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Action on COVID-19 Evidence on the Response of Disabled People’s Organisations during Pandemic

ADD International
October 2020

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In June 2020, ADD International conducted structured interviews with leaders from ten Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) which are participating in the Inclusion Works programme in three districts in Bangladesh to understand impact of and response to Covid-19 among DPOs.

 

Evidence from these interviews suggest that the economic impact of Covid-19 on persons with disabilities has been acute, and DPOs are taking critical action. DPOs are engaging with power holders to make relief, livelihood support and information accessible to persons with disabilities. DPOs are in touch with their members, but they face barriers in doing their work during this time, and more could be done to reach the most excluded.

Pre-Primary and Primary Inclusive Education for Tanzania (PPPIET) – Foundation Phase : Report on Participatory Research to Inform Design of New Inclusive Education Model in Tanzania

JUDGE, Emma
June 2020

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The Disability Inclusive Development (DID) consortium, a UK Department for International Development (DFID) funded initiative, is working together on the Pre-Primary and Primary Inclusive Education in Tanzania (PPPIET) programme whose ultimate goal is to foster quality sustainable inclusive education for all children with disabilities at scale across Tanzania in mainstream pre-primary and primary government schools. To achieve this, it aims to support collective, coordinated systems change by establishing an agreed common model of basic inclusive pre-primary and primary education in mainstream government schools, and galvanising significant progress in spreading its systematic implementation for all children with disabilities across Tanzania. 

 

This task requires the cooperation of government, civil society and Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) to achieve real change.  No single organisation or government department can achieve inclusive education on its own. Pooling the skills and resources and exchanging learnings to achieve quality inclusive education of children can help all involved. Working together will build collective commitment and action, not just amongst DID consortium members but also across government, donors, education actors and the private sector. 

 

Part of this process was to conduct a participatory field research to gather evidence on the current provision of support services needed for inclusive education and identify gaps that need to be filled in the future. The exercise also served to identify key challenges that need addressing to facilitate the removal of legal, policy, systemic, physical, communication and language, social, financial and attitudinal barriers. The findings from the research were intended to identify the priority components that need addressing in the design of an inclusive education design model and the drivers of accountability, i.e. the agencies/stakeholders responsible for implementing the required system changes.

 

Summary of key findings

The Government of Tanzania has continually demonstrated its support and commitment to inclusive education evidenced by the many comprehensive policies for inclusive education, including the National Inclusive Education Strategy (NSIE) 2018 – 2021.  Through these policies, it is actively working to improve the educational environment but the journey is long and requires significant system changes for the policies to be effectively implemented, which needs collaboration, cooperation, planning, and strategic resourcing across multiple ministries, NGOs, DPOs, and the private sector. 

 

To achieve inclusive education, a rights-based approach to education needs to be adopted, focusing on identifying and removing the barriers to access and quality learning for every child, including appropriate infrastructure changes in schools, changing attitudes, and providing additional support to girls and boys with disabilities through learning support assistants.  There also needs to be a fundamental shift towards child-centred pedagogy in teacher training and curriculum development to meet the needs of all learners, including having a mandatory module on inclusive education in all teacher training curricula.  Over time, this will help develop teachers’ confidence and positive attitudes towards teaching children with disabilities and achieve impact at scale.  Strengthening the capacities of all teachers, improving classroom management, increasing awareness about inclusive education for all stakeholders, and improving access to screening and early identification, health, rehabilitation services, and affordable assistive devices are all contributing factors to achieving inclusive education in Tanzania.

 

Systems change to improve learning and support for children with disabilities takes time and requires a significant investment of resources and budget allocation by government and service providers.  However, inclusive education can be cost-effective compared with the cost of segregation and special schools, particularly where ministries work together to ensure a more ‘strategic allocation of existing funds, promoting universal design and co-operation agreements among multiple ministries’.   Developing partnerships with the private sector to improve the physical infrastructure of schools and access to affordable assistive devices can also help reduce the cost of inclusion.

