Florjan Rojba, Executive Director, Albanian National Association of the Deaf, ANAD
I shall describe here how we prepared the questions for the survey along with our project partner Inkeri Lahtinen of the Finnish Association for the Deaf and researcher Päivi Rainò from Humak University of Applied Sciences. We had lengthy conversations in Finland concerning the life and status of deaf people in my country. One example was naturally my personal life experiences as a deaf citizen born and raised in Albania. I was also involved in conducting a similar but a smaller scale survey in 2003, and based on this I already had a good overview and rough sense of the overall living conditions of deaf people in our country.
We then had a closer look at a similar study conducted among the deaf community in Kosovo. We did not want to repeat the Kosovo study, however, as there are differences between our countries and their histories and contexts. At this stage, the first draft of the survey form was designed by Päivi Rainò.
But how should the survey be carried out? Should the data be collected in the field using paper forms? At Rainò's initiative, we decided to utilise the electronic survey platform provided by Webropol, where answers would be automatically saved to the Finnish server. We would thus be able to save the survey answers with the push of a button and transfer them immediately via Internet to Finland to be processed and analysed by the researcher. In more remote areas, where there may not necessarily be locally functioning electronic Internet connections, the interviewers could rely on Internet connection via USB sticks, in addition to using traditional paper forms. – We went through different scenarios for fieldwork implementation. We also discussed the first draft of the survey form, which was based on the Kosovo survey, with Rainò here in Tirana, and brought up our own suggestions and additions. We went through the form several times, considering different aspects that should be added and deleted. We also discussed the phrasing of questions with several Albanian deaf people. After that, the researcher drew up the first version of the questions.
After my return to Albania, Päivi Rainò continued the work in Finland and bounced ideas off with our deaf Finnish foreign adviser Arttu Liikamaa as well. Once we had received a new set of questions in English for review, I carefully went through each one with my interpreter, Nikoleta Spahi, and Arttu Liikamaa. She interpreted the questions into Albanian sign language, and we fine-tuned them further based on my comments. There were 47 questions in total at this point. We once again discussed the online form with Inkeri Lahtinen and Päivi Rainò, after which Nikoleta Spahi translated the questions from English into Albanian.