Evaluation Methods for Vulnerable Populations: The Case for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

lcj-14-coverKathryn Cairns, Patrick McLaren, Janet Clinton & Ruth Aston

LCJ: Special Issue: Evaluation, 14, pp. 166-179

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Cairns, K., McLaren, P., Clinton, J., & Aston, R. (2014). Evaluation Methods for Vulnerable Populations: The Case for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts [Special Issue: Evaluation], 14, 166-179. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18793/LCJ2014.14.12.



Conducting research and evaluation with vulnerable populations requires deliberate and mindful adherence to ethical standards and principles such as those outlined in the Belmont report, the Nuremberg Code and Declaration of Helsinki, the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research, as well as other professional standards of practice. When working with these populations, the principles of beneficence and non-maleficence, in particular, must be embedded from the project outset through to the dissemination of the findings. However, operationalising these principles can pose a challenge in practice. In this paper, we will present a case study of an evaluation of a real-time captioning program for Deaf/hard of hearing students, to illustrate the implementation of an inclusive and participatory evaluation methodological framework, in which adherence to ethical standards and principles was first and foremost.


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