Reflecting on rapport: Strategies for online interviews about sensitive or distressing topics when interviewing children with disabilities

Presentation


Leslie, Rachel. 2023. "Reflecting on rapport: Strategies for online interviews about sensitive or distressing topics when interviewing children with disabilities." Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) 2023 Annual Conference. Melbourne, Australia 27 Nov - 01 Dec 2023 Australia.
Paper/Presentation Title

Reflecting on rapport: Strategies for online interviews about sensitive or distressing topics when interviewing children with disabilities

Presentation TypePresentation
AuthorsLeslie, Rachel
Number of Pages1
Year2023
Place of PublicationAustralia
Web Address (URL) of Paperhttps://www.xcdsystem.com/aare/program/PJRPyvc/index.cfm?pgid=2998
Web Address (URL) of Conference Proceedingshttps://www.aareconference.com.au/program-3/
Conference/EventAustralian Association for Research in Education (AARE) 2023 Annual Conference
Event Details
Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) 2023 Annual Conference
Parent
Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE)
Delivery
In person
Event Date
27 Nov 2023 to end of 01 Dec 2023
Event Location
Melbourne, Australia
Event Venue
Melbourne University
Abstract

In inclusive education it is imperative that researchers capture the voices of children with disabilities to ensure that the truth of their school experiences are recorded and understood. However, in circumstances where children are placed in a vulnerable position, such as in circumstances when the interview topic is potentially sensitive or distressing, researchers are challenged to reflect on relational aspects, such as building rapport. There are concerns that protecting children with disabilities from harm in research may lead to their voice and their truth being excluded from research or presumptions of vulnerability that perpetuate a deficit model of disability and childhood. 

When interviewing children with disabilities on sensitive topics, such as the difficulties and challenges they may have faced in the school context, establishing and building rapport is a crucial aspect of the research process. This is of particular significance when the interview is conducted online and there may be concerns about transferring rapport building strategies that have traditionally been used in face-to-face interviewing to the online context.   

Drawing on an investigation into the experiences of children with dyslexia in Australia to illustrate how researchers need to employ CHE principles and a range of strategies to ensure rapport is achieved, this presentation builds on the CHE (Connectivity, Humanness, Empathy) framework by extending it to the phenomenon of online interviews with children on sensitive or distressing topics. The examples provided illustrate how working with disabled children on sensitive or distressing topics in an online environment need not detract from the researcher’s ability to demonstrate empathy and create and empathetic rapport. This presentation will discuss how some strategies for developing rapport through the CHE framework transfer easily from face-to-face to online contexts, and illustrate how some innovative strategies, specific to online interviewing, can be employed to build trust and rapport.  

KeywordsOnline interviews, Rapport building, Vulnerability, Dyslexia
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020399999. Other education not elsewhere classified
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Southern Queensland
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