information booklet – an invitation to join the itDf reading and watching group

The text contained within the information booklet is as follows:

An invitation to join the
Imagining Technologies for
Disability Futures
Reading and Watching Group

You are being invited to take part in a research project.

Before you decide whether you would like to be involved, it is
important for you to understand why the research is being
done and what it will involve. Please take time to read the
following information carefully and discuss it with others if you
wish. Ask us if there is anything that is not clear or if you would
like more information. Take time to decide whether or not you
wish to take part.

Imagining Technologies for Disability Futures is a five
year project, funded by the Wellcome Trust. It brings
together researchers in Literary and Cultural Studies
and Mechanical Engineering  at the University of Leeds,
Philosophy at the University of Exeter, Disability Design at
the University of Dundee, and Robotics at the University of

The project is the first to combine expertise in arts and
humanities, design, robotics and users of assistive
technologies to increase understanding of how disability and
embodiment are currently represented in media and culture.

Because of the focus on these cultural stories, our work is
very different to traditional research projects. We are not
treating our participants as research subjects, but active
co-participants in the results we will be producing.

We are inviting you to take part in the project’s reading and
watching group. Through regular discussions, the group will
reflect on a range of contemporary cultural representations of
disability and technology in fiction, film and other media.

You will receive £20 Amazon gift card for every workshop you
attend as thanks for your thought and time.

It is important that our research into assistive technologies is
relevant to the people who use those technologies. This
reading and watching group will help us learn more about the
key issues facing disability communities, and to feed this
knowledge into our research questions. The project team want
to listen and learn from disabled people – this is central to our
research practice.

There will be 10 workshops between September 2022 and
December 2023. To begin, we will have two meetings in
which we will decide together the best way for the workshops
to function. Following this, we will read a short piece of text
or watch a short film for each session. We hope that you will
return to take part in each session although there is no
obligation to attend every meeting. You are free to miss one
or several meetings, or leave the study altogether at any
time. Each workshop will take place via Zoom and last 90

During each workshop, members of the itDf research team will
facilitate a discussion on a text or video that the group has
been invited to read or watch either before or during the

We will strive to create a comfortable and relaxed environment
in which everyone feels able to contribute to the discussion,
but there will be no compulsion to speak: you are welcome to
come and just listen to the discussion if you prefer.

In addition to the Zoom workshops we hope to provide several
opportunities for the group to meet in-person. These meetings
are likely to take place in Leeds. Plenty of notice and infor-
mation will be provided to enable participants to decide
whether they wish to attend.

We can reimburse reasonable travel expenses to cover your
involvement in the project.

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking

We are aware of the risk that the screening and discussion
might be a source of distress due to the issues raised. To
ensure that we support you we will run a debrief at the end of
the discussions to check on participants’ wellbeing.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

While we cannot guarantee any direct benefit from taking part,
we hope that this event will offer participants the opportunity to
feed into research on the representation and design of
assistive technologies. We hope that the content and
discussion will provide an opportunity to reflect, collectively, on
these issues and that you will feel consulted and included.

Will my taking part in this project be kept confidential?/
What will happen to the results of the research project?

Each workshop will be recorded. The recordings will be stored
securely and only shared with researchers taking part in the
itDf project. Your participation in the project will not be made
public unless you decide you would like this.

How to Participate
You can register your interest to join the Imagining
Technologies for Disability Futures Reading and Watching
Group by using the form on our website.

There is a space on the form to submit any questions you
may have.

This study has been reviewed and given a favourable opinion
by Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures Research Ethics
Committee on 7 January 2022, ethics reference LTENG-037