The John Lord Award

Independent Living is premised on the philosophy that all people with disabilities have skills, determination, creativity and a passion for life, yet many are unable to fully participate because barriers to full citizenship persist in Canadian society.

Independent Living (IL) Canada is a national umbrella organization that advances the principles of independent living by providing leadership and resources to people with disabilities through its network of Independent Living Centres (IL Centers).

In addition to supporting IL Centers at the national level, IL Canada is also concerned with the promotion of projects, programs, and research that reflect the Independent Living philosophy. On of the ways IL Canada recognizes the unique contribution of research to the Independent Living movement is through the John Lord Award.

Purpose of the John Lord Award
The John Lord Award recognizes excellence in research that reflects an accurate analysis of the social realities facing persons with disabilities. Eligible research would include the insights and experiences of persons with disabilities, would promote a research philosophy that reflects the values of the Independent Living movement, and would reflect the principles that guide participatory action research.

The award values qualitative and quantitative research, academic and community research, research that reflects the cross-disability community, and places a high value on work that incorporates the full and active participation of persons with disabilities throughout the research process.

The John Lord award is a non-monetary award, but recipients will receive a trip to IL Canada's Annual General Meeting (AGM) where the award is presented. The AGM takes place annually in select cities across Canada.

Participatory Action Research
Historically, research about disability has been medical in scope, and has not included the input and participation of people with disabilities. As such, much of what has been produced about disability does not reflect the reality and/or potential of persons with disabilities.

Participatory Action Research is unique in that it includes the people with disabilities in the research process and thus better reflects the social realties facing people with disabilities.

The guiding principles of Participatory Action Research as it relates to Independent Living are:

  1. People with disabilities play an active role in the research process;
  2. Research reflects an accurate and authentic analysis of the social realities for people with disabilities;
  3. Research sheds light on the strengths and resources within the disability community;
  4. Research improves the quality of life for persons with disabilities and promotes the social, economic, and cultural inclusion of persons with disabilities.

Criteria for the Award
Research which reflects the following criteria will be considered:

  • Project and/or research is complete;
  • A reflection of the values of Independent Living are evident throughout the work;
  • The values of participatory action research and the contributions of people with disabilities are evident in the work;
  • For primary research this means people with disabilities have been consulted and included in the research process;
  • For secondary research this means those sources cited and/or analyzed reflect the unique knowledge base produced by the disability community;
  • Respect for and recognition of the contributions of persons with a disability in the research process;
  • This means the insight, ideas and knowledge of people with disabilities are properly credited and participants with disabilities are given appropriate compensation for their contributions.

The author grants IL Canada permission to use data and results

Nominations for the John Lord Award

Deadline: October 15 Annually

Please ensure you have carefully read the criteria for the award and the summary of your work clearly reflects the award criteria.

Nominations may be submitted by mail, fax, or email.
Please fill out a nomination form and send it to:

Attention: IL Canada Awards

Independent Living Canada
402 - 214 Montral Road Ottawa, ON K1L 8L8
Phone: (613) 563-2581
Fax (613) 563-3861
Email: ilc-vac%23ca|awards

 Nomination Form PDF      /      Nomination Form rtf