Journal Paper: “Researching Displaced Persons During COVID-19: Catering for Users’ Specific Needs in Media Accessibility Projects”

María Jiménez-Andrés
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Nourhan Alemam
Southern New Hampshire University


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has created additional barriers to human interactions. For those conducting research with displaced persons, the barriers posed by COVID-19 add up to the existing linguistic, cultural, geographical, and ethical obstacles that this type of research involves. In most cases, researchers have resorted to technological solutions to bridge the communication gap caused by the pandemic. However, the heterogeneous profiles and disadvantaged circumstances of displaced persons require further considerations and planning. This paper examines the experiences of researchers conducting research with displaced persons during COVID. It outlines the special considerations taken and provides recommendations for those conducting research in similar contexts. The communities that engaged in this research were based in Greece, Poland, Italy, Lebanon, and Spain. While the focus of the study displaced persons, the insights presented can be of benefit to those conducting research with other vulnerable groups.

Keywords: accessibility, asylum-seekers, COVID-19, data collection, interpreting, refugees, research