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The IECSS project is a longitudinal study that conducts annual interviews with families of children who are accessing disability and developmental services. We interview family members once per year and ask them about the actions and work that they have done to access institutions on behalf of their children. Our methodological approaches produce empirical evidence of the ideology, processes, and social relations (Graheme, 1998) in early intervention, care and education for children with disabilities. We document the institution from the standpoint of families in order to understand the work that they do in relation to these institutions. We have multiple methods of analysis, including:

Our methods are depicted in the figure below with our theoretical frameworks listed on the right.

Institutional ethnography is concerned with how “ruling relations” shape everyday lives. Ruling relations are the administrative, managerial, professional, and discursive organization of the regulations, and the governing structures of a society (Smith, 2006 and 2009). Fundamental to the Institutional Ethnography approach is the mapping of how the actual activities of the institution are carried out (Campbell & Gregor, 2008).

All interviews are coded to identify disability constructs, cultural viewpoints and family perspectives as articulated by Institutional Ethnography. For example, we code attributes and descriptions of process, as well as activities related to institutional interactions. This approach provides a systematic method for analysing the large number of transcripts generated in a longitudinal study of this size.

In addition, we code for reference to particular political or social positions that families hold such as disability and deaf culture, and Indigenous worldview, and racialized and new immigrant childhoods.

We analyse demographic information about the group of participants using questionnaire data. We also do multi-variate analysis of findings from questions about how supported a family feels (adapted from Epley, et al. 2011); and the processes a family has with the program their child attends most frequently using the Measure of Processes of Care (King, et al., 1995).

Systems level analysis will build from findings in the content analysis and institutional mapping, with the express aim of modeling for theoretical understanding. We will use social network analysis (Knoke & Yang, 2008; Kocak, 2014) to understand how service system works for families whose children experience disability (Castrodale, & Crooks, 2010; Graham & Underwood, 2012). We are analysing the network pathways for each family (including referral, assessment, transitions) and child and family outcomes from variables identified through interviews and questionnaire data, as a measure of network functioning. We will be able to identify which services have a high degree of centrality in the network, and which services may be peripheral to the network but serve a highly specialized function. In addition, geographic features of the network, including distance, location in relation to population, and location in relation to other services will be investigated.

Geospatial analysis

With thanks to students from Ryerson University’s Department of Geography and Environmental Science, we have mapped the geographic features of the network, including distance, location in relation to population, and location in relation to other services will be investigated for importance in the model. The proposed models will give us systems information that can lead to improvements in quality and access to services, improve interventions, reduce unnecessary interventions, and finally support the scaling up of data driven innovations.