 

Inclusive education is a cross-cutting issue that requires the commitment and accountability of multiple stakeholders across government ministries to ensure its effective implementation.  This includes the MOEST, MOHCDGEC, MOFP, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the President's Office, Regional Administration and Local Government (PORALG). 

 

It is anticipated that to achieve successful implementation and scaling up of the model design for inclusive education, there will need to be a systematic and phased approach to implementing the recommendations in this report over the short, medium and long term.  It is acknowledged that this process will take considerable time to implement and can only be successfully achieved over a period of years with the support and increased understanding of all stakeholders.  There is no quick-fix solution to inclusive education.  It requires changing long-established systems and adjusting services, including health and education, training, and attitudes.  There is also no financial short cut. 

 

However, while some recommendations require significant investment, others can be achieved in the current context without significant monetary investment.  For example, changing the curriculum for all teacher training to ensure inclusive education is included as a standard module will help transform the approach of teachers and the inclusion of children with disabilities in learning.  Raising awareness of inclusive education for all stakeholders, including policy-makers and implementers will also help increase understanding of the long-term system changes required and reduce stigma and discrimination.  Inclusive education can only be achieved in an inclusive society and it needs collective effort from the government, parents, community, and all stakeholders for effective implementation.

A university’s response to people with disabilities in Worcester, Western Cape

MÜLLER, Jana V.
NED, Lieketseng
BOSHOFF, Hananja
October 2019

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Background: The call for institutions of higher education to foster interaction with communities and ensure training is responsive to the needs of communities is well documented. In 2011, Stellenbosch University collaborated with the Worcester community to identify the needs of people with disabilities within the community. How the university was engaging with these identified needs through student training still needed to be determined.

 

Objectives: This study describes the engagement process of reciprocity and responsivity in aligning needs identified by persons with disability to four undergraduate allied health student training programmes in Worcester, Western Cape.

 

Method: A single case study using the participatory action research appraisal methods explored how undergraduate student service learning was responding to 21 needs previously identified in 2011 alongside persons with disability allowing for comprehensive feedback and a collaborative and coordinated response.

 

Results: Students’ service learning activities addressed 14 of the 21 needs. Further collaborative dialogue resulted in re-grouping the needs into six themes accompanied by a planned collaborative response by both community and student learning to address all 21 needs previously identified.

 

Conclusion: Undergraduate students’ service learning in communities has the potential to meet community identified needs especially when participatory action research strategies are implemented. Reciprocity exists when university and community co-engage to construct, reflect and adjust responsive service learning. This has the potential to create a collaborative environment and process in which trust, accountability, inclusion and communication is possible between the university and the community.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 8, 2019

Development and evaluation of a wheelchair service provision training of trainers programme

MUNERA, Sara
GOLDBERG, Mary
KANDAVEL, Krithika
PEARLMAN, Jonathan
2017

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Background: In many countries, availability of basic training and continued professional development programmes in wheelchair services is limited. Therefore, many health professionals lack access to formal training opportunities and new approaches to improve wheelchair service provision. To address this need, the World Health Organization (WHO) developed the WHO Wheelchair Service Training of Trainers Programme (WSTPt), aiming to increase the number of trainers who are well prepared to deliver the WHO Wheelchair Service Training Packages. Despite these efforts, there was no recognised method to prepare trainers to facilitate these training programmes in a standardised manner.


Objectives: To understand if the WSTPt is an effective mechanism to train aspiring wheelchair service provision trainers.


Method: An action research study was conducted using a mixed-methods approach to data collection and analysis to integrate feedback from questionnaires and focus groups from three WHO WSTPt pilots.


Results: Trainees were satisfied with the WHO WSTPt and the iterative process appears to have helped to improve each subsequent pilot and the final training package.


