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What is this research about?

This research is about disabled people living in care in Aotearoa New Zealand between 1950 and 1999.

A lot of people have been in care before including:

  • people with learning disabilities
  • people who are neurodiverse

Not a lot has been written about what care was like care for them.

Living in care means that the government or a faith-based institution was in charge of their care. People in care live in places like:  

  • institutions  
  • group homes  
  • girls’ and boys’ homes  
  • foster care  
  • church-based homes or schools

This research is being done so their stories can be told.

It is important their stories are told so we can learn from them.

It is important people who have been in care get the support they need.

It is very important that people who have had bad experiences in care get the support they need too.

Who is this invitation for?

This invitation to be part of our research is for:

  • people with learning disabilities who have lived in care between 1950 and 1999
  • neurodiverse people who have lived in care between 1950 and 1999

A learning disability is:

  • a neurological condition that affects the brain's ability to send, receive, and process information 

Neurodiverse means that:

  • the brain works in a different way
  • a person learns things in another way

For this research neurodiverse includes:

  • autistic people
  • people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder / ADHD.

Who are the writing partners?

If you are chosen to take part in this research, you will be able to tell us which writing partner you would like to work with. We will do our best to match you with that writing partner.

Here are the profiles of the writing partners for this project:

Writing Partner - Brigit Mirfin-Veitch

Writing Partner - Kelly Tikao

Writing Partner - Patsie Frawley

Writing Partner - Hilary Stace

Writing Partner - Umi Asaka

Who is paying for this research?

The Royal Commission Inquiry into Abuse in Care has given the Donald Beasley Institute money to do this research. The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care is a group of experts who are looking into the abuse many people experienced while in care.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care started in 2019. It will finish in 2023.

Where can I find more information about this research?

At the bottom of this page you will find Easy Read documents in English and Te Reo Māori. This includes:

  • Invitation to take part
  • Participant information Sheet
  • Participant interest Form
  • Consent Form

What do I do if I want to take part?

You can talk to us if you or someone in your family or whānau:

  • have any questions about the research
  • want to take part in the research.

We will talk to you about what you need to do to take part in the research. 

You can call us on:

  • 03 479 2162
  • 0800 878 839

The 0800 number will not cost you any money to call.

You can email us at:

You can also send a letter to:

Donald Beasley Institute
Suite 4, Level 2
348 Cumberland Street
Dunedin 9016
New Zealand

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