

This study is funded by the National Institute of Health Research School for Social Care Research. Northumbria University are collaborating with researchers at Bristol University, the University of York, and Nottingham Trent University on the project. The project has been developed in collaboration with a Project Advisory Group of young disabled adults, and with advice and support from Disability North in Newcastle.

Ethical approval was provided by the Social Care Research Ethics Committee of the Health Research Authority on the 6th May 2021

You can also see a one page summary  of the project here:

Materials calling attention – young disabled adults. V2.0. 20.10.21

IRAS Project ID: 284704

The Support, Genders and Sexualities Project is a collaboration between Northumbria University, Disability North, Nottingham Trent University, Bristol University and the University of York. The study is receiving funding from the National Institute for Health Research School for Social Care.

Ethical approval was provided by the Social Care Research Ethics Committee of the Health Research Authority on the 6th May 2021.

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