So following on from yesterday………
We’re not undermining the wonderful work researchers do, we’re saying that we can bring a different and unique approach to research. But we also appreciate the guidance and advice from those professionals who are already very successful in that area……so this is where our three visitors come into play.
Prof Dawn Brooker and Prof Tom Shakespeare arrived…..David was delayed and Simon sadly stood us up at the last minute🤐…….after initial inductions it was lovely to share all our initial ideas with Tom and Dawn…
I talked them through our priority list and it was exciting to see their enthusiasm. Their role is providing their expertise on the barriers, such as ethics and the technicalities of research. They gave their views on ethics……this brought much discussion, much advice, much to think about. Tom stressed the point that published research shouldn’t be the be all and end all as non published research can be equally as valuable. Bridging the gap between research and storytelling…..both equally important
It was a lovely lunch and further discussion and ideas flowed. We were all overwhelmed by the volume of stuff and even Philly and Rachael were drowning under the amount of exciting stuff that we all wanted to get going……..it was interesting to see how Dawn, Tom and David hadn’t heard of hyperacusis. So we’ve already taught them something.
The first of my senses to be affected, 4 years ago, was my hearing. My ears became very sensitive to noise and certain tones of noise. We’ve since learnt, through amazing work by Agnes Houston that it has a name – hyperacusis. Many clinicians are unaware of the existence in people with dementia and now many of us are being referred to audiologists for a simple test – an ‘uncomfortable loudness test’, which can denote we need personal noise barrier plugs made specially for our ears. It is common in those with autism but not recognised yet for people with dementia…….
After our incredible busy morning we had time for a lovely piccie of the whole group.
We then had just over an hour to completely empty our heads and fill in the 3 prof advisors on the morning discussion. We wanted to hear their thoughts on how they think they can help
I asked for their initial thoughts on what they thought of our plans. Dawn said it’s so important to ask the right question and being clear on our line of enquiry. Defining the research question clearly. Dawn spoke of the expertise available at Worcester.
David said our second most important question was about who we want to influence as that can often influence the methodology. His knee jerk piece of advice was don’t avoid things just because they seem scary. Confront ‘research’, don’t avoid the fact that its research. Be curious. His interest is getting people to use their own voices. He said:
“create a harmonious cacophony of voices”
Tom said to ask how can we get professionals to continue doing this sort of work long after we’ve finished. He is a qualitative researcher with people with learning disabilities and physical disabilities. He can bring a different but relevant perspective. We must prioritise projects which are original and will have the most impact with the resources we have. Use those with expertise – we don’t have to do everything.
Also to ask what’s the value added value bit that we, as this group, bring to research.
“Make everything as simple as possible but not simpler” and “try to find a charismatic idea” said Tom
“ the topic is like a ball of clay, you’re not sure what it will look like but don’t be afraid that you won’t get a pot at the end of it” said Dawn.
All our heads were spinning and it was interesting to hear the fear some of the group had about their capability in this project. The fact that they spoke out about this fear was so good. They almost set the benchmark. If we can get it right for them then we have a chance of succeeding with others in allaying their fears and concerns.
“We believed we could and we did”…..a nice few words from Dory to end the day…….just can’t wait to get going now….