I have now done 21 interviews, of which 13 have been with disabled employers of PAs, 6 have been with past or present PAs, and the remaining 2 have been with individuals who have had experience both of working as PAs (prior to acquiring an impairment) and of employing PAs (who were extremely interesting people and I feel like it was a very lucky find, especially to get 2 people with the same dual experience, giving me some very important and unique perspectives!) – thus, in total, I have now interviewed 14 employers and 7 PAs (counting the people who have been both twice).
Having twice as many employers as PAs is not actually that bad compared to what I was expecting – I expected to have some difficulty finding PAs to interview, as disabled people have many organisations and networks, whereas PAs don’t really have anything comparable. (In fact, some of the PAs I have interviewed are themselves disabled people – although with different kinds of impairments to the employers – and were also found through Disabled People’s Movement circles, which is another interesting perspective, and one which of course interests me personally, as a disabled person with a “non-physical” impairment who has worked as a PA.) However, I do want to get as close as possible to “balance” between my 2 main groups of interviewees – while recognising that it doesn’t need to be, and probably won’t be, perfect balance in numbers – so I want to call for participants again, this time specifically looking for people (whether disabled or not) who currently work, or have formerly worked, as PAs for disabled people.
This doesn’t mean that I am no longer at all interested in interviewing disabled employers, but I think that I will now probably be more selective with employers and (for example) concentrate on people whose experiences of employing PAs are substantially different from those who I have employed already – so, if you are a disabled person who employs PAs and you have already expressed an interest in this research but I haven’t yet interviewed you, I will still interview you if you really want me to. However, it would be fantastic if you could share this with any of your (current or ex) PAs or anyone else you know who has worked as a PA and might be interested in being interviewed!
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