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Belonging and connection of school students with disability

ROBINSON, Dr. Sally
TRUSCOTT, Julia
February 2014

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All students want to feel like they belong and that they are valued in their school community. School is a centrally important place to young people — not only where they learn fundamental academic knowledge, but also where skills in making and keeping friends, relating to peers, and social justice principles are learnt and practiced. What happens when young people feel like they don’t belong?

 

This paper examines a series of key issues about belonging and connection for students with disability and demonstrates research that shows:

• Feeling a sense of belonging and connection makes a positive difference to school life

There are a number of key elements to belonging and connection — friendship, peer acceptance, capability, being valued and supportive relationships with key adults

• When belonging and connection are threatened, there are several areas in which the impact is seen. The friendships of students are limited; they are lonely; the places they can go within the school are controlled; there are tensions in negotiating support relationships; students feel and are excluded; and kid’s strengths aren’t seen by other students or adults in their school communities

• Bullying is a particularly strong threat to a felt sense of belonging and connection

 

The paper is also available at https://www.cyda.org.au/cda-issue-papers

 

Issue Papers

The state of the world’s children 2013 : children with disabilities

THE UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN’S FUND (UNICEF)
May 2013

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This report examines "the barriers from inaccessible buildings to dismissive attitudes, from invisibility in official statistics to vicious discrimination - that deprive children with disabilities of their rights and keep them from participating fully in society. The report also lays out some of the key elements of inclusive societies that respect and protect the rights of all children, regardless of disability, and progress in helping all children to flourish and make their contribution to the world"

The right to vote of persons with disabilities in Chile : Law no 20.183 as a factor of progress for inclusive democracy

REYES, Maria Soledad Cisternas
March 2013

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"This article describes the process of adoption of Law 20.183 of 2007, which recognises the right of persons with disabilities to have support in the act of voting. The process began with a lawsuit which inspired legal research conducted at the national level. A project of civil society advocacy was subsequently developed and implemented to promote the right to vote of persons with disabilities. The process resulted in a legislative initiative and culminated in the adoption of the 2007 Constitutional Act on voting and elections which recognized the right to support in the act of voting for persons with disabilities"
IDA Human Rights Publication Series, Issue 1, The Right to Vote and to Stand for Election

The role of Germany’s CRPD monitoring body in the implementation of article 29

PALLEIT, Leander
March 2013

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"This article aims to briefly describe the actions taken by the National CRPD monitoring body in Germany (Monitoring-Stelle zur UN-Behindertenrechtskonvention) in order to promote the implementation of Article 29 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)"
IDA Human Rights Publication Series, Issue 1, The Right to Vote and to Stand for Election

Ghana elections : a victory for mental health?

SSENGOBA, Medi
January 2013

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This article reports that mentally disabled citizens in Ghana cast votes for their president for the first time but questions if formal enfranchisement is enough. This article will be useful to anyone interested in the rights of people with disabilities to participate equally in political and public life

Child health’s missing children|Including disabled children in child health through understanding access to primary health care : experiences from Kenya

ORSANDER, Martina
CHALLENGER, Eleanor
July 2012

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This study explores "the barriers to primary health service access experienced by the families of children with disabilities in areas where World Vision Kenya is currently working. This paper presents findings from research undertaken in Kisumu, western Kenya, exploring inclusion and access to primary healthcare for children with disabilities under the age of 5 years and offers recommendations for future research, policy and programming"
RR - CH - 02

Inclusive and integrated HIV and AIDS programming : promoting universal access for all

MAC-SEING, Muriel
July 2012

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"This policy paper describes Handicap International’s mandate and values in operational terms as applied to the theme of inclusive and integrated HIV and AIDS programming. It presents the approaches and references for Handicap International’s actions, choices and commitments. It aims to ensure coherence in terms of practices whilst taking into account different contexts. Essentially this is a guidance document for programme staff which defines the topic and outlines the target populations, methods of intervention (expected results, activities) and indicators for monitoring and evaluation. This policy aims to ensure that all projects carried out by Handicap International programmes are consistent with the methods of intervention presented"
PP 07

Electoral participation of electors with disabilities : Canadian practices in a comparative context

PRINCE, Michael J
March 2012

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"This report addresses three main research questions: What barriers do people with disabilities, physical and/or mental, face when trying to vote? What reforms have countries and, in the case of Canada, provinces introduced since 2000 to reduce or eliminate barriers to voting for people with disabilities? More specifically, what services, supports and laws or standards have governments introduced to ensure better access to voting by electors with disabilities The specific focus of this report is on the right to vote, rather than on the right to freely associate as an activist or to run as a candidate and to hold elected office. Five national jurisdictions are reviewed in this report, specifically Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States and New Zealand. On Canada, attention is given to developments and practices at the federal, and provincial and territorial levels of government"

Parent’s participation in the social inclusion of children with disabilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia

BECIREVIC, Majda
DOWLING, Monica
February 2012

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"This study examines the attitudes and actions of parents of children with disabilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Croatia. Part of the former Yugoslavia, these two Southeastern European countries have undergone major economic and socio-political changes since the early 90s. Historically disabled children with disabilities suffered high levels of social and educational exclusion in these countries whereas now a public discussion of inclusion and children’s rights prevails"

Inclusive democracies require voting rights for people with disabilities

NEIER, Aryeh
November 2011

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This blog post presents the story of a woman with Down Syndrome who initially was prevented from voting in Peruvian elections because of her intellectual disability but successfully won her right to vote. The article concludes by encouraging inclusive policies that support the participation of people with disabilities in political life
Note: This post is part of a blog series that reflects on The Open Society Foundations work to advance the rights of persons with disabilities around the world

Innovations for successful societies

CHAUBEY, Varanya
November 2008

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"Khalfan H. Khalfan, executive director of the Organization of People with Disabilities, talks about his and others' efforts in Zanzibar to enfranchise disabled people. He addresses the challenges involved in ensuring disabled people can exercise their right to vote and explains the particular difficulties disabled people face in accessing polling stations, casting their votes in private, and avoiding election violence. He also speaks briefly about his role as an election observer in Zanzibar’s first multiparty election in 1995 and some of the irregularities he noted during that election"
Elections G2
Note: This interview is available from the link above as an mp3 file and transcription pdf and word files

Ensuring the enfranchisement of people with disabilities

WARD, Andrew
BAKER, Paul M A
MOON, Nathan W
October 2008

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"In a representational democracy, the process of selecting people to represent the electorate is critical. To accomplish this goal, it is crucial that elections be fair and accurate reflections of the decisions of the voters. However, a significant and relatively unacknowledged constituency, people with disabilities, faces a variety of barriers to full participation in the U.S. electoral democracy. Recent research has provided evidence that how people with disabilities vote is just as important as the physical barriers they face when casting their votes. This article presents an overview of the literature addressing issues that affect how people with disabilities vote, with an especial focus on the role of election officials as both facilitators and inhibitors of voting by people with disabilities"
Journal of Disability Policy Studies, Vol 20, No 2

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