My doctoral thesis is motivated by my experience as a teacher in adult and community education, teaching Maths and English to unemployed adults, as well as my welfare advice work.
My research is intended to explore the experiences of people with mild learning difficulties who are looking for paid work, including their experiences of claiming and managing welfare benefits. I am also exploring government policy about the employability of job-seekers and the employability of people with disabilities and how well these fit with the lived realities of people with mild learning difficulties. Linking the research aims together is the concept of social justice and how frameworks of social justice might be relevant to understanding these experiences in the current policy environment.
This is a qualitative research project which will use a narrative inquiry methodology to explore the experiences of people with mild learning difficulties, and document analysis supplemented by qualitative interviews with policy-makers to examine government policy.
As well as introducing me to relevant collections, resources and expertise, the Open Day was an opportunity to meet other first-year PhD students and share ideas. I am lucky to be able to access some British Library material through the inter-library loan system at Nottingham, but I intend to use the British Library directly to access government publications, news media and to explore related theses.