Mr Sutherland, who has grand mal epilepsy, is a leading figure in the Disability Arts movement, and is the author of the multi-award-winning book “Disabled We Stand,“ (1981) and co-writer of the award-winning BBC Radio 4 drama “Inmates“ (1997), about a group of disabled people in a long-stay institution.
“We live in a society where disabled people get talked about a great deal to listened to very little,“ explains Allan. “My work, all my life, has been trying to find a voice for disabled people, myself included.“
He will be interviewing users of the Centre and intends to produce four sets of transcription poems, which will be published by Disability Arts Online.
Professor Peter Beresford OBE, the Director of Brunel's Centre for Citizen Participation said: “It's a real breakthrough for research and learning. We hope to discuss Allan's work as part of our modules on research methods, disability and social policy.“
The grant has been made available by the Leverhulme Trust for a nine- month residency under a scheme designed to bring artists into research and study environments where creative art is not part of the normal curriculum.
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Photo: Allan Sutherland
The Centre for Citizen Participation at Brunel University is an established research centre of Brunel University. It was identified as doing research of “world class“ in the Government's recent Research Assessment Exercise. The Centre undertakes research and provides education, training and consultancy in the field of user involvement and public participation. Researchers include both disabled people and mental health service users. In its work it pays particular attention to the perspectives of service users.