• Designated or preferred? A deaf academic and two signed language interpreters working together for a PhD defence: A case study of best practice

      De Meulder, Maartje; Napier, Jemima; Stone, Christopher (Conference of Interpreter Trainers, 2018-12-26)
      In this paper we present an appreciative inquiry case study of our work together in a PhD defence, which we believe demonstrates a best practice in the field of signed language interpreting. We call into question the meaning and relevance of the ‘designated interpreter’ model, examining whether there is a ‘perfect formula’ for deaf academics and interpreters working together, not only in PhD defences, but also in academia more generally. We also challenge the very system for the provision of interpreter services as an institution creating structural inequalities, because it is heavily based on privilege. We argue that what is key is preference (i.e. the ability to exercise real choice) and familiarity, rather than the assignation of a ‘designated’ interpreter, and that simply achieving a degree in interpreting cannot guarantee that an interpreter will be prepared to meet the needs of deaf professionals. We also argue that sign language interpreter education needs to focus more than it does now on training to work into English (and/or other spoken languages in non-English-speaking countries), on performing visibly comfortable language work, and on specific specializations linked to deaf professional access and continuing professional development.
    • Increasing athlete knowledge of mental health and intentions to seek help: The State of Mind Ireland (SOMI) Pilot Program

      Breslin, Gavin; Haughey, Tandy; O'Brien, Wesley; Caulfield, Laura; Robertson, Alexa; Lawlor, Martin (Human Kinetics, 2018-03-01)
      The present study had three aims, to determine: (a) whether providing a curriculum-based mental health awareness program to athletes increased knowledge of mental health and intentions to offer support; (b) whether the program increased resilience and well-being compared to a control group; and (c) the feasibility of the program. A total of 100 participants (Mage = 20.78; SD = 2.91; male = 59) either attended the program or were part of a control group. Participants completed questionnaires pre-, post-, and 3-months post-intervention, although there was a low participant return rate for the 3-month follow-up (n = 15). Participants were invited to take part in a focus group to explore program relevance. Knowledge of mental health and intentions to offer support increased for the intervention group, compared to the control. The program with some modification could be integrated into university sport courses to promote mental health awareness.
    • ‘You just have to work with what you’ve got’ Practitioner research with precarious migrant families

      Jolly, Andrew (Taylor and Francis, 2017-10-09)
      Undocumented migrant families experience high levels of food poverty, exclusion from mainstream benefits, and sometimes from social work services. This is an under-researched area for social work in the UK, and there is no statutory guidance for social workers on supporting undocumented migrants. Practitioner research is one way of ‘visibilising’ their experiences. Six migrant families accessing a voluntary sector stay and play project were interviewed using a practitioner research model of semi-structured interviews on the themes of food, access to services and children. The research found that families responded to their situation with a seemingly contradictory strategy of resignation and resilience. The implications for practitioners working with this user group are considered, and suggestions for support services for this group of families are offered.
    • Sign language interpreter aptitude: The trials and tribulations of a longitudinal study

      Stone, Christopher (2017-01-01)
      This paper discusses the process of undertaking an exploratory longitudinal study of language learning and interpreter aptitude. It discusses the context of aptitude testing, the test selection for a test battery, the recruitment of subjects within the small-scale study (n=22) and the administration of that battery within the context of whether longitudinal studies are feasible with small cohorts of sign language interpreters. Sign languages continue to be languages of limited diffusion in Europe. Even with gradually increasing numbers of ‘hearing’ sign language users, typically those wishing to become sign language interpreters do not have high levels of sign language fluency prior to enrolling in sign language interpreter training. As such, these students need to gain fluency in sign language, whilst also beginning to engage in interpreter education and interpreting-skills development. To date there is little understanding of how best to screen sign language interpreter program applicants to ensure the effective use of resources, i.e. to educate those who will both learn sign language to C1 fluency (Pro-signs, 2016) during the BA and also be able to learn how to interpret. Longitudinal studies enable us to take a longer view of learning and the professionalisation of skills and knowledge. They do, however, require significant time and this in itself can prove to be an obstacle when university researchers are required to produce tangible research outputs for career goals such as promotion or tenure.
    • Counterintuitive findings from a qualitative study of mental health in English women’s prisons

      Caulfield, Laura (Humanitas Foundation, 2016-12-01)
      Purpose Large numbers of women in prison report significant emotional and mental health problems, and there is evidence to suggest that the prison environment may exacerbate the incidence and severity of these issues (Armour, 2012). However, there has been limited exploration of the extent to which women’s mental health problems exist prior to incarceration, whether symptoms first occur in incarceration, and how incarceration affects this. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach In-depth interviews were conducted with 43 women incarcerated in three English prisons and a thematic analysis of the data was conducted. Review of official prison records provided a form of data triangulation. Findings Analysis of the data revealed that while many women who experienced mental health issues in prison had experienced these issues in the past, a number of women reported first experiencing mental health and emotional problems only after entering prison. Although these problems often recede, this demonstrates the significant impact that entering prison can have upon the mental health of women. Unusually, the data highlighted many positive experiences of support within prison. However, there was some lack of consistency in the treatment and support offered to women. Originality/value The data presented here are in many ways more positive than previous research and – as opposed to much of the existing literature that simply states the prevalence women’s issues in prison – provides insight into the lived experiences of women in prison. This paper documents how prison can present an opportunity for women to engage with treatment, but there is a need for a clearer understanding of women’s needs and consistent and appropriate support.
    • Exploring alternative terrain in the rehabilitation and treatment of offenders: findings from a prison-based music project

      Caulfield, Laura; Wilkinson, Dean John; Wilson, David (Taylor and Francis, 2016-07-05)
      The arts in prison settings have provided an alternative or complimentary component to rehabilitation. Despite increased interest, studies capturing the voice of offenders participating in projects and the long-term impact are limited. Data from semistructured interviews with 18 men who had taken part in a music-based project while incarcerated, including one group of five participants who were tracked for 18 months with supplemented data from correctional staff and official documentation, is presented. Participants of the art-based projects comment on changes they believe to have derived from participating in the project, particularly relating to emotions, self-esteem, self-confidence, communication and social skills. An exoffender sample of participants reported that participation in art projects provide experiences that promote beneficial skills that have been useful for post prison life.
    • Recommendations for recruiting and retaining adolescent girls in chronic exercise (training) research studies

      Massie, Rachel; Smith, Brett; Tolfrey, Keith (MDPI, 2015-08-26)
      Extensive challenges are often encountered when recruiting participants to chronic exercise (training) studies. High participant burden during chronic exercise training programmes can result in low uptake to and/or poor compliance with the study. The aim of this qualitative study was to identify factors affecting adolescent girls’ recruitment and adherence to chronic exercise training research studies. Twenty-six adolescent girls (aged 12 to 15 years) participated in one of five focus groups discussing recruitment and retention to exercise physiology research involving a chronic exercise training programme. A thematic analysis was used to analyse the data and eight final themes were inductively identified. Seven evidence-based practical recommendations are suggested to improve the recruitment and retention of participants for prospective, chronic exercise training studies. Successful recruitment requires: (i) the defining of exercise-related terms; (ii) appropriate choice of recruitment material; and (iii) an understanding of participant motivations. Retention strategies include: (iv) regular monitoring of participant motives; and (v) small groups which foster peer and researcher support. Finally, (vi) friendship and ability groups were favoured in addition to (vii) a variety of activities to promote adherence to an exercise training programme.