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Title: Meaningful engagement : exploring the participatory arts practices of adults with PMLD
Author: Warwick, Melaneia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7427 1196
Awarding Body: University of Brighton
Current Institution: University of Brighton
Date of Award: 2018
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Central to this practice-led interdisciplinary research were a group of seven adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD). People with PMLD attending day services can face inadequate activities, and this study has proposed that participatory arts can positively complicate and challenge what are often reductive ways of engaging with this community. It has done so via an intervention of visual arts practices in a day services setting and subsequent investigation of what conditions and by which approaches, their utility might constitute meaningful engagement (ME). A definition of ME for adults with PMLD is absent where the disciplines that inform this study intersect and it is proposed here that meaningful activities (MA) can provide concrete examples by which to understand that ME is taking place. The study was based on an intensive intervention of participatory visual arts workshops over a twenty-week period for which NHS ethical approval was gained. Tools used included GoPro and hand-held cameras, paint, charcoal, clay, paper and plant material. The study generated seven cases based upon qualitative data that examined the arts making processes of its participants, including visual data such as photographs and film stills, and written data including questionnaires, consent and capacity forms and a research journal. These were thematically analysed and thick data narratives developed in relation to the primary research question, for which a combination of the film editing and qualitative data analysis software packages, Premier Pro CC and Atlas.ti were utilised. This interdisciplinary practice-led study evolved from the field of the participatory arts and was influenced by the literature on inclusive research approaches and direct practice in Learning Disability Studies. Here debates constellate around both including people with PMLD in research and developing their active support. It contributes to the literature by developing a greater understanding of how by evolving inclusive research approaches, incidences and forms of ME could be understood through the lens of participatory visual arts practices. I proposed practical and theoretical frameworks for working towards ME as sets of conditions and principles, and engendered institutional change by taking the lead from the experiences of expert participants and their supporters in the identification of modes of ME. This thesis was developed in an accessible format as a book of photographs for learning disabled audiences.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available