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Nominal Group Technique: An Interactive Research Technique for Working With People with IDD

By Carli Friedman, CQL Director of Research

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) must often advocate for themselves in many facets of life, including sexuality. Because of this, sexual self-advocacy is an important concept to develop and apply to policy and practice. This paper provides a conceptualization of sexual self-advocacy, a view of sexuality formulated by adults with IDD that is closely tied to the values of the Self-Advocacy Movement. In describing the study process, this paper also puts forth the Participatory Action Research method Nominal Group Technique (NGT) as an accessible method for gaining insight from adults with IDD. The choice of Nominal Group Technique as a research method was motivated by several factors. NGT served to counterbalance many of the potential research difficulties when working with people with IDD, including the need for understandable, inclusive and participatory ways to access data from people with IDD, and addressed the topic of sexual self-advocacy that is important to people with IDD.

This article is a summary of the following journal manuscript: Owen, A., Arnold, K., Friedman, C., & Sandman, L. (2016). Nominal Group Technique: An accessible and interactive method for conceptualizing the sexual self-advocacy of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Qualitative Social Work, 15(2), 175-189.