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University hosts first UK Disabled Children Research Network

Researchers working in the field of child disability gathered at the University of Bristol this week for the first meeting of the UK Disabled Children Research Network.

The meeting, which was organised and chaired by David Abbott, Reader in Social Policy in the Norah Fry Research Centre at the School for Policy Studies, promises to be an annual event, with the Children’s Society pledging to host the 2013 event.

The day-long programme included presentations by Dr Anita Franklin of the Children's Society, who described her research with disabled children and young people which focuses on participation in planning and running services, and Dr Ben Simmons of the University of Oxford, who discussed the research agenda for children with a label of profound and multiple learning difficulties. Other sessions tackled disabled children and socio-spatial processes of exclusion, inclusion, embodiment and identity (Dr Louise Holt, Loughborough University), and ethical issues and research with disabled children and young people (Professor Bryony Beresford, University of York). 

David Abbott said: ‘I’m delighted that Bristol was able to host this inaugural event, which builds on the success of a recent ESRC Seminar Series about the lives of disabled children and young people. The Network promises to be a supportive and collegiate one with opportunities for collaboration, information exchange and a space for new researchers and PhD students to discuss their work and meet others.’