On this page:
Telling Your Story
What will happen if I take part?
How do I become a storyteller?
What happens if I don’t want to carry on with the project?
What will happen after the workshops?
How will the information be treated?
Who can I talk to if I need further advice about participating in the project?
There is also an Easy Read Information Pack available here for storytellers.
Although the pairs who will contribute to the final publication have been selected the project is still looking for people interested in sharing their story on the blog and for artists who are interested in contributing a piece of art in any medium for one of the upcoming workshops.
We are interested to hear about your personal experiences in exercising your legal rights, as a person with a disability. This might include:
- Making decisions about relationships
- Making decisions about medical treatment
- Experiences with the criminal law or police
- Making decisions about buying or selling things
If you have written about these kinds of laws and how they affect people with disabilities and you think that laws and policies need to be changed, we would also like to hear your ideas.
If you have experience or knowledge to share on these issues we would like to invite you to take part in the workshops and conferences.
Taking part in the workshops and conferences is entirely voluntary and this will only take place once you give your consent. Agreeing to take part in the does not mean that you have to share anything you would like to keep private. We only want people to share their experiences and knowledge with the group if they feel comfortable doing this.
Each workshop will involve up to 60 people on the first day which is open to the public. On the second day up to 30 people will come together to share ideas and experiences on how the law could be changed. This second day will be private and information shared there will not leave the room unless people want it to.
There are two ways of taking part in the project. The first way is just to be present at the different events and to share your ideas and experiences. The second way is to take part in writing a book we will publish at the end of the project. The book will include people’s personal stories and ideas about how law and policy should change. There will be about 8 personal stories and 8 ideas for change in the book.
If you want to take part in writing the book you must attend at least 3 workshops over a 3 year period. If you don’t want to take part in writing the book you can still attend as many of the events as you like.
If you think you might be interested in writing the book you should attend Workshop 1 in April 2016. In the private session of the first workshop, everyone will discuss what areas of policy and what kinds of decisions they are most interested in. This will help us to decide what workshop you might like to attend in 2017. If people would like to join up with others to write something for the book together, this workshop will be a good place to start making those connections.
If you are still interested in writing the book you will choose a thematic workshop to attend. People writing the book will attend at least one workshop, but if you don’t want to be part of writing the book you can still attend these. There are four options: Workshop 2 (August 2016) will be on contract law, Workshop 3 (November 2016) on criminal law, and Workshop 4 on consent (February 2017). Workshop 5 (May 2017) is left open for a new topic that might come up from the discussions. If there are no new ideas then Workshop 5 will look at consent in more detail.
In November 2017, people who are writing the book will attend Workshop 6 to discuss and develop their ideas and get feedback from others about what should be in the book. If you are writing something for the book you must attend this workshop and finish writing your piece by January 2018.
Apart from these 6 workshops, there are two conferences in the project which are open to everyone to attend – one in March 2016 and one in October 2018. The first conference will be for people who want to hear new ideas from researchers and people with disabilities about how the law is changing around the world to allow more people to make their own decisions. The final conference will be to launch the VOICES book and to discuss about what we have learned during the project.
To become a storyteller you will need to fill in an application form. The form is designed to help us pair storytellers with respondents, to see which thematic workshop they might be interested in and to decide who will receive funding to cover their expenses while taking part.
You can choose to withdraw from the project at any time, without giving a reason. This includes after the end of the workshops and before the book is published.
If everyone consents, the private sessions of the workshops will be recorded by the VOICES researchers at NUI Galway and partially transcribed for our own notes. If you are taking part in the workshops and would like to use information from the private sessions for what you write in the book, we will ask for all participants’ consent to share the transcripts. If a direct quote is going to be used from anyone in anything that is written, that person must be asked and has to give permission before their name and the quote can be used.
If you decide you would like to tell your story or share your idea from the workshops you will be asked if you want to write something for the book. Even if you don’t want to write something for the book you might choose to share your story or idea on our online blog, or at a public session of one of the workshops, or at one of the conferences. You do not have to share anything if you don’t want to. If you want to share something on the blog, talk to Clíona about how to do this and what the rules for posting are.
Only members of the VOICES research team will have access to the recorded discussions of the workshop and will keep them confidential. Nothing will be published from which you could be identified unless you specifically decide you want to do so.
Clíona can be contacted at 091- 494272 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is limited funding available to cover the cost of travel and accommodation for storytellers to attend workshops. In certain circumstances this can include the cost of a personal assistant or supporter. We will decide how to allocate this funding after we have received the application forms. Decisions regarding funding will be made based on who best meets the project’s objectives and on the need to ensure a diverse representation of experiences and skills.
All discussions from private sessions of the VOICES workshop will be kept confidential. This means that your name and any identifying information will not be used unless you decide that you want to share your story or ideas with the public, or write a piece for the VOICES book.