Hear my story: the reflective experience of a hearing impaired researcher conducting a study on the impact of hearing loss in Guatemala


  • Mark James Spreckley
  • Hannah Kuper


Disability, Hearing Impairment, Inclusive Research, Systems Framework, Impact Study


There is currently a strong emphasis on research about disability being conducted by persons with disabilities. However, to date there has been a notable lack of such research in the academic literature. With a bilateral, idiopathic hearing impairment, this reflective account explores my journey as a researcher, conducting a study on the impact of hearing loss and provision of hearing aids in Guatemala. In order to systematically explore my personal experiences of fieldwork and understand the dynamic inter-relationships, a systems-theory based conceptual framework was applied. The research identifies the practical environmental challenges and explores the academic implications such as the potential for prejudice and bias. The shared knowledge and experience of hearing loss contributed to effective research tool design, aided participant and stakeholder communication and facilitated data interpretation and analysis. This account recognises the positive contributions that such inclusive research may provide.