Date of Award
Dr. Sandy Pensoneau-Conway
The community of disabled and/or medically complex individuals represents a relatively small demographic worldwide; therefore, it is difficult for community members to find and build relationships with others directly within the local community whose lived experiences reflect their own. As a result, many individuals within the disabled and/or medically complex community experience isolation and depression. Social media and other digital resources often serve as a mechanism for community-building in such situations. Atypical Truth is a podcast that episodically explores a variety of topics that relate to life as caregivers, disabled individuals, and/or individuals with complex medical conditions.
I used Atypical Truth to collect qualitative data from two groups of participants, the listeners (audience) and the podcast guests (interviewees). The data collected were used to evaluate the effectiveness of utilizing a podcast as a platform to provide caregivers, disabled individuals, and/or individuals with a complex medical condition the following: (1) sense of personal connection, (2) sense of community (3) helpful insight into the personal lives of the guest, (4) helpful and informative resources, (5) a new or deeper understanding of the lived human experience, and (6) personal gain/benefits from the content. In addition to qualitative survey data, I also drew upon personal narrative in order to nuance the phenomenon of podcasting as a community-building resource.