'Is Information Enough' examined the information priorities of families of people with a learning disability from Pakistani communities. It is the first part of a four-stage project to explore the information needs of a number of different communities, defined by ethnicity.
The collaborative project was undertaken by Mencap and the International School for Communities, Rights and Inclusion at the University of Central Lancashire.
About the project
‘Is Information Enough' was developed to answer the following questions:
- Does ethnic background influence the needs or priorities of families?
- What are the priorities of family carers from different ethnic groups in terms of their information needs about learning disability?
- How important is translation to family carers from different ethnic groups?
- Do family carers from different ethnic groups have preferences for different formats and technologies for the delivery of information?
- What approach can Mencap, using its current resources, use to maximise its impact and support for families from different BME communities?
The project engaged with four focus groups of Pakistani family carers in Birmingham and Sheffield, from Ehsas Carers in Dudley, the Reaching Out group at Midland Mencap and the Sharing Caring Project BME (black and minority ethnic) group at Sheffield Mencap and Gateway.
Many of the participants did not have English as a first language, so the project engaged interpreters and translators to ensure effective communication.
‘Is Information Enough' research report
The ‘Is Information Enough' research report addresses each of the areas detailed above through the responses that the focus group participants gave.
It draws on the themes which families identified as important, as well as areas of agreement and disagreement. The findings attempt to describe both the information needs people in the groups identified, as well as their context - to influence the effectiveness and impact of any information given out to carers.
The report produces recommendations around both ‘information needs' and ‘needs beyond information', based on the findings of our research, which indicate that the way information is delivered is as important as its content and quality, and that in many cases information is no substitute for practical and emotional support.
In April 2010 Mencap hosted its first conference specifically for the Chinese community to look at their needs.
Moving forward, Mencap will use the findings from this project to inform its future work with BME and migrant communities through the Families and Communities programme in 2011/12.
Who to contact
For further information about the project, please contact:
Families and communities project manager