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PhD student fieldwork in India

6 March, 2019

Our PhD student, Eilidh Rose McEwan, recently completed two weeks of fieldwork with the Indian team of our Deaf Multiliteracies project in Orissa and Indore. She completed the first component of her fieldwork at Happy Hands School for the Deaf. In the second week, Eilidh travelled to the city of Indore in the state of Madhya Pradesh to conduct research at Indore Bilingual School. Finally, two days were spent in Delhi, where research was carried out with the Delhi Foundation of Deaf Women.

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The fieldwork involved mapping activities, face-to-face interviews and focus groups. Our PhD student carried this out with the assistance of peer tutor Nirav Pal to facilitate and translate the mapping keywords and questions from English to Indian Sign Language (ISL). The mapping activities aimed to demonstrate links between self-determination across a range of everyday lived assets and capabilities that participants felt they were able or unable to do. The focus groups involved general questions that aimed to uncover more in-depth responses to skills and capabilities development in staff and learner roles within the broader Deaf Multiliteracies project.

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Eilidh would like to thank Sibaji Panda for the warm welcome to his home in Orissa, the peer tutors and staff at Happy Hands for her research support and likewise, for the peer tutors and staff at Indore Bilingual School. She commented: ‘It was an incredible opportunity to meet the project staff, learn about different approaches to education, and see the positive impact that combining sign language with English teaching is having on young deaf learners in the classroom. It was an enriching experience learning ISL and sharing some knowledge of BSL. I look forward to sharing the research findings soon.’

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An abstract to discuss her fieldwork methods in India has been accepted by the Development Studies Association conference for a PhD Masterclass. This conference abstract has also been awarded £300 funding from the UCLan Institute for Citizenship, Society and Change PhD conference call fund.

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