Deafening Silences: Researching with Inarticulate Children

Allison Boggis



children, disability, mediated communication


This paper is based on in-depth, qualitative research with disabled children who use mediated communication in the form of high-tech Augmentative and Alternative Communication Systems (AACS). The study was carried out over a period of 18 months as part of the author's PhD research. Key methodological issues for qualitative research are discussed within the paper, which is founded on the sociological understanding of childhood that recognises disabled children as competent research participants. The paper outlines specific issues that arose during the research process in relation to gaining access to disabled children and the challenges of interviewing inarticulate participants. Within this context, the methodological issues of consent and authenticity of voice are discussed, as they are considered particularly relevant to researchers who seek to include disabled children in qualitative research.


children; disability; mediated communication

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Copyright (c) 2011 Allison Boggis

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