Conference presentation
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Renewed Categories for the Analysis of Paraplegic People's Experience of Gender and Disability: Some Relevant Instruments for Peer Coaching

ContributorsPont, Elenaorcid
Presented atESREA Conference 2016, Maynooth (Ireland), 8-11 September 2016
Publication date2016

Our object is the reconstruction of their vocational trajectories by paraplegic patients during their stay at the rehabilitation centre. The centre provides these patients with educational means and vocational counselling aiming at them returning to labour. The patients usually manage a personalised project of vocational reorientation. Our hypothesis is nonetheless that the discourse of counselling conveys gendered and disabling stereotypes (English, 2006; Ville, 2005) which may limit the patients' self-determination (Deci & Ryan, 2002), and hinder the achievement of the vocational project. In order to test our hypothesis, we have collected 11 paraplegic people's vocational life narratives. By the means of narration, informers are able to regenerate the meanings of their vocational trajectories and in so doing, they can build personal ‘experience models' (Van Dijk, 2009). Experience models are sets of meanings attributed to one's life story, and to which subjects resort to make sense of a biographical ‘turning point' (Abbott, 2001). A ‘turning point' may be understood as a situation of informal learning. For paraplegic people, the learning of how to manage the effects of impairment (especially in labour) is a significant turning point. This sort of management may be trained in varied situations of informal learning. The resulting experiential knowledge is connected to issues of gender and disability underpinning paraplegic people's experience in labour. This original knowledge may be transmitted to paraplegic peers through the practice of peer-coaching (Myers, 2015). This practice consists in the transmission of their experience from an autonomous disabled person to another disabled person searching for more autonomy, especially at the workplace. The goal of peer-coaching is guiding the ‘peer-coached' person towards the acknowledgment of their own capacities, rights and duties in labour. Nowadays, peer-coaching is regularly practised in the rehabilitation of paraplegic people. Despite the praises usually heaped on peer-coaching, a lack of specific training to this practice may be noted, whether on the side of the professionals of rehabilitation, or on the side of the ‘peer-coachers'. The aim of our communication is to show that conscientized experience models of gender and disability may become instructional means in the training to peer-coaching, both in rehabilitative protocols and in associations of autonomous peers.

  • Paraplegia
  • Life Narrative
  • Turning Points
  • Representations of Gender and Disability
  • Experiential Knowledge
  • (Training to) Peer-Coaching
Citation (ISO format)
PONT, Elena. Renewed Categories for the Analysis of Paraplegic People’s Experience of Gender and Disability: Some Relevant Instruments for Peer Coaching. In: ESREA Conference 2016. Maynooth (Ireland). 2016.
Main files (1)
  • PID : unige:105937

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