This research used a disability inclusive research design and photo-rich participatory methods to explore paid support relationships between 42 pairs of young people and their support workers; extended by a survey with both groups. Drawing on recognition theory (Honneth, 1995; 2004) and social geography (Hall 2010, 2012), the study explored people’s experiences of being valued, respected and cared about in their work together. The study considered what was happening when people felt this way, and when they did not, as well as experiences of misrecognition.

Resources from the project, including easy read and videos are available at Research Involving Children and Young People with Disability website

Research Centre

Social Policy Research Centre

Research Area



Robinson, S., Hall, E., Fisher, K. R., Graham, A., Johnson, K., & Neale, K. (2021). Using the ‘inbetween’ to build quality in support relationships with people with cognitive disability: the significance of liminal spaces and time. Social & Cultural Geography, 1-20.

Hepburn, J., Despott, N., Davy, L., Fisher, K.R., Robinson, S., Speeding, J, Poredos, S., Neale, K., West, R., Laragy, C., (2018). Working Together Better: A Guide to Building a Stronger Working Relationship. Training Workbook, Inclusion Designlab: Melbourne.

Neale, K., Robinson, S., Speeding, J., & Poredos, S. (2017) Relationships and Recognition: photos about working together. Lismore. Southern Cross University.

Fisher, KR., Robinson, S., Neale, K., Graham, A., Johnson, K., Davy, L. & Hall, E. (2020). Impact of organisational practices on the relationships between young people with disabilities and paid social support workers, Journal of Social Work.

Robinson, S., Graham, A., Fisher, KR., Neale, K., Davy, L., & Johnson, K. (2020). Understanding paid support relationships: possibilities for mutual recognition between young people with disability and their support workers. Disability and Society

Robinson, S., Blaxland, M. Fisher, KR, Johnson, K., Kuang, C., Graham, A., Neale, K. (2020). Recognition in relationships between young people with cognitive disabilities and support workers, Children and Youth Services Review. 10.1016/j.childyouth.2020.105177

Fisher, K.R., Gendera, S. Robinson, S., Graham, A., Johnson, K., Neale, K. (2019), Disability and support relationships: What role does policy play? Australian Journal of Public Administration, 78(1), 37-55.

Australian Research Council

  • Sally Robinson (lead CI), Anne Graham, Kate Neale and Jaimsie Speeding (CCYP)
  • Gordon Duff (National Disability Services)
  • Michael Henman (NSW Government Family & Community Services) 
  • Ruth Callaghan (The Northcott Society)
  • Ed Hall (University of Dundee, UK)

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