This article invites readers to engage with girls and women with disabilities in the global South. It challenges the epistemological domination of Western disability studies in Southern bodies and contexts, and provides one specific way to read the intersection between disability, gender, and ethnicity in the context of Vietnam. Drawing on the politics of engagement developed within the Transforming Disability Knowledge, Research, and Activism project, we argue for recognizing the lingering impacts of colonialism and imperialism in producing disability and impairment in the South, while suggesting new ways of engaging with disabled girls and women through the use of inclusive, decolonial, and participatory methods.
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Purpose: An evaluation of a disability equality training (DET) programme, based on the social model of disability, was conducted to explore the changes in the participants’ attitudes and behaviours in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Methods: This study is composed of two parts. First, the participants’ attitude changes during DET sessions were examined through a descriptive quantitative and qualitative analysis of questionnaires and related documents. Second, thebehavioural changes at the organisational and individual levels, the impact on society, and related factors were explored by quantitative and qualitative analysis of good practice cases: 39 participants were selected through purposive sampling and semi-structured interviews were conducted.
Results: It was found that most participants adopted the social model perspective within these sessions. A qualitative content analysis of the good practice cases also found that the majority of participants attempted to change their social environments after the sessions. Thematic analysis identified promotional factors, such as within-organisation dynamics and compatibility and barriers at the individual and organisational levels, which were associated with participants’ behaviours after DET sessions.
Conclusion: The implications of these findings are discussed in connection with the strategic implementation of DET to promote disability-inclusive development. Future studies should examine the effectiveness of a strategy by considering the factors identified in this study and by using a reliable sample in various settings where DET sessions are conducted.
This article aims to reorient thinking about the relationship between the long-standing social model of disability and the rapidly emerging human rights model. In particular, it contests the influential view that the latter develops and improves upon the former (the improvement thesis) and argues instead that the two models are complementary (the complementarity thesis). The article begins with a discursive analysis of relevant documents to investigate how each of the two models has been used in the crafting and monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This highlights the increasing importance of the human rights model in this policy context. It also provides examples of the operation of the two models which inform the remainder of the discussion. We then critique the comparisons between the models which underpin the improvement thesis; and, drawing on Foucault’s technologies of power and Beckett and Campbell’s ‘oppositional device’ methodology, deepen and develop this comparative analysis. The result, we argue, is that the two models have different subjects and different functions. In the human rights context, their roles are complementary and supportive.
The on-going struggles of disability movements worldwide have been examined from multiple perspectives. As of yet, however, research into this topic has largely overlooked experiences on the African continent. This article seeks to address this gap by presenting a case study of the disability movement in Sierra Leone, West Africa. The study finds that on the one hand the Sierra Leonean disability movement is fragmented (referring to the tendency of groups to work individually as opposed to operating in a collective manner), thus limiting synergy. Three main ‘centrifugal’ forces underlying fragmentation are identified: resource scarcity, impairment specific interests and capacity differences between impairment types. On the other hand, the movement somehow manages to survive and even achieve modest successes. The research shows that interdependence, shared experiences of marginalization, and a clear identification of the ‘other’ have a unifying effect.
- The disability movement in Sierra Leone is fragmented, meaning it struggles to formulate a unified position and act collectively, yet somehow survives and even manages to achieve some successes;
- The fragmentation is fueled by competition between groups, a hierarchy between impairment types and interests that are impairment specific.
- The movement is kept together by mutual dependence to achieve key goals and raise funds, shared experiences of marginalization and negative experiences with ‘outsiders’.
- The research offers recommendations to disability groups and donors to mitigate fragmenting forces while strengthening unifying forces.
Building on the Salamanca Statement from 1994, the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals 2030 embraces inclusion for children in early childhood education. The European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education in 2015–2017 completed a project on inclusive early childhood education, focusing on structures, processes, and outcomes that ensure a systemic approach to high-quality Inclusive Early Childhood Education (IECE). An ecosystem model of IECE was developed with a self-reflection tool for improving inclusion. This study’s aim was to investigate practitioners’ perspective on the inclusive processes and supportive structures defined in the ecosystem model, to contribute to a deeper understanding of how inclusive practice might be enabled and how barriers for inclusion can be removed. The self-reflection tool was administered in a heterogeneous municipality in Sweden, where inclusive settings are standard. Documentation from approximately 70 teachers on 27 teams was received. The documentation was analysed with qualitative content analysis based on the ecosystem model. The results showed a strong emphasis on group-related processes, whereas data on individual-related processes were scarce. This one-sided focus on the group level might endanger the inclusive processes and outcomes concerning the individual child.
