D7.4: Testing and Evaluation Topic guides development report (result of piloting task)

Project Reference


Project Acronym


Project Full Title

A Flexible Interactive Reading Support Tool

Distribution Level


Contractual Date of Delivery

30 March 2013

Actual Date of Delivery

27 March 2013

Document Number


Status & Version


Number of Pages


WP Contributing to the Deliverable


WP Task responsible

Vesna Jordanova


Arlinda Cerga Pashoja

Other Contributors

Martin Keats, Antoneta Shishkova, Sandra Freire Prudenco


Vesna Jordanova

EC Project Officer

Magdalena Szwochertowska


ASD, social inclusion, the digital divide, qualitative research, topic guides, focus groups

 Abstract: One of the most important contributions of the FIRST project will be the opportunity to explore the impact of Open Book software on social inclusion among people with ASD. Qualitative approach will provide the methodological framework that will allow in-depth assessment of personal experiences of social inclusion.

This report describes the preparatory stage of the qualitative research, namely the development of the ‘topic guides’. Research teams in Bulgaria and Spain assisted the London team in developing three separate ‘topic guides’. These guides will be used during qualitative interviews with adults with ASD and their carers as well as with carers of children with ASD. Topic guides were developed through a clear process of brainstorming ideas and receiving feedback from stakeholders who formed the focus groups. Thus, people with ASD, caregivers, professionals and researchers participated in three separate focus groups in UK, Bulgaria and Spain. Group discussions were focused on the theme of barriers to social inclusion for people with ASD and the interaction with reading comprehension difficulties for this population. These issues were explored further through one-to-one key informant interviews. Focus group discussions and one-to-one interviews shaped up our first draft of topic guides, which was later subjected to a thorough review by our focus groups, who provided individual feedback on the draft topic guides. Consequently, several amendments were made to the first draft and final topic guides were developed and approved.