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Inter- and intra-household perceived relative inequality among disabled and non-disabled people in Liberia

CAREW, Mark T.
COLBOURN, Tim
COLE, Ellie
NGAFUAN, Richard
GROCE, Nora
KETT, Maria
July 2019

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Evidence suggests that people with disabilities are the most marginalised and vulnerable group within any population. However, little is known about the extent of inequality between people with and without disabilities in contexts where the majority of persons experience extreme poverty and hardship. This includes in Liberia, where very little is understood about the lives of disabled people in general. This study uses a multidimensional wellbeing framework to understand perceived relative inequality associated with disability by assessing several facets of wellbeing across and within households containing disabled members (N = 485) or households with no disabled members (N = 538) in Liberian communities (Total individuals surveyed, N = 2020). Statistical comparisons (adjusted for age, sex, education and wealth differences and clustered at the household, village and county level) reveal that disabled Liberians are managing similarly to non-disabled Liberians in terms of income and education, but experience many perceived relative inequalities including in life satisfaction, transport access, political participation and social inclusion.

 

PLoS ONE 14(7)

https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0217873

The experiences of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities in inclusive schools in Accra, Ghana

OKYERE, Christiana
ALDERSEY, Heather M.
LYSAGT, Rosemary
2019

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Background: Inclusive education is internationally recognised as the best strategy for providing equitable quality education to all children. However, because of the unique challenges they often present, children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) are often excluded from inclusive schools. To date, limited research on inclusion has been conducted involving children with IDD as active participants.

 

Objectives: The study sought to understand the experiences of children with IDDs in learning in inclusive schools in Accra, Ghana.

 

Method: A qualitative descriptive design was utilised with 16 children with IDDs enrolled in inclusive schools in Accra, Ghana. Participants were recruited through purposive sampling and data were collected using classroom observations, the draw-and-write technique and semi-structured interviews. The data were analysed to identify themes as they emerged.

 

Results: Children’s experiences in inclusive schools were identified along three major themes: (1) individual characteristics, (2) immediate environments and (3) interactional patterns. Insights from children’s experiences reveal that they faced challenges including corporal punishment for slow performance, victimisation and low family support relating to their learning.

 

Conclusion: Although children with IDDs receive peer support in inclusion, they experience diverse challenges including peer victimisation, corporal punishment and low family and teacher support in their learning. Improvement in inclusive best practices for children with IDD requires systematic efforts by diverse stakeholders to address identified challenges.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 8, 2019

A snapshot of the chalkboard writing experiences of Bachelor of Education students with visual disabilities in South Africa

SUBRAYEN, Roshanthni
DHUNPATH, Rubby
July 2019

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Background: South African higher education policy frameworks highlight renewed interest in equity, access and participation imperatives for students with disabilities (SWDs). However, students with visual disabilities continue to face barriers in their teaching practice school placements.

 

Objectives: This article aims, firstly, to provide early insights into the barriers experienced by students with visual disabilities in their teaching practice school placements in under-resourced schools in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Secondly, it introduces learning communities and a teaching practice pre-placement booklet to enhance equity, access and participation in teaching practice school placements.

 

Method: This study adopted a qualitative methodology using semi-structured interviews to elicit data from two Bachelor of Education students with visual disabilities, who were part of a teaching practice learning community managed by the Disability Unit at the University. Thematic analysis was used, using Tinto’s Learning Community Model which generated valuable evidence to argue for institutional commitment to achieve equity, access and participation for students with visual disabilities.

 

Results: Through engagement with a teaching practice learning community and a teaching practice pre-placement booklet, two students with visual disabilities responded to and managed the chalkboard in ways that promoted teaching and learning in the classroom. These retention support trajectories provide evidence to support enhanced equity, access and participation. Given the stigma associated with disability and the need for equity at policy level, higher education institutions should seriously consider systemic mechanisms for access, participation and success outcomes in the teaching practice school placements of students with visual disabilities.

 

Conclusion: Barriers to participation signal the need for accessible teaching and learning strategies for use by students with visual disabilities in their teaching practice school placements. Teaching practice assessors should be alerted to contextual differences in resourced and under-resourced school settings and the diverse ways in which SWDs navigate these differences.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 8, 2019

The regressive power of labels of vulnerability affecting disabled asylum seekers in the UK

YEO, Rebecca
2019

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There has been some progress in the United Kingdom regarding official recognition of the existence and needs of disabled asylum seekers and refugees. However, references are commonly accompanied by euphemistic labels, particularly of ‘vulnerability’. This should be understood in the context of systematic reduction of services and support available to the wider population of asylum seekers and disabled people in the United Kingdom. I argue that these processes reinforce each other and that both undermine a rights-based approach. Focusing on recent asylum and immigration policies, I explore how labels of ‘vulnerability’ obscure systemic oppression and distract from the rights and achievements of disabled people. The regressive elements of vulnerability discourse are presented as if better than nothing. Such discourse risks reinforcing hegemonic acceptance of distinctions of human worth, with detrimental impact for migrants and citizens alike.

Between duty and right: disabled schoolchildren and teachers’ ableist manifestations in Sweden

GILLBERG, Claudia
PETTERSSON, Andreas
2019

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In this article we discuss ableist manifestations about chronically ill and disabled schoolchildren in Sweden. On claiming their right to schooling, these children risk being excluded due to not conforming with norms while being refused alternative formats that would enable participation. They are then accused of not attending school and construed as problematic. Parents are derided as mollycoddling perpetrators by teachers who perceive themselves as superior knowers of disability and illness, polarising an already infected school debate. Alternative formats for participation are derided, claiming that certain disabilities do not exist or that parents exaggerate their children’s symptoms. We concede that teachers’ poor work environments due to underfunding and unreasonable workloads are problematic, but we are adamant that unfavourable work conditions must not entail unethical professional conduct. We hope this article will contribute to putting the situation of chronically ill and disabled schoolchildren in Sweden on the radar of Critical Disability Studies as well as in relevant fields of practice and that it might stimulate a change in public debate.

Teaching disability: strategies for the reconstitution of disability knowledge

DÍAZ, Karim Del Rocío Garzón
GOODLEY, Dan
2019

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As teachers of disability studies, working with students from the health and psychological sciences, we tackle some of our pedagogical challenges and offer productive possibilities. We begin by introducing the offerings of disability studies and then consider our first question: how might we invite disability into our teaching? We introduce a Spanish tale – Por cuatro esquinitas de nada – that, while aimed at children and not explicitly engaged with a disability, permits us to engage in inter-textual analyses of disability. We find that students move through different stages of what we term distinction, idealisation and invisibility/concealment. We then address our second question – what does it mean to teach disability? We answer this with reference to the generative practices of two teaching methodologies: disposal and disavowal. We conclude the paper by considering the importance of generating critical theories of disability.

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