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Teenage Worlds, Teenage Voices: An anthropological study of identity and lifeworlds with teenage AAC users

Session 
4.2
Research
  • Mary Wickenden
Summary

This paper will present the results and analysis of an ethnographic study of a group of teenagers who use AAC. The study draws on theoretical influences from Childhood studies, Disability Studies and anthropology, and so sees disabled adolescents as competent people, who given appropriate opportunities have important things to say about their lives. The project used a range of qualitative methods to explore aspects of identity and the lifeworlds of 12 young people aged 10-17, over an eighteen month period, by spending time with them in a variety of settings.

The findings have implications for the way young AAC users are seen and included in their communities. An overview will be given of the four main themes which emerged from the analysis: Voices, Different Selves, How others see me, My body and the kit.

Level of Session 
3
Age Group 
Adolescent
Interest 
Topic of interest to people who use AAC
Secondary school transition
Transition
Mainstream
Special