Participative study "Nothing about us without us"

Information about the future workplace from the perspective of people with learning disabilities: a participatory study

Project role


queraum. cultural and social research was commissioned by the Austrian Public Employment Service (AMS) to conduct an empirical study which provides the data and knowledge base for the design of future employment information material catering to the needs of people with intellectual disabilities. The study is based on the following research questions:

  • How do people with intellectual disabilities perceive information provided about job profiles?
  • What chances and barriers do people with intellectual disabilities encounter when trying to (re-)enter the first labour market?
  • How should information about job profiles and work opportunities be designed so that people with intellectual disabilities can have a maximum benefit?
  • How do men and women with disabilities choose jobs?


Starting point of the study is a critical evaluation of work information material that has been developed by professionals for people with intellectual disabilities. Following a participatory approach, the study tries to contrast this approach with the perspectives of people with intellectual disabilities themselves. A reference group is established that consists of twelve self-advocates with intellectual disabilities, which accompanied and advised all main research phases such as planning, fieldwork and the analysis of the results. In total, the study analyses the perspectives of 48 people (job seeking persons with an intellectual disability, parents, teachers and job counsellors) through focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews. The results of this study are compiled in a final research report which can be obtained through the AMS Research Network.