Ontario’s injured worker community have long recognized the need for research into workers’ compensation on topics they define as important and in which they also participate.
Participatory research projects
- focus on issues that affect injured workers and their families
- value lived experiences (qualitative data) in addition to statistical, quantitative data
- identify gaps in current research
These projects use the collaborative methodology and activist approach of participatory action research to empower the community. It is a model which equitably involves all partners, is grounded on experience and social history, emphasizes co-learning and knowledge sharing of the findings.
Examples include the 1999-2001 Injured Worker Participatory Research Project led by Bonnie Kirsh, and its “Making the System Better” report; the 2002 community research project initiated by Thunder Bay & District Injured Workers’ Support Group (“Connecting for Change: Injured Workers in Northwestern Ontario and the Effectiveness of Peer Support” ) and its 2008 “Poverty in Motion” study; the Injured Workers’ History Project (2005- ); Windsor’s Legacy Costs: Burden or Benefit? project; McMaster University & ONIWG 2010 “Knowledge Brokering with Injured Workers” study.
Education and workshops
Research findings and public education on workers’ compensation and injured workers’ rights are shared in many ways:
- Injured Workers Speakers Schools , training on the workers’ compensation system, leadership and self-advocacy, held around the province
- published reports and articles ( search the IWC library catalogue )
- webinars, videos and online discussions (such as Thunder Bay IW Group’s weekly Zoom information & advocacy sessions)
- theatre (such as “Easy Money” on stigma research or the Meredith play on origins and principles or workers’ comp
- community forums and informal discussions at meetings organized by injured workers’ groups, community legal clinics, labour, Bancroft, RAACWI etc
- workshops and conferences