This study of people of refugee backgrounds explored how disability is culturally constructed in the family context, including barriers and enablers to social inclusion and service uptake in Brisbane, Australia. Key themes included the lived experiences of people with disability in their country of origin; experiences of the functioning of government and non-government services; family; barriers in communication and language; transport as a barrier to access; the community of people from their country within Australia; and service gaps and needs. Participants had experienced stigma in their country of origin, and for some this continued within their community of origin. Language and lack of engagement by government and non-government services contributed to service gaps and access barriers. Family remained important. People from refugee backgrounds living in Australia experience significant and compounding barriers to service access, and have unmet needs. They have a limited voice in the current policy context, and lack knowledge and support to facilitate interactions with the current system. Further research would assist in development of a more detailed understanding of these issues.
Disability & the Global South (DGS), 2016, Vol. 3 No. 1