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Virtual Reality Games as an Intervention for Children: A Pilot Study

Muneer, Reema
Saxena, Tanushree
Karanth, Prathibha
2015

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Purpose: This pilot study explored the use of virtual reality-based games as an enjoyable yet effective intervention to improve skills in children with developmental disabilities. Although the intervention was primarily targeted at the enhancement of motor skills, the children’s communication, cognitive and social/emotional skills were also monitored and changes, if any, were tracked during this period.

 

Methods: Therapists guided 5 children (4 boys with Autism Spectrum Disorder and 1 girl with Learning Disability) while they played carefully chosen games on the Xbox-Kinect, in individual sessions. Each child attended between 4 and 6 sessions over a span of one month. Therapists used a 4-point rating scale to evaluate specific skills in each of the four domains (motor, communication, cognitive and social/emotional) at the beginning of the intervention, and again at the end.

 

Results: Pre-and post-intervention scores revealed that the children made significant progress, not only in certain motor skills but also in skills from the cognitive and social/emotional domains. None of the children regressed in any of the skills monitored from the different domains.

 

Conclusions: Initial findings indicate that virtual reality games provide a useful platform for building interventions for children with developmental disabilities. There is much scope for future research in this area. The results of the study provide insights into the skills which might require prolonged, consistent inputs during the intervention, and the ones which might be acquired quickly through leaps in learning. The different ways in which children with varied developmental profiles might benefit from virtual reality-based interventions were also highlighted.

Cognitive rehabilitation groups: A thematic analysis of feasibility and perceived benefits for clients with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury living in the Western Cape

WILSON, Abigail
WILLS, Peta
PRETORIUS, Chrisma
SWARTZ, Leslie
2015

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Background: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has a significant impact on the burden of care within the South African setting, impacting on the individual, the family, and the community as a whole. Often the consequences of TBI are permanent, resulting in numerous financial and emotional stressors.

 

Objective: This research focusses on the experience of outpatient cognitive rehabilitation groups for individuals who have suffered moderate to severe brain injuries within the South African setting.

 

Method: Participants with moderate to severe brain injury were required to attend five cognitive rehabilitation groups and engage in a semistructured interview. Qualitative data were examined via thematic analysis, to determine participants’ subjective experiences of group participation.

 

Results: There is a need within the South African setting for cognitive rehabilitation and support groups for individuals who have experienced a TBI. The benefits were notable for both the individuals attending and their support systems. In spite of the benefits there were notable limitations to attendance, including financial restrictions and transport limitations.

 

Conclusion: According to participants and their families, there is a scarcity of resources within the Western Cape for clients who have sustained a TBI. Despite limitations in capacity to attend there appears to be a need for structured outpatient cognitive rehabilitation programmes integrating the complex cognitive and emotional challenges faced by individuals with TBI and their families.

Twenty-five years of Community Living: Changes in Support Staff Perceptions

Wark, Stuart
Bleechmore, Kathleen
2015

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Purpose: The attitudes of support staff towards people with intellectual disability can greatly impact upon an individual’s quality of life and level of social inclusion. However, there are few studies that examine how perceptions and beliefs have changed within one organisation over the past few decades; a period during which there have been major social and government policy changes including deinstitutionalisation, inclusive education and the introduction of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In conjunction with a 25th anniversary review of a community-living project in rural Australia, the current research replicated a study from 1987 that examined attitudes of staff with respect to people with intellectual disability, and thematically compared the findings of the two questionnaires.

 

Method: In 1987, a purpose-designed questionnaire was developed and completed by 15 direct care staff. This 10-item tool asked for basic demographic information and for the participants’ perceptions of people with intellectual disability and their own work roles in the disability sector. This tool was replicated in 2013 and was again completed by 15 direct care staff from the same organisation.

