Practice-based research activities

Our Sense research strategy recognised that staff who support a range of deafblind individuals via Sense services have extensive experience of meeting the needs of deafblind people, and that their insights may be a significant contribution to research activities.

A young woman communictes by signing with another womanThe access that such staff have to deafblind service users through their work-related roles is proving invaluable for research purposes. Supporting staff to engage in more systematic research activity in the context of their practice has been thought likely to yield a rich source of highly relevant data and ideas for developing into larger-scale research projects.

A framework for video analysis of practice

This research reported on developing good working practice with people who have sensory impairments, and limited communication skills, by using video analysis and a framework of seven principles which expand staff expertise.
As part of the background to this research it is believed that to provide high-quality services it is important for staff to have a proficient skills set, and to feel confident within their role.

By using video and the seven principles (below), a practical tool and framework were developed to provide staff with valuable and precise feedback for evaluation.

The seven key principles that formed the framework were:

  1. What are the aims of the activity?
  2. How did I tell the deafblind person that the activity had commenced and did the person anticipate?
  3. How did the person and I interact during the activity?
  4. How did I use sign, speech, objects of reference, pictures etc?
  5. How did I use physical guidance, physical prompts and verbal prompts?
  6. Had I given the deafblind person time to complete the task?
  7. What was my role in the task? Have I done things for the deafblind person that they could do?

Results of this research showed that staff skills had improved through self-reflection.

The research was undertaken by Asun Snow and Anne Telling and completed in October 2011.

First published: Wednesday 23 May 2012
Updated: Tuesday 15 October 2013