Online interviews are deemed an effective and appropriate approach for accessing discourse about the online experiences of people with disabilities. Some of the central arguments in support of conducting discursive research online, a type of qualitative approach, are delineated. Various practical benefits are considered for researchers, as well as participants--especially those with disabilities. Ethical issues surrounding access to, and the analysis of, readily available data in online communities are brought to the fore. In light of ethical dilemmas surrounding naturalistic data collection online, an alternative approach is offered, which utilizes online interviews with people with disabilities about their online experiences. A description of the data-collection process is given, including participants and recruitment, materials and procedures, rapport building, and security and ethics. Reflections on the process highlight how methodological pitfalls were managed and, in some cases, resolved.
Bowker, N., & Tuffin, K. (2009). Using the online medium for discursive research about people with disabilities. In N. Fielding (Ed.), Interviewing II (Vol. 1), (pp. 225-271). London, England: Sage.