Over the last decades the traditional approach to research based on the absolute centrality of the professional researcher has been challenged by the spread of participatory approaches. The most radical approaches to participatory research have been perceived as processes through which marginalized groups get self-awareness and can actively influence society. Here we can find a common ground between participatory research and the emancipatory approaches rooted in the Freirian emphasis on “conscientisation“ and “emancipation”. Moreover, interesting applications of participatory and emancipatory methods draw on connections with the philosophical foundations of Amartya Sen’s Capability Approach. Starting from this theoretical background this paper will show how emancipatory approaches can be used to simultaneously collect information on disability and induce an emancipatory process that can involve persons with disabilities. The presented case study will focus on an emancipatory research about the interaction between gender and disability based discriminations in Palestine.

Keywords: disability; gender; emancipatory research; Palestine; participatory methods.