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Empowering Women with Disabilities : moving from charity to right based model

Humanity & Inclusion
2020

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HI Pakistan has recently completed a UN Women funded project ”Empowering women with disabilities (EWwD)” focusing on the social and economic empowerment of the women with disabilities. The project was implemented at Islamabad capital territory (ICT), Peshawar, Nowshera and Karachi. This project has directly benefited more than 600 women with disabilities , whereas about 30 DPOs and a number of public private departments / institutions have also been engaged and benefitted.

 

HI Pakistan collected the stories of project beneficiaries and published to highlight the impact of the project and to integrate the lesson learnt in program cycle management.

Representation and methods of normalisation: Narratives of disability within a South African tertiary institution

DEVAR, Teagan
BOBAT, Shaida
REUBEN, Shanya
July 2020

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Background: The manner in which disability is understood influences how individuals within a society, its institutions, policies and structures are able to accommodate and support people with disabilities (PWD) (Kaplan 2000). Understanding how students with disabilities (SWD) within a higher education context perceive and experience disability as well as how key players, namely, lecturers and disability unit (DU) staff, who influence that experience, is important in further shaping policy and providing a truly inclusive environment for all within HEIs.

 

Objectives: The study aimed to examine the narratives of disability among SWD, lecturers and the DU within a tertiary institution, with a view to better understand their experiences and required initiatives to address the challenges of disability within a higher tertiary institution.

 

Method: The study drew on three theoretical frameworks: social constructionism, feminist disability theory and the Foucauldian perspective. Data for the study were collected through in-depth semi-structured interviews with 12 SWD, seven members of staff from the institution’s DU and five lecturers from within the School of Applied Human Sciences. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.

 

Results: The findings suggested that in spite of both facilitating and positive representations of disability, the dominant representation of disability was perceived as challenging and as a result, disempowering. Students with disabilities were found to adapt, and consequently modify their behaviour by disassociating from their disability in order to fit in.

 

Conclusion: The study highlights the need for creating spaces and engagement within an HEI context that both challenge negative discourses of disability, and at the same time, promote positive representations of disability.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 9, 2020

‘Education for All’ under lockdown: the path ahead for inclusion of children with disabilities

NATH, Seema
June 2020

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, schools around the world experience extraordinary times and as education moves online, those who have historically faced marginalisation find themselves facing new challenges to access education. The situation is disproportionately affecting those within marginalised communities in India and across the globe. In education, these disadvantages are amplified for learners with disabilities belonging to low socio-economic backgrounds. Lessons to be learned from schools that are incorporating the principles of inclusion and social justice while approaching these challenges are highlighted.

Accelerating Disability Inclusive Formal Employment in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda: What are the Vital Ingredients?

WICKENDEN, Mary
THOMPSON, Stephen
MADER, Philip
BROWN, Simon
ROHWERDER, Brigitte
March 2020

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This Working Paper provides an overview of disability as a concept and relevant global treaties and statistics, including evidence of trends and complexities in promoting disability inclusive employment broadly and with some focus on formal employment specifically. We describe the current situation in each of the four focus countries, demonstrating the similarities and differences between them. We then discuss some promising interventions that have been tried, usually on a small scale, in diverse settings, and which may be applicable in our four focus countries (Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda). Finally, we present the potential interventions that will be trialled in the Inclusion Works programme, using an innovation-driven, adaptive management approach.

 

The Inclusion Works programme (2018–2022), funded by the UK Department for International Development, aims to improve employment rates for people with disabilities in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda. 

 

The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the UK government or members of the Inclusion Works consortium.

Being differently abled: Disability through the lens of hierarchy of binaries and Bitso-lebe-ke Seromo

LESHOTA, Paul L
SEFOTHO, Maximus M
February 2020

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Background: Despite its acceptability, the term disability has not been able to shirk the sense of incompleteness, lack, deprivation and incapacitation embodied in the prefix ‘dis-’. The current wave of anti-discrimination on disability issues, calls for constant re-examination of the language and the appellations we use in respect of people with disabilities.

 

Objectives: The aim of this study is to subject the term disability to some relevancy litmus test with a view to prevent it from acquiring Lyotard’s ‘grand narrative’ and to propose and argue for the term ‘differently abled’ because of its transformative and anti-discriminatory slant.

 

Method: The study took the form of a literature review using the optic of Derrida’s hierarchy of binaries and the Sesotho proverb, ‘Bitso-lebe-ke seromo’, (A bad name is ominous) to explore the connotations of the term disability as a disenfranchising social construct.

 

Results: Read through the lens of Derrida’s idea of difference, disability as a concept has no inherent meaning and its meaning derives from its being differentiated from other concepts. Viewed through the lens of Bitso-lebe-ke seromo and read in the context of its deep symbolical significance, the term disability holds immense spiritual power.

