Disability Inclusion Helpdesk evidence digest highlights the latest evidence, guidance, and programme learning on inclusive education. Within it you’ll also find the latest evidence, guidance and policy news on a range of other disability inclusion topics including stigma, discrimination, and violence; poverty, social protection, and employment; inclusive health systems; and disability inclusion in humanitarian settings.
The authors of this paper have protested, fought, written extensively and represent the broader theoretical foundations of Indigenous and disability research by focusing on their standpoint perspectives informed by their ancestral spirits and knowledge. Based on our knowledge, cultures, and advocacy skills, this paper collectively explores and compares the intersections of Indigeneity and disability as an embodied identity in four countries: USA, Canada, Sweden, and Australia. This is accomplished by beginning with a brief synopsis of colonization to provide context and then examine the consequences of Western assimilation practices, including academic support of the Western status quo. The paper will then turn to the impact of both colonization and academic constructs on Indigenous epistemologies and ideas of self in disability dialogues. Finally, the paper will focus on Indigenous concepts of difference to not only advance Western disability discussions, but also as a way for Western dialogue to overcome its predilection to hierarchical binaries.
This systematic literature review was undertaken to understand the extent, quality and findings of published and unpublished literature on interventions designed to tackle disability-related stigma and discrimination in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia.
The primary focus of this review was to identify studies that describe the effectiveness of interventions to tackle disability-related stigma and discrimination. The secondary set of objectives focused on understanding the individual, interpersonal, organisational, community and public policy factors that are associated with stigma and discrimination.
Background: Albinism in humans is characterised by a reduced amount of pigment (melanin) present in the skin, hair follicles and the eye; approximately 7000–10 000 Malawians of all ages are affected. Children with these features face extreme forms of human rights abuses, even death.
Objectives: This study aims to describe Malawian mothers’ experiences, perceptions and understanding of raising children with albinism (CWA).
Methods: The study was conducted in 2018 using a qualitative descriptive design, with purposive sampling and voluntary participation. Mothers, 18 years and older, who had given birth to a CWA and who attended the dermatology clinic of a local public hospital participated. An interview guide used during standardised, open-ended interviews was translated from English to Chichewa using forward and backward translation. Interviews were conducted in Chichewa, audio recorded, transcribed and forward and back translated from English to Chichewa. Thematic data analysis was employed.
Results: The mean age of participants (N = 10) was 33 years; two had albinism. Emerging themes confirmed the existence of myths and stereotypes regarding albinism but from the mothers’ perspectives. Mothers reported: (1) some experiences of emotional pain, initially, but also love and acceptance of their children, despite adverse reactions of others; (2) their experiences of stigmatisation of their children and themselves, and of intended harm to their children, and (3) their own lack of knowledge and understanding of albinism.
Conclusion: In our limited study, mothers’ self-reported experiences of raising CWA in Malawi highlight the need for educational programmes on albinism at national level, particularly for families with a CWA, health professionals and educators.
Background: The last decade has seen researchers and speech–language pathologists employ and advocate for a disability studies approach in the study of the lived experiences of people who stutter and in the design of interventions and treatment approaches for such individuals. Joshua St. Pierre, one of the few theorists to explore stuttering as a disability, mentions as a key issue the liminal nature of people who stutter when describing their disabling experiences.
Objectives: This article aimed to build on the work of St. Pierre, exploring the liminal nature of people who stutter.
Method: Drawing on my personal experiences of stuttering as a coloured South African man, I illuminated the liminal nature of stuttering.
Results: This analytic autoethnography demonstrates how the interpretation of stuttering as the outcome of moral failure leads to the discrimination and oppression of people who stutter by able-bodied individuals as well as individuals who stutter.
Conclusion: As long as stuttering is interpreted as the outcome of moral failure, the stigma and oppression, as well as the disablism experience by people who stutter, will continue to be concealed and left unaddressed.
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected communities globally, yet the impact has not been equal. People with disabilities were already often living with severe disadvantage and marginalisation and, as predicted by many disability-focused agencies, Covid-19 has exacerbated these inequalities. Emerging evidence from Inclusive Futures, a UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)-funded programme, highlights the catastrophic emotional and material impacts on people with disabilities in Nepal and Bangladesh. To respond to and plan for future crises, decision makers should consult inclusively with both organisations of people with disabilities (OPDs) and people with disabilities themselves.
This article invites readers to engage with girls and women with disabilities in the global South. It challenges the epistemological domination of Western disability studies in Southern bodies and contexts, and provides one specific way to read the intersection between disability, gender, and ethnicity in the context of Vietnam. Drawing on the politics of engagement developed within the Transforming Disability Knowledge, Research, and Activism project, we argue for recognizing the lingering impacts of colonialism and imperialism in producing disability and impairment in the South, while suggesting new ways of engaging with disabled girls and women through the use of inclusive, decolonial, and participatory methods.
The large-scale mainstreaming of disabled children in education in China was initiated with the launching of a national policy called ‘Learning in Regular Classrooms’ in the late 1980s. More than thirty years on, and little is known about disabled children’s daily experiences in regular schools due to a lack of research that foregrounds their voices. This paper reports the main findings from an ethnographic study conducted in 4 state- funded primary schools in Shanghai involving 11 children labelled as having ‘intellectual disabilities’, 10 class teachers and 3 resource teachers. Data were collected through participant observation, semi-structured interviews, and child-friendly participatory activities, and thematically analysed to identify patterns in practices and beliefs that underpin the processes of inclusion and exclusion. The research found that the child participants were facing marginalisation in many aspects of school life with rather limited participation in decision-making. The exclusionary processes were reinforced by a prevailing special educational thinking and practice, a charitable approach to the disadvantaged in a Confucian society, and an extremely competitive and performative schooling culture. The findings address the need to hear disabled children’s voices to initiate a paradigm shift in understanding and practice to counterbalance deep-rooted barriers. The paper concludes with suggestions for future research.
