Fri 4 Mar 2022 8:42PM

Research on disabled people's involvement in co-ops in the UK

SG Steve Graby Public Seen by 119

Hi all

You may have seen this already via Twitter or other email lists, but I was just reminded that this group exists, and so thought it worth posting here!

I am conducting research on disabled people's involvement in co-ops in the UK. I am a disabled person and a co-op member myself.

As part of my research, I am conducting a survey of co-ops (of all types) in the UK, covering topics such as how many co-ops have disabled members, what accessibility issues co-ops have considered, etc. This survey is online here: https://leeds.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/co-operatives-and-disabled-people-in-the-uk

I would be very grateful if someone from your co-op could answer the survey. It should not take longer than around 15 minutes.

I am also looking for disabled people who are or have been members of co-ops to interview. My call for participants for this part of my research is here: https://disabledcoops.uk/call-for-participants/ If you have any (current or former) disabled members who you think might be interested in this, it would be great if you could pass this on to them. Everyone who I will interview will get a £15 shopping voucher (hopefully for local co-op shops!).

For more information about me and my research, see here: https://disabledcoops.uk/about/

I am also on Twitter as @DisabledCoops.

If you have any questions about my research or anything else you'd like to tell me about, please feel free to contact me on [email protected] or via my website or Twitter.

Please do also pass this message on to any other co-ops you are in contact with who may be interested!

In co-operation

Steve Graby


Steve Graby Thu 5 May 2022 5:26PM

Hi all, I'm bumping this again because, although I have had a good response to my call for participants, the great majority of people who have been up for being interviewed have been members of housing co-ops. While all these participants have given me really important stories and data, I have had very little response from members of workers' co-ops (or indeed any other type of co-ops other than housing), and that feels like a significant gap in my research, which is intended to cover the experiences of disabled members in all types of co-ops in the UK.

As a co-founder of a workers' co-op myself - a big part of the reason for starting which was the inaccessibility of other paid work for disabled people due to discriminatory attitudes and inaccessible workplace structures in more 'mainstream' employment - the experiences of disabled people in workers' co-ops (whether good or bad) are particularly close to my heart and I would really love to get to interview some more disabled members (or ex-members) of workers' co-ops.

If you are unsure whether you would count as a "disabled person", in my terms you probably do! I am defining it under the social model of disability to include as wide as possible a range of people who are disabled by capitalist society, including for example neurodivergent people (e.g. autistic or ADHD), those with specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, people who have experienced mental distress or mental health systems, people with visual or hearing impairments as well as those with mobility impairments or chronic health conditions.

If anyone here is a disabled person and a current or former member of a workers' co-op, I would really appreciate it if you are up for being interviewed. The interviews can be done over Zoom and are likely to last an hour to an hour and a half (going by those I have already done), and you will get a £15 shopping voucher, hopefully for a shop local to you which is a workers' or consumer co-op. Also if you know anyone else who you think might be interested in this, please do pass this on!


Steve Graby

[email protected]



Emma Howard Fri 20 May 2022 12:23PM

Maybe check out Signalise - they're a co-op around improving access to services for deaf people.

I'm also aware that Sheffield Co-operative Development Group have helped set up various organisations in this area.


Sarah Tucker Wed 25 May 2022 9:54PM

Hi @Steve Graby I'm fairly new to the world of co-ops (6months). I'm hard of hearing and wear hearing aids in both ears. I know you posted a while ago but let me know if I can help in any way :)


Steve Graby Wed 25 May 2022 10:50PM

Hi Sarah, thanks for responding! If you would be interested in being interviewed, I'd be up for that - I still need more participants from workers' co-ops. If you email me at [email protected] we can work out what would be the most accessible way to do it.

also @Emma sorry I missed your comment! I am already in touch with both Signalise and Sheffield CDG :)