 

Conclusion: The study concludes that the term disability or disabled is exclusionary, stigmatizing, and anti-transformational. As such it embodies imperfection, incapacitation and inferiority. Not only is it ominous, it places upon people with disability the perpetual mark of unattractiveness. Against this background the term differently abled seems to convey more empowering overtones than the term disability.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 9, 2020 

Decolonising inclusive education: an example from a research in Colombia

KAMENOPOULOU, Leda
2020

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Inclusive education is a concept born in the global North. Research has shown that its relatively recent but widespread adoption by countries in the global South is often done without consideration of the actual needs of these contexts, and by solely focusing on strategies for learners with disabilities. As a result, inclusive education has been criticised as a neo-colonial project in need of renovation. The aim of this article is to show how research can broaden the understanding of inclusive education and make it more relevant to southern contexts. Drawing on an ethnographic research on inclusive education in Colombia, I present some unique examples of vulnerability, but also experiences of belonging in the direst of circumstances. I conclude that in order to decolonise the concept of inclusive education and make its practice sustainable in southern contexts, we need more culturally sensitive research to inform our understanding of these under-researched spaces.

 

Disability & the Global South (DGS), 2020, Vol. 7 No. 1

At the Margins of Society: Disability Rights and Inclusion in 1980s Singapore

ZHUANG, Kuansong Victor
2020

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A new era focused on the inclusion of disabled people in society has emerged in recent years around the world. The emergence of this particular discourse of inclusion can be traced to the 1980s, when disabled people worldwide gathered in Singapore to form Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI) and adopted a language of the social model of disability to challenge their exclusion in society. This paper examines the responses of disabled people in Singapore in the decade in and around the formation of DPI. As the social model and disability rights took hold in Singapore, disabled people in Singapore began to advocate for their equal participation in society. In mapping some of the contestations in the 1980s, I expose the logics prevailing in society and how disabled people in Singapore argued for their inclusion in society as well as its implications for our understanding of inclusion in Singapore today.

 

Disability & the Global South (DGS), 2020, Vol. 7 No. 1

Universal Notions of Development and Disability: Towards Whose Imagined Vision?

RAO, Shridevi
KALYANPUR, Maya
2020

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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

Decolonizing inclusive education: A collection of practical inclusive CDS- and DisCrit-informed teaching practices implemented in the global South

ELDER, Brent C
MIGLIARINI, Valentina
2020

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In this paper, we present a collection of decolonizing inclusive practices for elementary education that we have found effective when implementing them in postcolonial countries. The choice and implementation of such practices was informed by the intersectional and interdisciplinary theoretical framework of Critical Disability Studies (CDS) and Disability Critical Race Theory in Education (DisCrit), and guided by decolonizing methodologies and community-based participatory research (CBPR). The main purpose of this paper is to show how critical theoretical frameworks can be made accessible to practitioners through strategies that can foster a critical perspective of inclusive education in postcolonial countries. By doing so, we attempt to push back against the uncritical transfer of inclusion models into Southern countries, which further puts pressure on practitioners to imitate the Northern values of access, acceptance, participation, and academic achievement (Werning et al., 2016). Finally, we hope to start an international dialogue with practitioners, families, researchers, and communities committed to inclusive education in postcolonial countries to critically analyze the application of the strategies illustrated here, and to continue decolonizing contemporary notions of inclusive education.

 

Disability & the Global South (DGS), 2020, Vol. 7 No. 1

Sexual violence against girls and young women with disabilities in Ethiopia. Including a capability perspective

DESSIE, Samrawit
BEKELE, Yirgashewa
BILGERI, Margarita
November 2019

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This study examined the attributes of sexual violence against girls and young women with disabilities in the northern part of Ethiopia. In order to reach the proposed objective, six in-depth interviews were conducted with young women with disabilities who were survivors of sexual violence experienced during their adolescence and their caregivers. The study focused on vulnerability factors, situations of perpetrators, effects of sexual abuse and coping strategies.

 

Journal of Global Ethics, 15:3, 325-343

DOI: 10.1080/17449626.2019.1690554

Hearing loss grades and the International classification of functioning, disability and health

OLUSANYA, Bolajoko
DAVIS, Adrian
HOFFMANN, Howard
September 2019

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The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 466 million people were living with disabling hearing impairment in 2018 and this estimate is projected to rise to 630 million by 2030 and to over 900 million by 2050. However, these projections are based on a hearing impairment classification that does not fully reflect the provisions of the International classification of functioning, disability and health for assessing all forms of functional impairments. The case is made for a review of the concept of disabling hearing loss adopted by WHO after the recommendation of the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Expert Group on Hearing Impairment in 2008.

