About DBI

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Donald Beasley Institute

Established in Ōtepoti Dunedin in 1984, the DBI is recognised nationally and internationally as a leader in the field of disability research, with particular expertise in learning (intellectual) disability. We are committed to ethical, inclusive and transformative research and projects that promote the rights of disabled people.

Kā Matāpono - Our Values

Whakatinana / Honour Te Tīriti o Waitangi

Mā te aroā o Te Tīriti o Waitangi, ka ora ai te mauri o kā takata o Aotearoa                                                                                   

  • By honouring our roles and responsibilities under Te Tīriti o Waitangi, we aspire to ensure that our nation’s founding document is reflected in our practice


Whakarakatira / Respectful

Mā te whakarakatira i te tapu o te takata, ka ora ai tātou

  • By respecting the uniqueness of each person, our collective well-being will be enhanced


Whakawhanaukataka / Relational

Mā te whakawhanaukataka, ka roko ai

  • From authentic connections, comes transformation


Whakamana / Ethical

Mā te whakamana i te tikaka, ka āhei ai tātou

  • Through upholding the dignity of others, our goals can be achieved


Whakawhirinaki / Accountable

Mā te whakawhirinaki, ka puāwai ai

  • Through working with accountability, we help those around us to flourish


Whakakotahi / Inclusive

Mā te whakakotahi, ka eke panuku tahi ai tātou

  • Through inclusion, the quality of our work is strengthened



Mā te hāpai i te whānau, kā tōnui tō tātou haerekatahi

  • Through uplifting whānau, our journey together will be one of prosperity


Kōrero Whakamārama

When writing in te reo Māori, we use the Kāi Tahu dialect which replaces the ng with a k (for example: whakarongo is changed to whakaroko) - we have underlined the k (if technically possible) whenever this has been applied. 

Kā Whāika - Our Aim

The DBI aims to advance the rights of disabled people, with a particular focus on people with learning disabilities, through research, monitoring, evaluation, education and other projects that seek to: 

  • Understand the lived experiences of disabled people, recognising cultural diversity, gender, age, and other intersecting identities;
  • Generate inclusive and accessible evidence-based research that can be used to inform the development and delivery of responsive support and the progressive realisation of the UNCRPD;
  • Deliver transformative research and evaluation meaningful to disabled people, families/whānau and disability services;
  • Build research capacity of disabled researchers through collaboration with disabled people, DPOs, and the disability sector;
  • Disseminate accessible and evidence-based research and education.
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