Purpose: To investigate access to basic human rights such as health, a standard of living adequate for health, education, work, marrying and establishing a family, and voting for prosthetic and orthotic users with lower limb disabilities in Malawi.
Materials and methods: A cross-sectional design and a questionnaire were used to collect data from 83 participants.
Results: Most participants reported their overall physical and mental health as good (60 [72%] and 50 [60%], respectively) and said they could access medical care (69 [83%]). Fifty (60%) participants had access to food, 72 (87%) had access to basic water, and 55 (66%) lived in housing adequate for their health. Most participants had studied in school (74 [89%]) but only 27 (33%) of the participants were working. Forty-three (52%) were married and 53 (64%) had children. Seventy-six (92%) participants could vote if they wished.
Conclusions: Rurality and high costs of transport and medication increase the barriers to accessing several basic human rights for people with lower limb physical disabilities. Interventions to target these barriers and increase access to secondary school, employment, and income could improve health equity for people with physical disabilities in Malawi and similar contexts.
Fostering equity by offering the best education possible to all students is one of the main goals of inclusive schooling. One instrument to implement individualised education is individualised education planning (IEP). IEP requires cooperation between special and regular teachers. From research on school leadership it is known that leadership styles are connected to the way, school leaders use their scope of action with respect to fostering collaboration. However, little is known about the relationship between the leadership of a school, the provision of structures for collaboration, and the implementation of IEP in an inclusive context. The article focuses on the question to what extent transformational (TL) and instructional leadership (IL) are connected to the provision of structures for collaboration and how TL and IL as well as structures for collaboration relate to the implementation of IEP directly and indirectly. Based on data of N = 135 German schools, a path model was calculated. It revealed medium relations between TL, IL, and structures for collaboration as well as a medium effect from structures to collaboration on implementation of IEP. The effect from TL towards implementation of IEP was fully mediated by structures for collaboration, while the effect from IL persisted.
Purpose: To explore the experiences of persons with physical disabilities accessing and using rehabilitation services in Sierra Leone.
Materials and methods: Interviews of 38 individuals with differing physical disabilities in three locations across Sierra Leone. An inductive approach was applied, and qualitative content analysis used.
Results: Participants faced several barriers to accessing and using rehabilitation services. Six themes emerged: The initial and ongoing need for rehabilitation throughout life; challenges with the cost of rehabilitation and transportation to reach rehabilitation services; varied experiences with rehabilitation staff; coming to terms with disability and encountering stigma; the struggles without and opportunities with rehabilitation services; and limited knowledge and availability of rehabilitation services.
Conclusions: There is a continued need to address the barriers associated with the affordability of rehabilitation through the financing of rehabilitation and transportation and exploring low-cost care delivery models. Rehabilitation services, assistive devices, and materials need to be available in existing rehabilitation centres. A national priority list is recommended to improve the availability and coordination of rehabilitation services. Improved knowledge about disability and rehabilitation services in the wider community is needed. Addressing discriminatory health beliefs and the stigma affecting people with disabilities through community interventions and health promotion is recommended.
Today’s society promises that people with disabilities can access anything, but in practice there are numerous obstacles, and the ways in which people deal with them can be easily missed or taken for granted by policy makers. This article draws on a project in which researchers ‘go along’ people with disabilities in Sweden who demonstrate and recount accessibility troubles in urban and digital settings. They display a set of mundane methods for managing inaccessibility: (a) using others, (b) making deals and establishing routines, (c) mimicking or piggybacking conventions, (d) debunking others’ accounts and performing local politics. The employment of these shared but tailored methods shows the difficulties to be accepted that people with disabilities still face, as well as the wide-ranging tension that exists between the grand rhetoric of inclusion and modest results. The tension implies that people with disabilities are required to be creative.
- Declarations and policies often say that people with disabilities should have access to anything, but in practice this is not the case.
- This study investigates what people with disabilities actually do when they have trouble accessing various places or resources. The results show their common and practical ways, and these ways are often taken for granted, overlapping, and combined.
- People with disabilities ask others to support them when they face troubles to access places or resources, they make deals with important actors and they develop routines. They also observe, imitate and follow others’ actions, to pick out precisely those ways that suit their needs.
- When people with disabilities find their ways in today’s society they also act with words. They argue against other people’s excuses or justifications for not providing access.
- The study has found a lot of frustration among people with disabilities who get blocked, excluded or delayed. This gives them motives to engage in politics.