 

Results: The thematic analysis indicated a number of differences between the 1987 and 2013 cohorts in regard to their attitudes. The wide acceptance of the rights of people with intellectual disability was one key change. There was an age separation found within the 2013 cohort, with older participants (> 50 years of age) more likely to display similar attitudes to the 1987 group than the younger participants (<30 years old). Dealing with the problem of ageing-related issues, something that was not obvious 25 years ago, was now considered of major importance. There was evidence that disability support was increasingly recognised as a valid career choice, with a substantial difference in motivation found between the two age groups. Across both cohorts, direct exposure to the realities of the job was seen to be the best training for new employees.

 

Conclusions: The past 25 years have seen positive developments in both social acceptance and expectations for people with disabilities. Individuals are now viewed in a realistic but more positive light. As an exemplar of this change, concerns about individuals entering a consenting sexual relationship have changed dramatically, and what was once an issue of major concern is now no longer raised. While the training provided to staff has changed significantly over the past 25 years, on-the-job exposure to people with intellectual disability, combined with support from peers, is still perceived as vital for developing a quality support network.

Young people with intellectual disability—The role of self-advocacy in a transformed Swedish welfare system

TIDEMAN, Magnus
SVENSSON, Ove
2015

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A growing number of young people in Sweden with intellectual disability have organized themselves during the last 15 years in self-advocacy groups for socializing, empowerment, and expressing opposition to the norms and attitudes in a society that labels them as disabled. At the same time, the Swedish welfare system has transformed dramatically with processes of far-reaching individualization, closure of the major institutions, decentralization of responsibility from the state to local governments, and an emerging welfare market where service users are turned into customers. The aim of this article is to analyse and discuss the significance of self-advocacy in the new welfare context. Data were collected over a period of more than 10 years using repeated interviews with members of two self-advocacy groups and participation observations. Findings suggest that participation in self-advocacy groups opens up members for increasing health and well-being through new roles and identities, and it strengthens their control over everyday life. Support is still needed, however, but in new ways; otherwise, the restrictions of the institutions will simply be reconstructed in the new welfare system.

Education through an ability studies lens

WOLBRING, Gregory
YUMAKULOV, Sophya
2015

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The purpose of this article is to engage with ability expectations evident in the education setting. The authors provide quantitative data on the ability expectation sentiment of children in the education setting from 1851-2014, using the NYT as a source and discuss the future impact of changing ability expectations including the ability expectation that humans enhance themselves beyond the species-typical for the education system (section 3). It also discusses the term learning disability (LD) through the lens of changing ability expectations (section 4) and posit sthat the ability studies framework allows for a new community of practice bringing together people and ideas from disability studies and other fields in an innovative way

Zeitschrift für Inklusion 10(2)

African disability rights yearbook

NGWENA, Charles
et al
2015

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This volume of the African Disability Rights Yearbook is divided into three sections presenting articles, country reports and commentaries on regional developments, and has added a new feature in the form of a book review section. The first section (A) of the journal presents a number of articles on issues affecting people with disabilities in Africa, ranging from sexual and reproductive rights to socio-economic issues. Section B presents a number of country reports on Eritrea, Lesotho, Morocco, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tunisia. Section C presents two articles focussing on regional development; one on disability rights and emergency legislation, and another on the right to political participation for people with disabilities in Africa. Finally the journal presents a review of A.S. Kanter’s 2014 book "The development of disability rights under international law: From charity to human rights"

Volume 3

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

A qualitative study: Barriers and support for participation for children with disabilities

MARIE, Anne
HANSEN, Witchger
SIAME, Musonde
VAN DER VEEN, Judith
2014

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Background: This qualitative–exploratory study examined the barriers to participation amongst children with disabilities in Lusaka, Zambia, from the mothers’ perspective.

 

Objectives: The objectives of this study were to understand how mothers of children with physical and cognitive disabilities who engaged their children in community-based rehabilitation (CBR) services in Lusaka, Zambia, perceived and described (1) the level of support they received and the barriers they encountered in terms of their child’s meaningful social participation; (2) the use and awareness of these barriers to identify and pursue advocacy strategies; and (3) hopes for their child’s future.

