Established in Dunedin in 1984 the Institute is recognised nationally and internationally as a leader in the field of intellectual disability (learning disability) research.

The Institute also offers evaluation, consultancy, mentoring and postgraduate supervision.


The Donald Beasley Institute has strong links with disabled people and the disability community and takes active steps to develop and maintain these relationships. These on-going associations ensure that research undertaken by the Institute reflects relevant and critical issues.


Children enjoying the outdoors

The Institute aims to advance the health and wellbeing of people with intellectual disability (learning disability) in New Zealand through applied research, evaluation and education.

We seek to achieve this broad aim by:

  • Understanding the lived experiences of disabled people, recognising cultural diversity, gender and age;
  • Generating evidence-based research that can be used to inform the development and delivery of responsive support;
  • Conducting transformative research and evaluation meaningful to disabled people, families and disability services;
  • Building research capacity through collaboration with disabled people and the disability community;
  • Disseminating accessible and evidence-based research and education.