Different Projects in the Programme

Getting Things Changed (Tackling Disabling Practices: Co-production and Change)

Getting Things Changed is a three year UoB-led programme of research funded by the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) in the UK. The project started in April 2015 and concluded in May 2018.

Read the easy information for Getting Things Changed

Final Report

The Getting Things Changed Final report was published in May 2018.

Read the full Final Report (PDF, 4,285kB)

Read the Executive Summary (PDF, 1,082kB)

Read the Easy Read Summary (PDF, 3,388kB)

About the Programme

‘Getting Things Changed’ is a research study at the UoB about tackling disabling practices. It is based at Norah Fry Centre for Disability Studies at the University of Bristol, and led by Val Williams.

Our work also involves key partners including Disability Rights UK (DRUK) and we have partners at Loughborough University, Lancaster University and the University of York, as well as the National Development Team for Inclusion.

The study overall responds to the widespread concerns about the problems faced by disabled people, in many different areas of their lives. There is often a gap between policy and practice, and we aim to understand more about social practices, so that we know about how to shift and change them to include disabled people.‌

The study actively involves disabled people within the research, particularly through the partnership with DRUK, but also within each of the strands, within the staff teams and in co-production groups who are active in the research.

The objectives that cut through the whole project are to:

  1. identify the barriers facing disabled people in the UK, and understand better how social practices get ‘stuck’;
  2. discuss and connect micro and macro theories of social practice, by applying them within the field of disability;
  3. explore disabled people’s own solutions, and understand better the conditions under which  ‘co-production’ can have an effect on practice;
  4. develop detailed understanding of how organisations and practices can be shifted, on the terms of disabled people themselves;
  5. recommend what can be done by disabled people, practitioners and policy makers to tackle the injustices experienced by disabled people.


This core work package is about cross-disciplinary theories of change.   A series of  ‘change’ workshops have been organized, led by experts on specific approaches during the first part of the project in 2015. At the end of this phase, we brought together the key findings from the seminars, in Ideas Briefings.

 The theories are now continuing to interact with five strands of research:

  1. Getting Good Support
  2. Changing the Academy
  3. Reasonably Adjusting Health Services
  4. Supporting Successful Parenting
  5. Disabled People as Commissioners

Each of these strands of research pursues a particular type of practice in which we know there may be problems for disabled people. We particularly want to see how these problems can be tackled and changed.

There will be four further Change workshops towards the end of the intervention phase, and in the final stage (‘Embedding Change’), including the five events and the final public event.

Our basic question is ‘what theoretical lenses enable us to understand better how to tackle underlying inequalities in practices?’

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