The research context: the French law of 11 February 2005 “for equal rights and opportunities, participation and citizenship of disabled people” promotes social participation of people with disabilities and the development of a more inclusive society. In education, the Refoundation Law of the School of the Republic of 2013 creates the framework for an “inclusive school”. In fact, more and more children and young adults are included in the regular school system. However, France has a long tradition of institutionalization of disability. Today, the medical education sector groups together thousands of people with disabilities. Institutionalization and progress towards a more inclusive society will meets resistance. Many studies show that despite the new legal framework, empowering people with disabilities remains complicated. France is therefore in a context of transition. Professionals who accompany people with disabilities must develop new skills and change certain perceptions of disability.
Objectives of the research:
The research will aim to collect and analyze focus discussion groups of professionals working with young adults with disabilities and users. They will be asked about their professional experience and life at the Centre de la Gabrielle. How do they each utilize the devices targeting social participation and deinstitutionalization?
The research will be qualitative. It is based on discussion groups and non-structured interviews.
The research will be divided into several steps:
September 2016 to June 2017.
The researcher creates and runs a discussion group open to different professionals from the Centre de la Gabrielle (educators, teachers) who work with young adults with intellectual disabilities on a daily basis. The group will meet once a month for three hours. The researcher leading the group will invite a member of the group to freely discuss their work by recounting professional situations. This work will allow for hearing of the professional’s unconscious perceptions concerning disability, thus constituting the research material. This research approach is based on the idea that certain negative perceptions of disability hinder daily work and constitute barriers to deinstitutionalisation. This device is also a training device insofar as it allows the professionals to be made aware of these unconscious perceptions and transform them.
Step 2: Individual unstructured interviews will add to this work to deepen the analysis of the perceptions of professionals.
At the same time, a mechanism to record the comments and views of users will also be put in place. The researcher will utilize a mechanism already in place at the Centre de la Gabrielle in which video interviews of young adults with disabilities representing the various services of the Centre are carried out by two videographers. This approach will enable an understanding of the experiences and needs of these young adults. The analysis will allow for a cross-analysis of the experience of users and that of professionals.
Step 3: Understanding the Irish perspective.
To provide a counterpoint to what will be analyzed in the Centre de la Gabrielle, the researcher will lead some non-structured interviews with professionals and users of Maynooth University and Stewarts care.
To promote the dissemination of its results, the research will give way to a report in both French and English.