Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DEALS (Deaf life narratives in times of transition.)
Reporting period: 2015-11-01 to 2017-10-31
Since DLSW is new, and it was the first time the host group worked with deaf migrants and refugees, the Experienced Researcher (ER) first introduced the study to social work, mental health services, and migrant/refugee organisations; this supported the application for ethical approval in March 2016. The project received approval from the Manchester Research Ethics Committee in June 2016, after which signed translations were made of the call for participants, information sheets and consent forms.
Data collection started in October 2016, with a sample of eight deaf participants aged 20 to 50, seven of whom arrived in the UK at various ages across a span of 40 years. Four to eight sessions were offered, lasting three hours each, enabling the ER to optimise her approach according to participants’ language competences, providing them with the opportunity to develop a coherent life story and find meaning in it.
The ER undertook professional training at the University of East London, organised by the Institute of Arts in Therapy and Education, earning a Diploma in Therapeutic Life Story Work. An ESRC IAA (Impact Acceleration Account) grant, entitled ‘The right of each deaf young person and adult to tell his/her life story: a new intervention to enrich deaf wellbeing’, enabled the ER to collaborate with IATE to co-write a DLSW manual that operationalises the findings and guides service providers’ interventions with deaf young people and adults. It will also support future training and research.
The findings were presented at an internal research seminar at the Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work on 19th September 2017, in a presentation entitled Enhancing deaf wellbeing through life story telling: an evidence-based method. In addition to the fellowship’s objective, dissemination and engagement were bolstered by an ESRC IAA grant. This enabled the ER to organise a national workshop on DLSW, which took place at the University of Manchester (UoM) on 20th September 2017.
The ESRC IAA grant enhanced and maximised the impact of the fellowship through disseminating the findings and engaging a broad range of audiences including deaf citizens, health and social care professionals, and third-sector stakeholder organisations. It did this through a sensitisation video and a workshop at the UoM to invite discussion on the app development and seek new knowledge from stakeholders’ perspectives to further the relevance, impact and utility of the DLSW approach. The workshop was attended by 18 deaf service users, mental health and social work service providers (including deaf professionals), medical staff from mental health hospitals, and therapeutic LSW trainers and practitioners. It led to the first-ever DLSW stakeholder network.
The multilingual video is based on the data and makes the findings immediately accessible to its target beneficiaries, as it is presented in BSL with English subtitles. It forms a reference film for potential users of DLSW and a summary of the researcher’s work during the fellowship. To serve multiple groups with very different language skills, maximise dissemination channels and impact, and pave the way for sustainable training initiatives, three versions (5-minute, 30-minute, and 50-minute) were created. The videos support the impact of the app by demonstrating its use.