Whose "Voice" is it Anyway?: Giving Voice and Qualitative Research Involving Individuals that Type to Communicate
Keywords:voice, qualitative research, supported typing, disability studies, interviewing
voice, qualitative research, supported typing, disability studies, interviewing
One of the critical questions facing Disability Studies is how to make central the voices of individuals with disabilities in research? In this paper, I interrogate the idea of "voice" in critical, qualitative research and its application to research involving individuals who do not use speech as their primary mode of expression. How does critical, qualitative research and theories of voice position participants whose means of expression challenge traditional notions of normative participation? I first problematize the premise of giving voice generally and then present four key issues, which include a) the question of competence for individuals who do not use speech, b) hearing silence, c) agency and voice, and d) broadening the conceptualization of voice beyond speech. I conclude with implications for qualitative researchers and others interested in facilitating voice for individuals using alternative forms of expression.