Aims and Objectives

The themes under investigation by this research are unique in nature. Stigma can lead to increased barriers to services, exclusion, and negative experiences, yet little is known about the lived experiences of people impacted by several dimensions of stigma (intersectional stigma). This project will co-produce solutions and interventions with older disabled adults that break down the barriers to access and inclusion created by stigma in key services. The over-arching aim of ISPA is two-fold:

  • Investigate the lived realities of disabled adults with sensory and mobility impairments, identifying how different types of stigma (related to age, disability and place) converge to produce added barriers to living inclusively.
  • Co-produce an innovative Inclusive Living Toolkit to include the experiences of older disabled adults and use it to facilitate organisational change that supports accessible and inclusive practice in homes and neighbourhoods.

Furthermore, the project has six main objectives to be achieved by its five work packages.

  1. Understand the lived experiences and contextual effects of intersectional stigma for disabled adults, specifically with mobility and sensory impairments via qualitative and quantitative secondary analysis and a new qualitative longitudinal dataset.
  2. Use the above information to help generate understandings of the ways in which 'ageing-in-place' and place-based practical solutions in housing practice may hold potential for tackling intersectional stigma and inequality via accessible homes and communities.
  3. Build research capacity through establishing a group of older (65+) disabled community peer-researchers who will research the lived experiences of disabled people and their experiences of intersectional stigma.
  4. Develop an existing Inclusive Living Toolkit to integrate lived experience of disabled older adults to tackle inequalities related to accessibility via home and neighbourhood modifications and support ageing-in-place.
  5. Facilitate organisational change via a newly developed Inclusive Living Toolkit to deliver practical interventions that support accessible home and neighbourhood modifications.
  6. Monitor and evaluate change and tangible impact instigated from O3-5 to determine the extent to which home and neighbourhood modifications can reduce stigma related to perceptions around adaptations, ageing, place and disability and how these impact on inclusion.


The Intersectional Stigma of Place-Based Ageing (ISPA) Project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and runs from September 2022 to September 2027.

The project is a collaboration between the University of Stirling and the University of St Andrews, Newcastle University and University of Bristol. We are also partnered with the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (Housing LIN) and Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA).