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Disabled researchers and the UK Parliament

In February 2021, UK Parliament's Knowledge Exchange Unit held three online discussion groups exploring disabled researchers and the UK Parliament.


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What were the discussion groups?

Three discussion group sessions took place.  At each session, researchers:

  • shared their lived experience of engaging with the UK Parliament and the policy sector, and the barriers they have faced in contributing expertise to the UK Parliament
  • contributed ideas on how they think UK Parliament can strengthen its support for the community of disabled researchers.

Why did we hold these groups?

We held these online discussion groups because we know that disabled researchers are under-represented in engaging with the UK Parliament.  We want that to change.  We would like to learn about the challenges faced by disabled researchers in engaging with Parliament, and understand more about the action we can take to support and strenthen Parliament's engagement with disabled researchers.

This activity is part of our work to support diverse and inclusive engagement between UK Parliament and researchers, aiming to explore and understand the barriers faced by researchers and work towards overcoming these.

What will happen now?

What we learn from these sessions is shaping the work of Parliament's Knowledge Exchange Unit, in terms of our own activities and how we advocate for change across Parliament.  You can read what we have learnt from researchers and how we are responding to what we have heard so far.

What if I couldn't attend a group?

You can still feed in your experiences and ideas if you were unable to attend a group for any reason, or if you would prefer to contribute in a different way. 

We have an online survey to learn from disabled researchers on their lived experiences of engaging with policy and ideas for support needed to engage with Parliament.  This open until 5th March 2021.

Or you are welcome to email the Knowledge Exchange Unit on with your contribution, or to ask for a 1:1 phone call (available depending on staff capacity).

For more information about this activity, or our work to support diverse and inclusive engagement between UK Parliament and researchers, please contact Naomi Saint, Knowledge Exchange Manager, on