Using Photo-Elicitation to Break the Silence
Inspired by my former students, who are now adults, I began researching the perspectives of individuals with intellectual disability on their quality of life. Even though communication for some individuals with disability can be difficult, my use of photo elicitation helped participants take abstract concepts and make them concrete, resulting in a multitude of stories, details of events, personal emotions and ideas from each, individual participant. These stories and details allowed me to share their story, a story that has been tucked away, hidden from society. This chapter explores the use of photo-elicitation with adults with Intellectual Disability (ID). Using Bronfenbrenner’s ecology theory (2006), I sought to discover how adults with ID perceive their Quality of Life (QoL). Stories and detailed information were elicited from the participants’ photos which resulted in observations, interviews, and additional photos, purposed for further elicitation, taken by the researcher. From these stories, I developed case studies that provide insight to the thoughts and perceptions of adults with intellectual disability on their quality of life, a story that has been historically undocumented.
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