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Peer-Review Record

Disability Theatre as Critical Participatory Action Research: Lessons for Inclusive Research

Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 116;
by Rachelle D. Hole 1,2,* and Leyton Schnellert 1,3
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 116;
Submission received: 1 December 2023 / Revised: 12 January 2024 / Accepted: 8 February 2024 / Published: 13 February 2024

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

Comments and Suggestions for Authors

Title and Abstract Review:

The title is clear and informs the reader of the most relevant aspects of the essay, a methodological contribution to the field of diversity studies.

The abstract provides a clear overview of what the reader will find in the manuscript. It also presents an outline of the different steps that the researcher will develop by applying the methodology presented.


The introduction is unclear. It does not establish a previous epistemic and ontological context. Although it concisely explains the principles that a research should have, it does not develop the antecedents of this type of research in depth. I think it would be good for the manuscript to expand this part.


Materials and methods

Since it is an essay, I do not understand very well why this section is presented. The two points it contains seem more pertinent to the introductory part than to create an ad hoc section for the method.


The part referring to results points out the different phases of the research proposed by the author. Pointing out the initial questions and constructing the research method, developing the research and translating the knowledge. When looking at this section, the manuscript looks more like a research protocol than an essay, a matter to be reviewed by the editors. 

Discussion and conclusions

The Discussion section of the article provides a comprehensive analysis of the study's findings and their implications. It is well-structured and effectively conveys the significance of the essay. The conclusions, on the other hand, are scarce, and aspects such as limitations of the method or perspectives of the work are not presented.


In summary, I believe that 3 issues should be observed:

1. Review the text as a study protocol and not as an essay.

2. Expand the introductory part, perhaps with contributions from the section called method, eliminating this one.

3. Revise the section on conclusions.

Author Response

Thank you for your thoughtful comments and suggestions. We believe your input has strengthened this contribution. We have uploaded a pdf here with our responses to your suggestion. 

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

Reviewer 2 Report

Comments and Suggestions for Authors

The article presents a compelling example of inclusive research involving self-advocates (individuals with intellectual disability), theatre artists, researchers, and a community living society, all collaborating to develop disability theatre within the framework of critical participatory action research (CPAR). Informed by disability justice, this study delves into methodological insights encompassing three key areas: 1) formulating research questions and co-constructing research methods; 2) executing the research process; and, 3) knowledge dissemination. It effectively showcases the variability of inclusive research practices concerning project objectives, methodologies, and stakeholder requirements.

To enhance the abstract, specifying particular outcomes or impacts resulting from this CPAR approach could offer more depth. Additionally, including a brief statement about the significance or implications of these findings within the context of disability justice might further strengthen the abstract's impact.

The introduction lays a solid foundation by framing the research within the framework of disability justice and the principles of inclusive research, focusing on individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). It effectively highlights the critical issues surrounding inclusive research and the challenges faced in actualizing these principles.

One area for potential improvement could be to provide a more concise and structured transition between the theoretical underpinning of disability justice and the specific context of the research described in the article. Additionally, while the introduction does a good job of outlining the core principles of inclusive research according to Walmsley and Johnson, it could benefit from a brief preview or overview of how these principles will be applied or addressed within the context of the study.

Consider expanding on the significance of the devised theatre as critical participatory action research (CPAR) within the realm of inclusive research. Elaborating on the expected contributions or outcomes resulting from this collaborative approach involving self-advocates, theatre artists, researchers, and the community living society could add depth to the introduction. This can provide readers with a clearer understanding of the study's objectives and its potential impact on disability justice research practices.

The methods section presents a comprehensive framework for the disability theatre project and its integration with participatory action research. It effectively contextualizes disability theatre within the broader landscape of challenging societal norms and addressing ableism through artistic activism.


One aspect to consider for improvement could be to provide more specific details regarding the methodology employed in the disability theatre project. For instance, outlining the precise procedures used in the creation and production of the theatre pieces, including how the collaboration between self-advocates, researchers, and theatre artists was structured, could enhance the section's depth.

Additionally, while the section broadly discusses the principles and alignment of critical participatory action research (CPAR) with disability justice, incorporating more explicit details about the methodologies employed within the CPAR framework would strengthen the section. This could involve elucidating how participants were engaged in the research process, the methods used for data collection, and the strategies employed to ensure a participatory and inclusive approach.

Further, providing specific examples or instances where the principles of CPAR and disability justice were applied during the project would add practical insights and enrich the section's content. This could offer readers a clearer understanding of how the theoretical framework translated into actionable methodologies within the research context.

The "Results" section offers a detailed and comprehensive overview of the methodology employed in the disability theatre project, indicating a strong commitment to inclusive research practices and participatory engagement.

However, for improved clarity and depth, consider breaking down the information into subsections. This division could assist readers in navigating through the various stages of the research process more effectively, especially given the extensive details provided.

Additionally, while the section effectively outlines the steps taken in setting research questions and co-constructing research methods, it could benefit from more explicit connections to theoretical frameworks or previous studies. Linking the methodologies employed to existing literature or theoretical underpinnings could strengthen the rationale behind the chosen approaches.

Furthermore, while the narrative illustrates the active involvement of self-advocates (SAs) in different research activities, such as devising sessions and conducting focus groups, providing insights into the challenges encountered and how they were addressed would enrich the section. Discussing any limitations or barriers faced during the research process and how they were overcome could offer valuable insights into the practical implementation of this inclusive approach.

Lastly, while the section successfully details the knowledge translation strategies employed, integrating more specific examples or anecdotes that highlight the impact of these strategies could enhance the understanding of how these approaches facilitated effective dissemination and outreach.

Overall, the section showcases a robust participatory research process, but enhancing theoretical connections, discussing challenges faced, and providing more illustrative examples would further enrich the narrative and strengthen the readers' comprehension of the research journey.

The "Discussion" section presents a thorough analysis of the inclusive research process within the context of disability theatre and CPAR (critical participatory action research). The text effectively emphasizes the relevance of the research to individuals with IDD (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities) and the significance of employment as a central theme. It also highlights the strengths and lessons learned from the inclusive research approach.

However, to enhance the clarity and impact of the discussion, consider segmenting it into subsections. This division would allow for a more structured presentation of the different themes discussed within the inclusive research process, making it easier for readers to follow and comprehend.

Additionally, while the section adeptly addresses the relevance of employment for individuals with IDD and outlines their active involvement in the research process, providing more specific examples or anecdotes illustrating their experiences could further enrich the narrative. This could involve sharing personal stories or instances that vividly showcase how the SA co-creators identified and contributed to the research project.

Moreover, although the text acknowledges tensions within inclusive research and the importance of addressing them, further elaboration on specific strategies or methodologies employed to navigate and resolve these tensions would add depth to the discussion. Providing examples of how conflicting viewpoints or challenges were managed within the collaborative research process could offer valuable insights.

Finally, while the section concludes by summarizing the key learnings and growth over the years, linking these findings to future research directions or potential areas for improvement could strengthen the conclusion. Suggesting how these learnings could inform and shape future inclusive research endeavors would add a forward-looking perspective.


Overall, the discussion demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of the inclusive research process, but enriching it with specific examples, addressing tensions in more detail, and proposing future directions based on the learnings would further enhance its impact and depth.

Author Response

Thank you for your thoughtful comments and suggestions. We believe that your feedback has helped make this a stronger contribution. We have attached a pdf with our responses to your review.

thank you again!

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

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