Conclusion: The WHO WSTPt is an effective mechanism to train wheelchair service provision trainers. This programme has potential to increase the number of trainees and may increase the number of qualified service providers.
 

Community Action Research in Disability (CARD): An inclusive research programme in Uganda

HARTLEY, Sally D
YOUSAFZAI, AK
KAAHWA, MG
FINKENFLÜGEL, H
WADE, A
BAZIRAKE, G
DRACHLER, ML
SEELEY, J
ALAVI, Y
MATAZE, W
MUCURNGUZI, E
2017

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The ideology of Emancipatory Disability Research (EDR) reflected in the phrase ‘Nothing about us without us’, was first put forward in the 1990s. Although it aimed to place research control in the hands of the ‘researched’, i.e., people with disability, this rarely happens even today, 25 years later.

 

The Community Action Research on Disability (CARD) programme in Uganda embraced and modified the EDR approach, recognising the need for including people with disability in the research process from concept to outcome, and nurturing participation and collaboration between all the stakeholders in achieving action-based research. The research teams always included people with disability and staff from Disability People’s Organisations (DPOs) as well as academics and service providers. It endeavoured to generate and carry out research around issues that mattered to people with disability and their families. Leadership roles were assigned by team members. The objectives of the CARD programme were: (1) to fund teams to carry out action-based research on disability in Uganda; (2) to develop research and administrative capacity to manage the initiative within the academic registrar’s office at Kyambogo University; (3) to incorporate new knowledge generated from the studies into the ongoing local community-based rehabilitation and special education courses; and, (4) to ensure wide dissemination of research findings to all stakeholder groups.

 

CARD ran for 5 years, commissioning 21 action research studies in the field of disability and community-based services. This paper describes the process, presents the 12 completed studies, examines the extent to which the objectives were achieved and evaluates the experiences of the participating research teams, particularly in relation to the inclusion of its members with disability. It concludes with recommendations for future initiatives designed to promote validity, good value and inclusive approaches in disability research.

Advocacy Campaign for the Rights of People with Disabilities: A Participatory Action Research within a Community-based Rehabilitation Project in Vangani, Maharashtra

JAISWAL, Atul
GUPTA, Shikha
2017

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Purpose: This paper aimed to demonstrate how participatory action research (PAR) within a Community-based Rehabilitation (CBR) project facilitated community participation to advocate for the rights of people with visual impairment. An advocacy campaign, led by the local people with and without disabilities, was launched for the construction of an accessible foot over- bridge (FOB) at Vangani railway station in Maharashtra, India.

 

Methods: The PAR approach was used to explore the issues faced by the local people with visual impairment. It ensured maximum community consultation, engagement and, consequently, meaningful outcomes for the community. Advocacy tools such as video documentary, online petition, media advocacy, and signature campaign were employed to publicise the issue on a larger platform. Sources for this paper included quantitative data from the survey of Vangani community and documents such as CBR project reports, media coverage articles, minutes of the meeting and correspondence with the Central Railways during the advocacy campaign that was conducted from 2012 -  2015.

 

Results: After 12 months of consistent advocacy, the Ministry of Railways sanctioned INR 15 million for the construction of the foot over-bridge. The construction work on the foot overbridge was completed in December 2016 and now it is open for public use..

 

Conclusion and Implications: This study illustrates how PAR within a CBR project successfully used an advocacy campaign as a tool for community participation, action and change. Although geographically limited to rural pockets of Maharashtra state, the learning experiences brought out some of the elements crucial for the success of an advocacy intervention within CBR programmes for the rights of people with disability in India.

Sexual Abuse of Persons with Disabilities - Research

Rob Aley
et al
November 2016

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The aim of the research was to investigate the social, cultural and institutional factors which contribute to the high incidence of sexual abuse of persons with disabilities in East Africa and to identify interventions which could change detrimental attitudes, beliefs and practices which perpetuate this high incidence. The research is framed within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD), particularly articles 12, 13 and 16.

