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 Museums - Potentials of Digitization". The project aims to strengthen participation opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities in museums, identify their accessibility needs in museums, and develop a mobile app for orientation in museums to support them during individual visits.
The research visit to Staffordshire University and Connected Communities was made possible thanks to an outgoing grant from the LWC PdP. as part of her research, she came across a publication by Nic Gratton - which explores a participatory approach to accessing arts and culture for people with intellectual impairments - and thus Connected Communities. Nic Gratton is the director of 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 is working with local communities and business and community partners, 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 sessions on Connected Communities evaluation training, stakeholder mapping, a focus group, and a World Café."