Ariel view of a crowd of people

Centre for Disability Research

The Centre for Disability Research was initially funded from a bequest by Strathclyde Regional Council to the University of Glasgow and was established in 1996.  

Our remit is to provide an academic base for research and teaching in social aspects of disability. We carry out research on a range of topics such as disability and welfare reform, transition for young disabled people, education, training and employment, migration, hate crime,  health, history of disability and the legal needs of disabled people. We work with all groups of disabled people.

We aim to work collaboratively with disabled people and have close links with organisations of disabled people both here in Scotland and further afield. 

In carrying out our research we draw on a wide range of disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, social policy, science and technology studies and the history of science.  We are multidisciplinary in our approach and are based in both the School of Social and Political Sciences and the Institute for Health and Wellbeing.  We work closely with other research units in the University, such as the Scottish Learning Disability Observatory, the Scottish Centre for Crime and Criminal Justice Research, What Works Scotland and Children’s Neighbourhoods Scotland.    

Our Mission 

  • To engage with disabled people and their organisations to carry out research that is relevant to the lives of people with a range of impairments and advances the rights of disabled people.
  • To undertake research on the experiences of disabled people throughout Scotland, the United Kingdom and Internationally.

Our Aims 

  • To provide authoritative evidence on the lives of disabled people, the barriers they face, identifying the processes and structures that cause their suffering or promotes their flourishing and their source. Whilst we aim to focus on the barriers they face as they go about their day to day lives we will also examine the role impairment plays in their lives and its intersection with disablement. In carrying out this work we aim to work closely with disabled people and their organisations, collaborating with them at all levels of the research process.

Our Objectives 

  • Exploring and describing the structures, processes and factors that disable or enable people with a variety of impairments in Scotland,the UK and internationally. 
  • Developing and employing a barriers-based approach to the study ofdisability in understanding the experiences of disabled people. 
  • Developing innovative and inclusive research methodologies and methods that allow us to explore the intersection between disabled people and other protected characteristics.
  • Promoting the profile of the Centre within disability studies and the wider social policy community.
  • To ensure that the Centre is identified as a centre of both national and International research excellence.
  • Produce and disseminate policy recommendations to appropriate organisationsand designing processes, structures or actions that improve outcomes for disabled people.
  • Ensuring all our work is produced in formats that are widely available and accessible to all.