In the latter half of 2014, DISCIT consortium members will begin collecting data on active citizenship in Europe. At a recent event in Florence (hosted by the University of Florence), DISCIT researchers discussed the challenges and opportunities in conducting life course interviews.
Life course interviews attempt to capture the diverse experiences and situations of persons with disabilities. By conducting life course interviews, DISCIT aims to understand the social, cultural and political contexts of active citizenship. The information contained in these interviews will form the basis for DISCIT’s future research. However, conducting these interviews is a scientific challenge. DISCIT researchers must conduct the interviews so that they are comparable between countries and yet still capture the unique experiences of the participants.
In order to do this, DISCIT will interview 24 people in nine countries. One male and one female will be interviewed from three different age groups, and each age group will include different types of disability. The interviews will include sensory, cognitive and mobility related disabilities. In addition, the interviews will cover the different DISCIT work packages.
In all, DISCIT will collect over 300 hours’ worth of interview data. This amount of data will provide an enormous basis to analyze the role of active citizenship in Europe. This information will provide new insights for policy makers in Europe and internationally, and it will allow future researchers and policy makers to gain a critical understand of the role of active citizenship in the lives of persons with disabilities.
Continue reading for pictures from the event.