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Having their say: email interviews for research data collection with people who have verbal communication impairment

Ison Nicole, L.,

Academic Literature

2009

In‐depth interviewing research methods traditionally rely upon face‐to‐face or telephone conversation between investigator and participant. Participation of people with verbal communication impairments has often been restricted in research studies using these methods; their stories have all too frequently been left unheard or told by proxies. This paper describes the use of email interviewing to rectify this gap and facilitate research participation by people with impaired verbal communication. Issues related to this method are detailed using literature, previous scholarship and the author's research that explored the experience of people aged 18–25 years who have cerebral palsy. Recruitment, informed consent, rapport development, data collection, storage and analysis techniques are described. Benefits and potential limitations of email interviews for both participant and researcher are identified. Offering an alternative to traditional verbal interviews can increase opportunities.

Publication information

Journal/Publication : International Journal of Social Research Methodology

Location : Australasia

Domain/s: Community and civic participation

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