The study used a qualitative participatory action research approach and worked with local partner organisations and Ugandan and Kenyan field level researchers to collect data. Survivors of sexual abuse were not interviewed but instead the research investigated the understandings, beliefs and practices of a range of service providers and key responders who are involved in the prevention of and response to sexual abuse against persons with disabilities in their communities. Groups consulted included police, teachers, health-care workers, government administrators, faith and community organisations and traditional leaders, as well as persons with disabilities and their parents. Participatory workshops were run with a reference group of people with disabilities (with a range of impairments and experiences) and relevant specialists at the initial stage and during the participatory analysis process. After initial orientation and training the field researchers undertook a total of 52 individual interviews and 9 focus group discussions with a range of stakeholders.

The overall findings show that social attitudes and understanding of disability and sexuality in general are strong influencing factors on the risks that persons with disability face in relation to sexual abuse. Participants reported a range of harmful attitudes and beliefs about disability and about the needs and rights of persons with disabilities. It is very common for cases of abuse to go unreported and to be dealt with at the family or community level, rather than being viewed as a serious criminal matter which should be taken to the formal authorities. Many barriers exist, especially at community level which mean abuse does not get reported. Lack of awareness and knowledge, stigma and exclusion and poverty were key drivers of continuing abuse and survivors of abuse seldom get proper support. Guidelines, training and clear procedures for good practice in the various professions were generally weak or absent. Key recommendations were generated for both community level interventions and in relation to policy and training at regional and national levels. The practical implementation of some recommendations was undertaken.

Sexual Abuse of Persons with Disabilities - Research

ALEY, Rob
et al
November 2016

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Abstract
The aim of the research was to investigate the social, cultural and institutional factors which contribute to the high incidence of sexual abuse of persons with disabilities in East Africa and to identify interventions which could change detrimental attitudes, beliefs and practices which perpetuate this high incidence. The research is framed within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD), particularly articles 12, 13 and 16.

The study used a qualitative participatory action research approach and worked with local partner organisations and Ugandan and Kenyan field level researchers to collect data. Survivors of sexual abuse were not interviewed but instead the research investigated the understandings, beliefs and practices of a range of service providers and key responders who are involved in the prevention of and response to sexual abuse against persons with disabilities in their communities. Groups consulted included police, teachers, health-care workers, government administrators, faith and community organisations and traditional leaders, as well as persons with disabilities and their parents. Participatory workshops were run with a reference group of people with disabilities (with a range of impairments and experiences) and relevant specialists at the initial stage and during the participatory analysis process. After initial orientation and training the field researchers undertook a total of 52 individual interviews and 9 focus group discussions with a range of stakeholders.

The overall findings show that social attitudes and understanding of disability and sexuality in general are strong influencing factors on the risks that persons with disability face in relation to sexual abuse. Participants reported a range of harmful attitudes and beliefs about disability and about the needs and rights of persons with disabilities. It is very common for cases of abuse to go unreported and to be dealt with at the family or community level, rather than being viewed as a serious criminal matter which should be taken to the formal authorities. Many barriers exist, especially at community level which mean abuse does not get reported. Lack of awareness and knowledge, stigma and exclusion and poverty were key drivers of continuing abuse and survivors of abuse seldom get proper support. Guidelines, training and clear procedures for good practice in the various professions were generally weak or absent. Key recommendations were generated for both community level interventions and in relation to policy and training at regional and national levels. The practical implementation of some recommendations was undertaken.

Teaching Children with Learning Difficulties via Community-Based Rehabilitation Projects in rural Sri Lanka

Wikremesooriya, Shalini Felicity
2016

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Teachers in rural Sri Lanka find it challenging to support students with Learning Difficulties (LD) in regular classrooms. As a result, students with LD often quit school early. Community- Based Rehabilitation (CBR) projects located in rural areas sometimes provide learning opportunities for students who are school dropouts.

