Research at the AWVB is structured into five themes:
• Self-determination & experiential expertise
• Families
• Quality care and professional support
• eHealth
• Covid-19


The AWVB and its partners collaborate to co-develop practice-based research inspired by these themes. Rather than conducting research into people with intellectual disabilities in practice, we conduct research with people with intellectual disabilities in practice. Collaborating with researchers, healthcare practitioners, and experts-by-experience, we determine which topics are important to research and where information is lacking. Examples include increasing the autonomy and self-determination of people with intellectual disabilities; experiential expertise; employment participation; and the possibilities of eHealth.

Connection with practice

One of the ways the AWVB unites practice and scientific research is by supporting ‘science practitioners’. Science practitioners combine working in healthcare (as a therapist, for example) with conducting research or pursuing a PhD at Tilburg University. Moreover, as an alternative to simply asking experts-by-experience with intellectual disabilities for their input, experts-by-experience work with us as co-researchers.

The AWVB translates findings from research into accessible resources for healthcare practice and education. These resources range from digital tools and videos to factsheets, and from methods and manuals to training courses to educational modules. We also organise meetings to disseminate current research findings, allowing people with intellectual disabilities, their families, and current and future healthcare professionals to apply research to their daily lives.