This paper addresses the epistemological dissonance created by the growing movement to impose universal templates of disability and disability-related practices to countries in the Global South and the subsequent erasure of indigenous understandings of disability. Underlying this dissonance, we argue, are the deeply problematic beliefs in universal notions of disability and global development that are anchored to colonial frameworks of understanding and approaching human differences. We explore the presence of these colonial frameworks in three specific areas: the language of disability; understandings of personhood; and notions of inclusivity. We propose that bringing about transformation in these areas would mean using alternative indigenous strengthsbased frameworks of thinking and practices that uncover and value local epistemologies, understanding the complexities of local cultural, historical, and material contexts, and resisting colonial modes of thinking that label these practices as backward.
Disability & the Global South (DGS), 2020, Vol. 7 No. 1
This study explored how participation constitutes and is constituted by practices of power in group homes for people with intellectual disability. The study used disciplinary power as theoretical perspective and was based on 50 h of observation in two group homes with a total of 15 residents. The analysis identifies practices of power and their relationship to individual agency and participation. The results show that institutional structures construct practices of power that define codes of conduct for the group home residents and their possibility for participation. This study offers implications for the daily lives of residents in group homes for people with intellectual disability.
Aim: Many children with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries do not attend school and one-third are out of school. In order to ensure that education is for all including children with disabilities, research is needed on barriers to schooling to identify targets for intervention. The study will examine the determinants of school achievement among persons with and without disabilities as well as among each type of impairment.
Methods: The study will utilize data from a recent national, representative household survey on living conditions among persons with and without disabilities. The individual level data used in this article comprise 2123 persons with and 2000 persons without disabilities.
Results: The results show that an alarmingly high proportion of persons in Nepal have not accessed formal education, with access being significantly lower among persons with disabilities. While the results may be influenced by the assumed relationship between disability and poverty, results from analyzing the cross-sectional data cannot be conclusive on the influence of disability vs. poverty in determining differences in access and school attainments. Increased environmental barriers, higher age, rural location, and increased levels of disability were found to be associated with lower educational achievement. Pronounced differences in access to education were found between impairment types, with individuals with physical impairments achieving the highest level and individuals with multiple impairments, hearing and mental impairments achieving lowest.
Conclusions: It is necessary both to strengthen the entire educational sector and at the same time allocate resources that will ensure that all children are on board and that particular efforts are implemented to cater for those who are easily side-lined.
This paper discusses a case study of a Dutch work-integration social enterprise (WISE) to add to the debate on the contribution of employment to the citizenship of intellectually disabled people and those experiencing mental health conditions. In current welfare state policies, the value of labour market participation is narrowed down to regular employment, as workplace support and care provisions are seen as stigmatising and segregating. We argue that a more nuanced understanding is needed of the intersection of support arrangements with the benefits of employment. Building on ‘recognition theory’ by the German philosopher Honneth, our findings show that the work-integration social enterprise under study is successfully balancing the contrasting demands of logics of care and work, leading to experiences of ‘recognition.’ However, this balance is fragile and does not undo the misrecognition of disabled people as unable to live up to the productivity norms of a capitalist labour market.
The Salamanca Statement is a primary point of departure in research and policy on inclusive education. However, several problems have surfaced in the 25 years since its publication. In particular, several different interpretations of the concept of inclusive education and its enactment in practice have arisen. For instance, the definition of the pupil groups in focus varies greatly. There are also varying definitions of the importance of pupil-placement, when it comes to organisation of inclusive education. Using a theoretical framework combining Bacchi’s [1999. Women, Policy and Politics. The Construction of Policy Problems. London: Sage Publications] poststructural policy-analysis and concepts from Popkewitz [2009. “Curriculum Study, Curriculum History, and Curriculum Theory: The Reason of Reason.” Journal of Curriculum Studies 41 (3): 301–319. doi:10.1080/00220270902777021], this article illustrates that The Salamanca Statement allows for a variety of interpretations of inclusion. As a policy-concept, inclusion encompasses an amalgam of political ideals, including welfare-state ideals where education is viewed as a public-good, as well as market-ideals of education as a private-good. Policies of inclusion also define the desired citizen, through categories of disadvantaged children, the ones excluded but to be included for their own good as well as for the good of the future society. The conclusions are that researchers and policy-makers should elucidate what they mean by inclusion with for instance moral- and practical arguments rather than vague references to The Salamanca Statement.
This article posits a number of provocations for scholars and researchers engaged with Critical Disability Studies. We summarise some of the analytical twists and turns occurring over the last few years that create a number of questions and concerns. We begin by introducing Critical Disability Studies; describing it as an interdisciplinary field of scholarship building on foundational disability studies theories. Critical Disability Studies scholarship is being produced at an exponential rate and we assert that we need to take pause for thought. We lay out five provocations to encourage reflection and debate: what is the purpose of Critical Disability Studies; how inclusive is Critical Disability Studies; is disability the object or subject of studies; what matters or gets said about disability; and how can we attend to disability and ability? We conclude by making a case for a reflexive and politicised Critical Disability Studies.