 

Purpose: The research focussed on identifying an effective teaching approachthat Developmental Assistants (DAs) can employ when teaching students with LD.

 

Methods: An action research methodology with two action cycles was selected for this purpose. Each cycle consisted of four stages: analysing, reflecting, planning, and implementing and monitoring. Data collection involved semi- structured interviews and real-time observations. A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods was adopted for data analysis. Research participants included 11 students aged 8-14 years, their parents and two DAs.

 

Results: Outcomes suggest that students with LD actively engage in learning when an integrated approach that uses thematic units which reflect the students’ world, is in force. They also benefit when some elements of the behavioural approach to teaching-learning: explicit direct instruction, modelling, scheduled practice, reinforcement and feedback, are combined with certain components of the constructivist approach: independent work, group discussions and reflection.

 

Conclusions: The study demonstrates that students with LD can succeed when the teaching-learning process is modified to suit their needs. Hence, CBR project workers ought to be trained to plan and design lessons that meet the needs of students with LD. It further validates the role CBR projects can play in diminishing negative views on disability and in creating inclusive societies. 

 

Limitations: The study’s illuminative design was appropriate within a limited sample of students. However, this sample is not wholly representative of the multicultural and multi-religious student population with LD in hard-to-reach areas of Sri Lanka.

Research principles and research experiences: critical reflection on conducting a PhD dissertation on global health and disability

CLEAVER, Shaun
MAGALHAES, Lilian
BOND, Virginia
POLATAJKO, Helene
NIXON, Stephanie
2016

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This article is a presentation of insights gained through critical reflection on the experience of doctoral dissertation research on disability in Western Zambia. The framework guiding this critical reflection is the Principles for Global Health Research released by the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research (CCGHR) in 2015. These six interrelated principles were developed in order to inform and foster research that better and more explicitly addresses health inequities. The principles are: humility, responsiveness to the causes of inequities, commitment to the future, inclusion, authentic partnering, and shared benefits. Critical reflection on the dissertation fieldwork raises the challenges of fulfilling each of the principles. Additionally, the structural power from a researcher in a position of relative privilege, as well as institutional power through the doctoral researcher’s academic program, was apparent. The exercise of power enabled certain possibilities for action by the researcher and the participants with disabilities while constraining others. The insights generated inform the next steps for this project in Western Zambia and considerations for current and prospective doctoral student researchers.

 

Disability & the Global South (DGS), 2016, Vol. 3 No. 2

Using participatory and creative methods to facilitate emancipatory research with people facing multiple disadvantage: a role for health and care professionals

KRAMER-ROY, Debbie
2015

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Participatory and creative research methods are a powerful tool for enabling active engagement in the research process of marginalised people. It can be par- ticularly hard for people living with multiple disadvantage, such as disabled peo- ple from ethnic minority backgrounds, to access research projects that are relevant to their lived experience. This article argues that creative and participa- tory methods facilitate the co-researchers’ engagement in the research process, which thus becomes more empowering. Exploring the congruence of these meth- ods with their professional ethos, health and care professionals can use their skills to develop them further. Both theory and practice examples are presented.

Partnerships for disability research in Africa: Lessons learned in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

ALDERSEY, Heather
WENDA, Delphine Assumani
2015

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Issues concerning individuals with disabilities are under-researched in Africa, and persons with disabilities remain some of the most highly disadvantaged groups. In an increasing era of globalization, partnerships across borders and boundaries to conduct disability research is inevitable. Yet, such partnerships might be complicated by issues such as unequal power dynamics, poverty, and cultural misunderstandings, among others. In this article, the authors reflect upon their experience partnering for disability research across cultures, with one author being a Congolese person with a disability and the other being a Canadian ally. They discuss the nature of their research relationship, challenges they faced while conducting a seven-month study of personhood and support for people with intellectual disabilities in Kinshasa, and how they addressed these challenges. They also outline lessons learned from this partnership and how their past experience collaborating for disability research will shape their future endeavours.