 

Methods: Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with each mother in her home.Results: Findings revealed both support and barriers to the child’s social participation in relationship to their family, friends and community. Support also came from the CBR programme and mothers’ personal resourcefulness. Mothers identified their child’s school,their immediate environment and financial burdens as barriers to participation as well as their own personal insecurities and fears. Strategies to overcome barriers included internal and external actions. The mothers involved in the study hope their child’s abilities will improve with continued CBR services. Some mothers described a bleak future for their child due to alack of acceptance and access to education.

 

Conclusion: The findings of this study suggest the significant role the mother of a child with a disability plays in her child’s social participation. Recommendations include enhancing CBR programming for families, especially for mothers, and advocating on behalf of children with disabilities and their families to attract the attention of policy makers.

Caring for people with intellectual disabilities in poor rural communities in Cambodia : experience from ADD International

CORDIER, Sylvie
October 2014

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This article explores the impact of ADD International’s project in Cambodia, which aimed to support communities to learn more about persons with intellectual disabilities and support them in their daily life. The article has a particular focus on how this work affected carers, the majority of whom are women

Gender & Development, 22:3

The Malawi key informant child disability project

TATARYN, Myroslava
et al
August 2014

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“The aim of this study was to use the KIM to estimate the prevalence of moderate/severe physical, sensory and intellectual impairments and epilepsy among children in two districts (Ntcheu and Thyolo) in Malawi. The Key Informant Method (KIM) is a novel method for generating these data. KIM focuses on training community volunteers to identify local children who may have disabilities, who are then screened by medical professionals and referred on for appropriate health and rehabilitation interventions. Consequently, the method offers an alternative to population-based surveys of disability in children, which can be costly and time consuming”

The Malawi key informant child disability project : summary report

TATARYN, Myroslava
et al
August 2014

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This report provides a summary of research project conducted by the International Centre for Evidence in Disability at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of Malawi. The study used the Key Informant Method (KIM) to estimate the prevalence of moderate/severe physical, sensory and intellectual impairments and epilepsy among children in two districts (Ntcheu and Thyolo) in Malawi. This report presents summary of the study’s background information, aims and objectives, key findings, conclusions and recommendations

Independent but not alone : global report on the right to decide

INCLUSION INTERNATIONAL
June 2014

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This report presents the perspective of people with intellectual disabilities and their families on the right to decide, in line with Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Over the past two years, over 600 self-advocates, family members, disability advocates, and professionals participated in discussions motivated by Inclusion International’s Global Campaign on the Right to Decide. Additionally, Inclusion International heard from over 80 organisations from more than 40 countries. The report presents a series of recommendations and conclusions in order to advance the right to decide

Independent by not alone. Global report on the right to decide

LAURIN-BOWIE, Connie
Ed
June 2014

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Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) reflects a fundamental shift in thinking: it asserts that with support all people with intellectual disabilities are able to make decisions and have control in their lives. This Global Report presents the perspective of people with intellectual disabilities and our families on the right to decide. Over two years, over 600 self-advocates, family members, disability advocates, and professionals participated in discussions motivated by Inclusion International's Global Campaign on the Right to Decide. Additionally, more than 80 organizations from more than 40 countries worldwide contributed.

Recognising the agency of people with dementia

BOYLE, Geraldine
May 2014

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People with dementia have been assumed to possess weak or even no agency, so this paper provides a novel contribution to academic debate by examining their actual potential for agency. The author draws on findings from a qualitative study of everyday decision-making by people with dementia that aimed to iden- tify the role of social factors (such as gender) in influencing their involvement in decisions. Whilst decision-making constitutes a form of deliberative agency, the research also identified when agency was alternatively habituated, embodied or emotional. The Economic and Social Research Council-funded research was undertaken in the North of England. Existing theoretical perspectives on agency are critiqued, particularly in relation to rationality, language and individualised agency. The study highlighted that people with dementia who lack deliberative capacity can nonetheless demonstrate creative capacity for agency. A more expansive concept of agency is needed in social science theory that is informed by the experiences of cognitively disabled people.

Torture in healthcare settings : reflections on the Special Rapporteur on torture's 2013 thematic report

ANTI-TORTURE INITIAITIVE
February 2014

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This resource is a collection of articles focused upon the treatment of people with psycho-social disabilities in health-care settings, particularly with regard to torture, abuse and ill-treatment, and reflecting on the Special Rapporteur on Torture’s 2013 thematic report.

