Using Postcolonial Perspectives to Consider Rehabilitation with Children with Disabilities: The Bamenda-Toronto Dialogue

NIXON, Stephanie A
MUE, Peter N
SAMUEL, Nyingcho
GIBSON, Barbara E

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20 pp

This article discusses tensions in children’s rehabilitation that came to light through a series of ‘postcolonial dialogues’ amongst Canadian and Cameroonian participants. We defined ‘tensions’ as conflicts, contrasting ways of seeing things, and/or taken-forgranted ideas that shape issues related to rehabilitation for children with disabilities. These tensions were identified, articulated, and deconstructed through an iterative, multi-phase dialogue among eight individuals who identify as people with disabilities, rehabilitation providers, and/or rehabilitation researchers in Cameroon and Canada. The tensions discussed in this article problematize conceptualizations of disability and of client-centred care, the role of pain as a reinforcement tool in rehabilitation, and assumptions about poverty and religion in the context of rehabilitation practice. We present this synthesis to achieve several aims: (1) to provide multiple ways for rehabilitation providers and others to better understand these particular substantive issues; (2) to model the use of a critical lens as an approach for thinking about rehabilitation that promotes reflective and deliberate practice and that can be applied across contexts; and, (3) to promote dialogue about postcolonial and other critical perspectives on rehabilitation with children and with other groups.


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

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