Hello Twitter! My name's Steve (pronouns: they/any πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆ ) and I am currently a Visiting Researcher at the University of Leeds, funded by the @_ISRF and researching #disabled people's involvement in #cooperatives in the UK. My research website is disabledcoops.uk
My profile on the @_ISRF website: isrf.org/fellows-projec…
This is a one-year research project, funded from September 2021 to Sept 2022, but I've only been able to "go public" and recruit participants now (Feb 2022) due to waiting for university ethics committee approval.
However, I am hoping that this research can continue in some form beyond the funded period, and I definitely intend my website disabledcoops.uk to remain in existence as a resource for #disabled people and #cooperatives.
(I feel compelled here, with perhaps typical autistic pedantry, that I really prefer the spelling "co-operative"/"co-op" and "cooperative"/"coop" just looks Wrong to me! But Twitter doesn't allow hyphens in hashtags, or rather that would just result in the meaningless tag #co...)
I am #neurodivergent (#ActuallyAutistic and #ADHD), queer and non-binary #nonbinary (again with the hyphens!), I am involved in the disabled people's and co-operative movements. I did my PhD in #DisabilityStudies at @CDSLeeds.
This research in some ways emerges from my PhD (thesis online here: etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/23231/) as one finding in it was the potential of #cooperatives for supporting #IndependentLiving through #PersonalAssistance. But it also comes from my experience of housing and workers' co-ops.
I am a co-founder of the workers' co-op @TypeOlogyCoop (which does audio transcription and other academic support services), founded with the purpose of creating accessible, worker-controlled work for queer/disabled/neurodivergent workers.
There are 3 main parts to my research:
1) I'm doing a survey of co-ops in the UK about things like whether they have disabled members, whether they have done anything to ensure or improve their #accessibility, etc. This isn't online yet, but it will be soon! It will be for all->
->types of co-ops and will probably only take 10-15 minutes for each respondent to do. (Respondents will be co-ops, not individual members.)

I want to publicise this through all co-op networks in the UK to get it to as many co-ops as possible.
2) I want to interview #disabled people who are or have been members of #cooperatives. (Any kind of co-ops - workers co-ops, housing co-ops, consumer, multi-stakeholder, etc.) Call for participants here: disabledcoops.uk/call-for-parti…
Interviews can be done online (by Zoom), by phone, or *maybe* in person depending on Covid risk and travel practicalities. (My own preference would be all online, but I know this is not accessible for all disabled people.)
Everyone I interview will get a Β£15 shopping voucher. I am *hoping* that it will be possible to have vouchers for shops that are co-ops, but I still need to work that out. Otherwise it will be for UK supermarkets or online retailers (hopefully a choice between a few).
3) I want to do a few case studies of co-ops that have something to do with disability/disabled people. These could include:
- workers' co-ops consisting of disabled workers
- social care/personal assistance co-ops
- housing co-ops providing accessible housing for disabled people
- co-ops that sell/produce assistive tech or accessibility equipment
- co-ops doing disability equality training, accessibility consultancy, etc.

(I don't know yet if all these types of co-ops exist in the UK, but if you are in one, please get in touch! disabledcoops.uk/contact/)
I am hoping to be able to organise a conference about disabled people and co-ops (not just academic but also practically oriented) some time in summer 2022.

Obviously this is uncertain for now due to pandemic and I don't know yet if it will be a physical, online or hybrid event.
Ultimately I would love this research to lead to the founding of some actual co-ops of/by/for/including disabled people! And to creating dialogue, connections and mutual support between co-ops and disabled people's movements and organisations.
Anyway this is now a v long Twitter thread and I'm not really sure how to end it! So I'll just stop here for now by saying that if you are at all interested in my research (whether you'd like me to interview you, you've done similar/related work, you want to recommend someone->
->or something, or you've just got stuff to say about the subject of disabled people and co-ops), please feel free to contact me! disabledcoops.uk/contact/ And please retweet/share my website/etc! πŸ’œβ™ΏοΈπŸŒˆπŸ€πŸ‘‹

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