How did we carry out the research?
• We designed the research around the need for dialogue.
• We conducted a series of focus groups, each lasting about 2 hours.
• Focus groups mostly involved people doing research who were our participants or ‘participant-researchers’. They all gave informed consent and, sometimes with their supporters, helped us to make sure everyone understood their involvement.
• We wanted the focus groups to be safe spaces to talk so we had one group of participant-researchers with learning disabilities who lead and conduct their own research and their supporters, one group of participant-researchers with and without learning disabilities who work together as co-researchers, and one group of academic participant-researchers with experience of gathering data from or with people with learning disabilities. These met 3 times over a year. Another group of participant-researchers with learning disabilities who lead and conduct their own research met twice. Ideas from the different groups flowed into each other.
• We also had a focus group of policy-makers and commissioners of research who met once to discuss the ideas that were emerging and what was important from their perspective.
• In a final event everyone came together and work in mixed focus groups to talk about the key findings and how we might best communicate them.
• Focus group discussions involved some visual materials to help the talk and some use of metaphor, such as: if inclusive research were a cake what would the ingredients be.
• Focus groups were recorded and transcribed and then analysed for key themes which we checked out with everyone.

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