It brings together contributions by more than thirty international experts in response to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Méndez’s thematic report, providing insights into essential topics and highlighting issues at the forefront of the intersecting medical, legal, and policy fields. It supports a commitment to tackling the challenges that continue to arise in promoting and protecting the human rights of persons in diverse healthcare settings globally

Situation analysis of programs to meet the HIV prevention, care, and treatment needs of persons with disabilities in Ghana, Uganda, and Zambia

TUN, Waimar
et al
December 2013

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With growing recognition that persons with sensory (blindness and deafness), physical, and intellectual disabilities are at risk for HIV, it is crucial to understand the HIV programming needs of persons with disabilities and challenges to accessing HIV-related services. The HIVCore project, funded by the U. S. Agency for International Development, conducted a situation analysis in Ghana, Uganda, and Zambia with persons with disabilities and service providers to describe existing HIV services for persons with disabilities, identify factors affecting access to and use of HIV services, and identify opportunities and gaps for addressing HIV service needs of persons with disabilities. By identifying the needs and challenges in HIV programming for persons with disabilities and by identifying existing programs, the findings from this assessment can be used to guide the implementation of disability-inclusive programming.

Disability studies and ability studies : two lenses to investigate peace

WOLBRING, Gregor
November 2013

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This special edition journal explores the links between peace studies and disability studies. This issue presents four articles that thematised peace and disabled people in different ways. One article looks explicitly at the nexus of the academic fields of disability studies and ability studies, while three articles look at different groups of disabled people without using the frame of disability studies

Peace Studies Journal, Vol 6, Issue 4

Inclusion in education : towards equality for students with disability

COLOGON, Kathy
2013

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All children in Australia have the right to an inclusive education. However, there are many barriers to the realisation of this right in the lived experience of children and families. Current efforts towards upholding the rights of all children are impeded by a lack of understanding of inclusive education and misappropriation of the term. Additional barriers include negative and discriminatory attitudes and practices, lack of support to facilitate inclusive education, and inadequate education and professional development for teachers and other professionals. Critical to addressing all of these barriers is recognising and disestablishing ableism in Australia.

This paper draws from recent research in addressing gaps in current understanding to provide a firm basis from which to inform research based policy development. Taking a rights-based approach, the paper focuses on developing a clear understanding of inclusive education and identifying strategies to enhance the education of all children in Australia

How musical engagement promotes well-being in education contexts: The case of a young man with profound and multiple disabilities

MCFERRAN, Katrina S
SHOEMARK, Helen
2013

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Students with profound intellectual disabilities disorders (IDDs) have the right to participate in educational opportunities that recognize their unique resources and needs, as do all children. Because of their specific communication challenges, positive relationships with attentive communication partners are critical for success. In fact, the power of positive relationships in schools is recognized to be connected to student well-being more broadly. This article examines the case of one young man with profound IDD and his relationship with his music therapist using a duo-ethnographic informed paradigmatic case study. Video analysis based on multi-voice perspectives is used to generate hermeneutic phenome- nological findings to closely examine the relationship between a young man with profound IDD and a music therapist. The voices of four allied health researchers were also gathered to inform the authors’ construction of an informed commentary on the phenomenon. The results suggest that the essence lay in a combination of attentive, responsive and creative being with the other person over time. Four principles of musical engagement were identified in the video footage as critical to the meaningful relationships through music: the music therapist listens; the music therapist takes responsibility for structure; spontaneous initiation is sought from the young person; and the relationship is built over time. These concepts are contextualized within a discussion of student well-being that is underpinned by positive relationships and leads to students achieving their full potential within diverse school contexts.

Disability inclusion in the Syrian refugee response in Lebanon

PEARCE, Emma
July 2013

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This report presents the key findings and recommendations from a four-week field assessment conducted by the Women's refugee Commission in Spring 2013 in northern and eastern Lebanon. Key findings are shared about the situation of Syrian refugees with disabilities, and recommendations are provided to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and partners.

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