Exploring the Lives, Communities, and Social Circles of Individuals with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities through Photo Voice

Document Type


Publication Date

April 2020

Publication Title

ENGAGE! Co-created Knowledge Serving the City




Historically, research on vulnerable or marginalized groups, such as persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD), has focused on studying such populations rather than meaningfully engaging them in the research process. This Indianapolis-based Photovoice study gives voice to individuals with IDD by involving them in community-engaged research and shining a light on the issues that they identified as needing attention in their communities. Nine individuals with IDD volunteered to serve as co-researchers, exploring their lives and communities through photography. Over a period of six weeks, the nine co-researchers took photos of their communities and participated in group discussions to identify common issues. Discussions about the co-researchers’ photographs uncovered important themes regarding social relationships, community participation, and independence that led to action in the form of a letter writing campaign to local and national policymakers and a public art show to display and discuss their photography.


This is a link to Vol. 1 No. 2 (2020): ENGAGE! Co-created knowledge serving the state. The original journal can be found here.