Structuring Photovoice for Community Impact: A Protocol for Research With Women With Physical Disability


  • Diane Macdonald University of New South Wales
  • Angela Dew Deakin University
  • Katherine Boydell University of New South Wales



photovoice, disability, arts-based knowledge translation, participatory research, integrated knowledge translation, protocol


Women with disability face participation barriers based on long-held misconceptions around their identity that adversely affect their health, income levels, and access to education and employment. It has been noted that photographs produced through photovoice methodology can help dismantle attitudinal and environmental barriers that people with disability continue to confront, but this method is rarely assessed for impact. In this protocol paper, we merge principles of feminist theory, photovoice methodology and integrated knowledge translation to generate 1. exhibition-quality participant-created photography on identity, 2. discussion around and insight into inclusion for women with disability and 3. a public exhibition to understand any impact these photographs may have on audiences and discriminatory barriers. Photographs, text, discussions and audience feedback are to be interrogated through thematic and narrative analysis. By aiming our arts-based research findings for a public audience, we hope to advance understanding of female identity and inclusion.


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Author Biographies

Diane Macdonald, University of New South Wales

Diane MACDONALD, BSc MBA MDP is a doctoral candidate at the School of Psychiatry UNSW Sydney and Black Dog Institute at UNSW Sydney. Her research area focuses on the intersection of photography, gender and social justice. Previously, Diane was the managing editor of the Australian Journal of Human Rights, the photo editor of the Human Rights Defender and the centre manager for the Australian Human Rights Centre based at UNSW Law. She holds a master of documentary photography, a master of business administration and has been a professional photographer for over 30 years.

Angela Dew, Deakin University

Angela DEW, PhD is associate professor disability and inclusion at Deakin University, Melbourne where she is engaged in research and teaching related to people with disability and complex support needs. Angela is a sociologist with 38 years’ experience in the Australian disability sector. Her research relates to understanding the specific issues faced by people with cognitive disability and a range of complexities including living in rural and remote locations and coming from an Aboriginal or refugee background. Angela uses qualitative and arts-based methods within an integrated knowledge translation framework to ensure her research results in practical solutions that can be tailored to individuals and local communities.

Katherine Boydell, University of New South Wales

Katherine BOYDELL, MHSc, PhD is professor of mental health at the Black Dog Institute and head of Knowledge Translation, Sydney Partnership on Health, Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE). She also holds several adjunct positions at leading Canadian institutions: Adjunct senior scientist, Child and Youth Mental Health Research Unit, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto; adjunct professor, Department of Psychiatry and Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto; adjunct professor, Graduate Program in Theatre, York University, Toronto. Her program of research focuses on understanding the impact of using a wide variety of art genres in child and youth mental health research, for both knowledge production and knowledge dissemination.




How to Cite

Macdonald, D., Dew, A., & Boydell, K. (2020). Structuring Photovoice for Community Impact: A Protocol for Research With Women With Physical Disability. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 21(2).

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