 

Disability and the Global South (DGS), 2015, Vol. 2 No. 3

Exploring a Model of Effectual Learning for a Student Speech Pathology Placement at a Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Centre in Malaysia

VAN DORT, S
WILSON, L
COYLE, J
2014

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Purpose: Speech-language pathologists in Malaysia typically do not work within CBR. Therefore, exploring the use of services through a non-traditional student placement was a crucial first step in understanding how to develop capacity for such services. It was also important to develop an understanding of the ways in which the implementation of this student placement influenced learning in the context of a Malaysian CBR programme.

 

Method: An action research study was designed to implement and evaluate student speech-language pathology (SLP) placement within a Malaysian community-based rehabilitation (CBR) centre for children with communication disabilities. Data collection involved the learning experiences of key adult stakeholders (students, workers, parents, and the principal research investigator (PI) or lead author).

 

Results: Study findings indicated that all adult learners became better empowered by working together. Workers involved in impairment-focussed rehabilitation activities grew in understanding and skills when supported by relevant professionals.The importance of mentoring as a learning-teaching relationship was demonstrated.

 

Conclusion: While the study has indicated that the setting is beneficial as a student placement, the development of a specialisation in CBR for allied health professionals would be a relevant way forward in the Malaysian context.

Resource pack on systematization of experiences

HARGREAVES, Samantha
MORGAN, Mariluz
Eds
2009

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Systematization of experiences is a methodology that helps people involved in different kinds of practice to organize and communicate what they have learned. Over the past 40 years systematization has evolved and obtained recognition as a methodology for social reflection, in Latin America. This resource pack provides materials for the English speaking world

Civil society engagement for mainstreaming disability in the development process : report of an action research project initiated in Gujarat with multi-stakeholder partnership

UNNATI ORGANISATION FOR DEVELOPMENT EDUCATION (UNNATI)
Handicap International
2008

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This report describes "a three-year action research (2002-2005), in Gujarat, to understand the prevailing situation and invoking the participation of civil society groups for mainstreaming disability... The four key strategies adopted in the project have been detailed to share how civil society groups can be mobilised and invoked to take concrete action for promoting participation of persons with disabilities on local issues, creation of a barrier-free environment, developing materials for public education and social communication and influencing development organisations for mainstreaming disability"

Institutionalising participation and people-centred processes in natural resource management : research and publications highlights

PIMBERT, Michel
Ed
2004

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This report presents the background and rationale for the IIED-IDS action research on institutionalising participatory approaches and people centered processes in natural resource management. The methodologies used in the different case studies (India, Indonesia, Senegal, Mexico and other settings) are then introduced, along with the complementary studies undertaken in this collaborative research programme. The last section of this report contains highlights of all the publications in the Institutionalising Participation Series, and a summary of each

Worker-led participatory research and evaluation : lessons from the real world : reflections of the SREPP participants

ECKMAN, A
MCQUISTON, T
LIPPON, T
2000

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In 1997, four US union health and safety training programmes entered into a three-year, multi-union learning action-research collaborative, the Self-sufficiency Research and Evaluation Pilot Project (SREPP). This initiative sought to build the research and evaluation capacities of the participating unions' training by offering a new model of participatory learning and action in the area of worker health and safety. Existing examples of participatory action research in this field have tended to concentrate on single worksites and start with a stakeholder labour management model. By contrast, this project has sought to foster participatory learning across programmes from a union perspective. It uses and expands on the peer-training model to institutionalise a new base of worker produced knowledge. During the last of SREPP’s four training workshops participants reflected on their experiences in the project through a series of participatory activities. In this article the background to the project is followed by the words of SREPP participants describing what it takes to learn about and do participatory evaluation in the context of union-based, worker-led health and safety training programmes. This includes a look at what was learned and how, as well as supports and barriers to participatory evaluation and the model that they have developed

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