 

Bull World Health Organ. 2019;97(10):725-728

doi: 10.2471/BLT.19.230367

Access into professional degrees by students with disabilities in South African higher learning: A decolonial perspective

NDLOVU, Sibonokuhle
2019

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Background: Former historically disadvantaged social groups such as women, black people and those with disabilities are expected to participate in the skilled labour force that South Africa has pledged to produce for the 21st century. However, in the South African context, research widely neglects access of those into professional degrees in higher learning. There is a need for such an exploration because people with disabilities have been found to be excluded from professional employment.

 

Objectives: Using decolonial theory, this empirical study sought to explore obstacles confronted by students with disabilities at entry in a specific institution of higher learning in South Africa. The aim was to unveil the invisible obstacles and their causes for an effective intervention.

 

Method: A qualitative research design was adopted and in-depth interviews were conducted to collect data from the participants. This particular dimension of research method was chosen to enable dialogue and development of partnership, which is important for collecting rich data.

 

Results: While policies of inclusion still enabled access of all students into professional degrees, there were however inequitable practices, alienation and inequality that excluded students with disabilities at entry. Obstacles seen at surface level were not the real ones; the real ones were the deep-seated issues of coloniality.

 

Conclusion: If the underlying causes of obstacles at entry are not visible to students with disabilities themselves and the responsible stakeholders, students might continue to be oppressed on entry into the professional degrees and in higher learning generally. Obstacles can only be dismantled when there is an awareness about their deep-seated causes.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 8, 2019

Sightsavers' approach to making health services inclusive for everyone

Sightsavers
April 2019

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Sightsavers has produced a new film that sets out our work to make health care services accessible and inclusive for everyone. It focuses on our programmes in Bhopal, India and Nampula, Mozambique. This highlights how we work and share learnings globally, but also shows how programmes can be made locally relevant by working with partners with direct experience.

The film showcases some of the people who work hard to make our inclusive health programmes a success, from Sightsavers experts and government health workers to leaders of disabled people’s organisations.

To find out more our inclusive health work and how we are developing best practice in terms of inclusive health programmes, visit our website: https://www.sightsavers.org/disability/health/

‘We only got Coca-Cola’: Disability and the paradox of (dis)empowerment in Southeast Nigeria

NWOKORIE, Okechukwu V.
DEVLIEGER, Patrick J.
2019

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Background: Empowerment is the generic name for support services for persons with disability in Nigeria. In it, the elites of the society play leading roles. Special events such as anniversaries, Christmas seasons, wealthy people’s birthdays, investiture of new titles and campaigns before general elections often provide occasions for empowerment programmes.

 

Objectives: This article explores discourses of empowerment of persons with disability in Southeast Nigeria. We concentrate on the relation between local elites and the disability community and how it impacts our understanding of empowerment. Conceptualising empowerment as worldmaking, and disability as something that is ambiguous, we challenge the assumption that the aim of empowerment of disabled people is to improve their (disabled people’s) quality of life.

 

Method: This article relies on research data (collected between January 2014 and January 2017) comprising 72 interviews and participant observations from 27 persons with disability, and 13 social workers and senior government officials.

 

Results: We conclude that discourses of empowerment of disabled people frame disability as loss and tend to conceal the personal stories and survival operations of disabled people.

 

Conclusion: Empowerment discourses ironically provide the platform for local power elites to ‘ride’ to fame on the backs of disabled to extend their influence in society. In the current neoliberal environment of unequal access to opportunities, disabled people must ‘play along’ as a survival strategy. Our qualitative data provide opportunities to reflect on the tensions between the ‘local and the global’, thus indicating how disability issues intersect with other wider questions.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 8, 2019

Reimagining personal and collective experiences of disability in Africa

HOWELL, Colleen
LORENZO, Theresa
SOMPETA-GCAZA, Siphokazi
2019

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This paper explores understandings of disability in Africa through the personal and collective experiences of a group of postgraduate students at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. The students, as disabled people themselves or practitioners working in the field across Africa, were required to capture their understanding of disability on the continent in a poster, set as a summative assessment task. What emerges from the students’ posters provides valuable insights into the complex social, political and economic factors that influence and shape the experience of disability in Africa. The paper argues that these insights are especially important to existing conceptual thinking around disability and its importance to discussions on Africa and its development. It suggests that grappling more carefully with the experience of disability in Africa brings much needed voices from Africa and the global South into the field of Disability Studies and deepens these debates in valuable and necessary ways.

