Drawing on a discussion of three empirical research studies, this paper aims to reflect on the main methodological and ethical challenges connected to qualitative research involving disa-bled people as research participants. These three case studies were strategically selected on the basis of their adoption of qualitative research techniques that imply increasing degrees of participation of people with different disabilities (physical, mental, and relational). Drawing on examples taken from these three studies, the authors discuss how research participation of people with different characteristics and experiences implies specific methodological and ethi-cal challenges. If researchers address these challenges, research raises the possibility of not only expanding knowledge of scarcely explored social contexts, but also contributing to the promotion of the well-being and empowerment of disabled people.
Keywords: disability; participatory research; qualitative methods; empowerment.