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Connected Communities

Participation at Staffordshire

Linda Münch is a research assistant at the Faculty of Social Work at Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences in Wolfenbüttel. She is working on and completing her doctorate in a research project entitled "Cultural Participation in the museum Exploring digital opportunities". It is a sub-project of the Leibniz ScienceCampus Braunschweig - Postdigital Participation. The Leibniz ScienceCampus enables interdisciplinary research partnerships of several institutions, such as universities, local actors and communities, to collaborate thematically (more information: home page). The project aims to strengthen participation opportunities for people with learning disabilities in museums, identify their accessibility needs in museums, and develop a mobile app for orientation in museums to support them on individual visits.

Linda Münch came to Staffordshire University and Connected Communities thanks to a grant from the LWC PdP. As a result of research interest, she came across a publication by Nic Gratton - which explores a participatory approach to accessing arts and culture for people with learning disabilities - and thus Connected Communities. Nic Gratton is the Lead for Civic Engagement and Evaluation. She and her team are supporting Staffordshire University in the development of a Connected Communities Framework and its practical implementation. Through, Connected Communities, Staffordshire University works with local communities and civic and industry partners. Connected Communities carried out many participatory projects with local communities, such as Discover Digital, Get Talking Hardship and Keep Talking. Linda Münch reports, "It was interesting to learn more about these and other projects that focus on either participatory action research or cultural or digital participation. It was especially interesting to learn how participatory collaboration worked and the perspectives of the people involved, such as academic researchers and community researchers. Among other things, she participated in the Connected Communities Evaluation training, stakeholder mapping, focus group, and World Café."