 

Disability and the Global South, 2019, Vol.6, No. 2

Participation, agency and disability in Brazil: transforming psychological practices into public policy from a human rights perspective

GESSER, Marivete
BLOCK, Pamela
NUERNBERG, Adriano Henrique
2019

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Participation is a little discussed or researched concept in the social sciences, despite its importance in understanding activism. This article presents some theoretical and methodological considerations for promoting social participation and agency for disabled people through the work of psychologists associated with Brazilian public policies. This article takes the form of a discursive study, based on the dialogue between: a) Brazilian legislation on disability; b) Bader Sawaia’s Ethical-Political Psychology; and c) Disability Studies. Based on the assumption that psychological practices should promote participation and agency for disabled people, we present the elements that hinder or control participation. We then present theoretical methodological contributions to build practices that promote participation and agency, highlighting: a) critiques of moral and biomedical models of disability; b) understandings of disability from intersectional perspectives that incorporate it as a category of analysis; c) including disabled people in the construction of research and professional practices disabled people and d) the rupture with ableism, which blocks the participation of disabled people. Participation has shown to be a multidimensional concept that covers a spectrum of aspects – from the practice of activism to the constitution of subjectivity in disabled people.

 

Disability & the Global South (DGS), 2019, Vol. 6 No. 2

Precarious Bodies, Precarious Lives: Framing Disability in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Cinema

GARRETT, Victoria
2019

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Alejandro González Iñárritu is a salient example of contemporary Latin American directors who portray sick or disabled bodies as a visual and affective shorthand for different forms of violence. This article explores the relationship between his signature intersecting plots that join seemingly disconnected social spheres in a shared precariousness and his portrayal of illness, injury, and disability to suggest the violence and inequality that underpin these connections. I argue that González Iñárritu’s films frequently represent injured and disabled bodies to expose invisible connections that make social injustice possible as evidence of his using film as a political or ethical intervention that might erode the way contemporary global capitalism reproduces coloniality in everyday life. At the same time, his films illustrate the pitfalls of utilizing disabled bodies to realize this critique, thus shedding light on the ethical dimensions of this tendency to link disability with a critique of violence.

 

Disability & the Global South (DGS), 2019, Vol. 6 No. 1

Decolonial Embodiment: Fanon, the Clinical Encounter, and the Colonial Wound

UREÑA Carolyn
2019

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Disability studies and the medical humanities have recently garnered increasing attention from academics interested in challenging modern, biological understandings of health and illness that dehumanize and alienate people with disabilities and those who are ill. While these discourses have much to contribute to the understanding of human diversity, including the study of race and ethnicity, the risk of conflating illness, disability, and historical forms of systemic discrimination remains a point of concern. As a black Martinican, clinician, and philosopher, Frantz Fanon draws our attention to the importance of healing the physical, affective, and epistemological wounds of coloniality by attending to the social relations that produce them. Fanon exposes the limits of hegemonic epistemologies of the body, raising the question of what other kinds of knowledge about health and illness are likewise excluded by the coloniality of knowledge. Theorizing the clinic as an important location from which revolutionary thought can emerge, I provide a decolonial framework for understanding how a sustained encounter between critical race and disability studies can generate new conceptions of health and healing that requires thinking about a different kind of pain and suffering not captured by the current rubric but to which we, in the twenty-first century, must nevertheless attend.

 

Disability & the Global South (DGS), 2019, Vol. 6 No. 1

Disability, Decoloniality, and Other-than-Humanist Ethics in Anzaldúan Thought

BOST, Suzanne
2019

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Gloria Anzaldúa’s writing has been read as decolonial based on her resistance to dominant national, racial, and cultural formations. This essay turns to unpublished documents from the Gloria Anzaldúa archive that are decolonial at a more fundamental level. In autobiographical writings about her own experiences with disability, as well as doodles and figure drawings, the alternate forms of human life that Anzaldúa depicts defy the logics of identification and differentiation that underlie colonial hierarchies. Refusing to fix bodies with labels, Anzaldúa accepted mystical encounters and inter-species minglings without judgment. She experienced her own disabling conditions (including a severe hormone imbalance and Type 1 diabetes) in the epistemological fold between medical diagnoses (which enforce the coloniality of power, knowledge, and being) and trans-corporeal perceptions that defy empirical analysis. I analyze the ways in which these more capacious ways of being resonate with recent developments in posthumanist theory and disability ethics.

 

Disability & the Global South (DGS), 2019, Vol. 6 No. 1

Globalized Food and Pharma: The South Bites Back in Lina Meruane’s Fruta podrida

JÖRGENSEN, Beth E
2019

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One common denominator of the novels and short stories by Lina Meruane (Chile, b. 1970) is the unconventional representation of illness and disability, and a critique of the connections between illness or disability, medicine and globalization. In this paper, I examine her novel Fruta podrida (2007) (rotten fruit) and the challenge it poses to the globalization of food production and pharmacological research as they affect people living in the Global South. This critique is realized obliquely and disturbingly from three distinct subject positions: a Chilean chemist who works for a fruit company in Chile; her half-sister who has diabetes; and a nurse in a New York City hospital. The linguistic and structural complexity of the narrative discourse demands an engagement with the text that places a further demand on its readers to engage with the inequalities and abuses created under globalization.

 

Disability & the Global South (DGS), 2019, Vol. 6 No. 1

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