Young adults with disabilities are a specific target of the welfare-to-work policy introduced by many OECD countries over the past decade. The implementation of these policies is a significant concern for service delivery organisations and advocates in Australia and internationally due to complex intersecting structural barriers that persist for many young adults with disabilities. A particular focus of this article is work capacity assessments. Drawing on socio-political theories and interpretive policy analysis, the 22 in-depth interviews with personnel from service delivery organisations and advocacy organisations reveal how the deemed capacity to work process is not only interpreted as flawed, but the current policy approach disables young adults, perpetuates stigma, and creates division between service users and service providers. The accounts reinforce the need to contest such assessments and instead turn towards a rights-based capability approach permitting young adults with disability self-determination over their education-to-employment pathway.
The disability employment policy systems in the US and Uganda are compared, and areas identified to improve implementation by examining the broader socio-cultural contexts that have shaped disability policy and practices of the two countries over time. Using the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) as the overarching analytical framework, the analysis is framed within the discussion of the right to employment, as both countries are recognized for policy advances in this domain, but continue to experience low labor market participation for persons with disabilities. It identifies three critical areas that impact the realisation of disability rights in each context: ideological frameworks; hiring and retention initiatives; and state level supports. Ultimately, it considers the limitations of the rights based framework for actualising employment rights in the context of limited state and individual resources.
Disability and the Global South, 2019, Vol.6, No. 2
Parents of disabled children face many challenges. Understanding their experiences and acknowledging contextual influences is vital in developing intervention strategies that fit their daily realities. However, studies of parents from a resource-poor context are particularly scarce. This ethnographic study with 30 mothers from a South African township (15 semi-structured interviews and 24 participatory group sessions) unearths how mothers care on their own, in an isolated manner. The complexity of low living standards, being poorly supported by care structures and networks, believing in being the best carer, distrusting others due to a violent context, and resigning towards life shape and are shaped by this solitary care responsibility. For disability inclusive development to be successful, programmes should support mothers by sharing the care responsibility taking into account the isolated nature of mothers’ lives and the impact of poverty. This can provide room for these mothers to increase the well-being of themselves and their children.
The area of assistive technology has a long history of technological ingenuity and innovation. In order to ensure that the benefits of assistive technology are equitably distributed across the population and life course, it is necessary to adopt a systemic approach to the area. We describe examples of systems thinking and non-systems thinking across 10 Ps. These Ps are People (or users, as the primary beneficiaries of assistive technology), Policy, Products, Personnel, Provision (as key strategic drivers at systems level); and Procurement, Place, Pace, Promotion and Partnership (as key situational factors for systems). Together these Ps should constitute a framework for an “open” system that can evolve and adapt, that empowers users, inter-connects key components and locates these in the reality of differing contexts. The adoption of a stronger systems thinking perspective within the assistive technology field should allow for more equitable, more resilient and more sustainable assistive technology across high, middle- and low-income contexts and countries.
Purpose: To (A) develop a method for measuring compliance with standards, and (B) implementation of the method in 12 rehabilitation centers in six low and middle-income countries (LMICs).
Methods: In part A, existing standards were compiled and operationalized into scores, organized into 5 ‘scorecards’ and 15 ‘sub-scorecards’, then tested and refined in an iterative process. In part B, 12 rehabilitation centers in 6 countries implemented the standards using the new method, revealing relative performance between centers, and across different standards. Internal consistency of scores within domains was computed using Chronbach’s alpha.
Results: A standardized method for scoring compliance with standards for rehabilitation was developed. The method evaluated compliance with standards in five domains of practice: user focused approach, service outputs, finances, staff, and general management. Multiple standards within domains were strongly related, with Chronbach’s alpha >0.80 for all but the equipment and supplies domain. Overall, in the 12 rehabilitation centers examined, 36% of standards were met or exceeded. Compliance within each scoring domain was 56% (user-focused approach), 38% (service outputs), 27% (financial management), 30% (staff management), and 33% (general management). Two out of 12 (17%) of centers met more than two-thirds of the standards, 3 (25%) met more than one-third of standards, while the remaining 7 (58%) met less than one-third of standards.
Conclusions: A new, standardized method for measuring performance of rehabilitation services in LMICs was developed. The method examines standards in five rehabilitation practice domains, and can be used to understand barriers to quality performance, particularly in resource-constrained settings. Implementation of the method demonstrated that current compliance with standards is modest. Ongoing interest in new standards for rehabilitation practice should be accompanied by measures to ensure they are used to strengthen quality in an emerging rehabilitation sector.