I developed the questions for this interview by focusing on my aims of the project and the context of information that I hope to get from the participant.
My preliminary aims for this project were to ‘investigate how the institution prepares its staff to teach students with specific learning requirements. I wanted to use the information I gather from this interview to inform my questionnaire to the staff members at UAL which will be used to achieve the second two aims of the project.
This will help the questionnaire writer to determine which questions to ask and the type of language to use in order to carry out the ‘conversation’ with respondents in a way that they will understand and will help them to provide the information that is sought. (Bruce, I. 2008 p.8)
The questions I developed came from 6 areas of investigation:
- The training that is provided to its staff to support them in teaching disabled students.
- The individual support agreement (ISA) To help understand what information teachers are receiving about their students and how it is intended to be used.
- The Social Model of Disability and how it relates to the universities policies and training.
- The relationship between the disability service and UAL staff
- The implications of DSA funding changes on the training of staff.
- The future aims and challenges of the disability service at UAL and how the teaching staff could be better supported by the university.
When writing the question, I was aware that I needed to keep them open and without bias or assumption. This was especially apparent with the questions about the social model of disability and the language associated with it. My bias was that I believe it should be more considered within the teaching environment and staff should be encouraged to be aware of it and highlight the preferred language to their students.
Also, when writing the question, I found that I often incorporated two questions in one, after doing the interview I understood how important it is to present one at a time as the interviewee often forgets the second part of the question and only focus on the first.
These are my final question for the interview:
I have added orange notes that will help promote me and examples to provide further explanation if needed.
- What specialist training is given to staff to help them teach students with specific learning requirements? Ask for examples
Is this training mandatory or optional?
Are staff required to ‘top-up’ their training, and if so how often? If new legislation is passed are staff automatically informed/trained
- What is the purpose of the ISA report and how is it used?
- How do you decide how much of the ISA report is relevant and should be disclosed to staff?
- In the Social Model of Disability much is written about the preferred language and terminology. What is your view on this within the higher education environment?
These examples I have are taken from ‘Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Learning guide to the language.
Avoid/ offensive Preferred
A person with a disability Disabled person
The disabled Disabled person
Special Needs Individual needs
- How is awareness and understanding of language and terminology around disability promoted to teaching staff? For example, lecturers, technicians, support workers?
- How are communication and collaboration built between teaching or technical staff and The Disability Service?
- Could more be done to enhance such relationships to provide a consistent teaching experience?
- What implications do funding changes have on the disability training provided to teaching and technical staff?
- In your view are the teaching and technical staff of UAL adequately equipped to provide an inclusive and supportive environment for all students?
- What additional ways could staff be supported by UAL to provide a more inclusive environment for their students?
- What are the future aims and challenges of the disability service at UAL?