Purpose: For persons on disability benefits who are facing multiple problems, active labour market poli- cies seem less successful. Besides health problems, these people perceive personal, social, and environ- mental problems. Since very little is known about these “non-medical” problems our aim was to explore the prevalence of clients experiencing multiple problems, the types and number of perceived problems, combinations of perceived problems, and associated characteristics in a group of work disability benefit recipients.
Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study, using self-reported data on perceived problems and socio-demographics, and register data from the Dutch Social Security Institute on diagnosed diseases and employment status. A convenient group of labour experts recruited eligible clients on work disability benefit.
Results: Of the 207 persons on work disability benefit, 87% perceived having multiple problems. Most reported problems were related to physical (76%) or mental (76%) health. Health problems most fre- quently occurred together with a mismatch in education, financial problems, or care for family members. Clients with lower education experienced significantly more problems than clients with an intermediate or high educational level.
Conclusions: Clients with multiple problems face severe and intertwined problems in different domains of life, and need tailored multi-actor work disability management.
Purpose: To explore whether the personal assistance (PA) activities provided by the Swedish Act concern- ing Support and Service for Persons with Certain Functional Impairment in 2010 and 2015 promote par- ticipation in society according to Article 19 of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
Methods: Register data and data from two questionnaires were used (N1⁄42565). Descriptive statistics and chi-square (McNemar’s test) were used to describe the basic features of the data. Mixed binominal logistic regression was used to examine correlation between gender and hours of PA between 2010 and 2015.
Results: Despite an increase in the number of PA hours, more care activities and a reduction of most PA activities representing an active life were found. The result was especially evident for women, older peo- ple, and for a particular person category.
Conclusions: The results offer evidence of a shift to a medical model and indicate a risk of social exclu- sion due to fewer activities representing an active life. An increase on average of 16h of PA over the period studied does not guarantee access to an active life and may indicate a marginal utility. The noted decline of PA for participation in society enhances the importance of monitoring content aspects to fulfil Article 19 of the UNCRPD.
Background:Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) of young people including those with disabilities is a major public health concern globally. However, available evidence on their use of sexual and reproductive health services (SRHS) is inconsistent.
Objective:This study investigated utilisation of SRHS amongst the in-school young people with disabilities (YPWDs) in Ghana using the healthcare utilisation model.
Methods: Guided by the cross-sectional study design, a questionnaire was used to obtain data from 2114 blind and deaf pupils or students in the age group 10-24 years, sampled from 15 purposively selected special schools for the deaf and the blind in Ghana.
Results: About seven out of every 10 respondents had ever utilised SRHS. The proportion was higher amongst the males (67.8%) compared with the females (62.8%). Young persons with disabilities in the coastal (OR = 0.03, 95% CI = 0.01–0.22) and middle (OR = 0.06, 95% CI = 0.01–0.44) zones were less likely to have ever utilised SRHS compared with those in the northern ecological zone. The blind pupils or students were more likely to have ever utilised SRHS than the deaf (OR = 1.45, 95% CI = 1.26–3.11).
Conclusions: Generally, SRHS utilisation amongst the in-school YPWDs in Ghana is high but significantly associated with some predisposing, need and enabling or disabling factors. This underscores the need for policymakers to consider in-school YPWDs as a heterogeneous group in the design and implementation of SRHS programmes. The Ghana Education Service in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service should adopt appropriate pragmatic measures and targeted interventions in the special schools to address the SRH needs of the pupils or students.
Compared with other children, children with disabilities are less likely to receive an education, less likely to be employed as adults, more likely to be victims of violence, less likely to start their own families and participate in community events, and more likely to live in poverty.
The exclusion of children with disabilities affects not only them, but imposes costs on the whole community. If these children lack the opportunity to be productive, society loses out on what they could have produced. The barriers faced by people with disabilities can also create more responsibilities for their family members, which can limit their opportunities to work or get an education.
Moreover, the impact of exclusion extends beyond the economic cost. If people with disabilities are absent from public discourse, the community cannot benefit from their ideas. If they are excluded from political participation, the government cannot truly represent the interests of all citizens.
A growing body of research suggests that the costs of exclusion are high. Fortunately, evidence also demonstrates that there are effective ways to ameliorate these costs. A strong case can be made for the social and economic benefits of inclusion. This paper is an effort to begin making that case.
This research explores the experiences of Beth, a university student in the UK, as she comes to be labelled as ‘dyslexic’, and as she has her diagnosis taken away. Through use of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) and discourse analysis, the research seeks to understand how Beth made sense of these experiences, and to explore the discursive ‘life’ of dyslexia within this sense-making. The discussion in this paper proceeds chronologically through Beth’s story, from ‘struggle’, to ‘legitimation’ to ‘derogation’, and concludes with a call to recognise the role of diagnosis in the field of special educational needs (SEN) from a social constructionist and relational perspective.
The COVID 19 pandemic crisis is unfolding against the backdrop of several important milestones for equality and the human rights of various marginalized groups including women and girls, indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities in all their diversities and intersections in Nepal. The COVID-19 pandemic has entrenched systemic gaps, underlying structural inequalities and pervasive discrimination, more visible with inadequate healthcare, access to information, employment and livelihoods, and social protection system mainly for marginalized groups. This study aims to understand the challenges and impacts of the COVID 19 on marginalized groups including persons with disabilities in Nepal. Based on qualitative research with primary and secondary information, the paper emphasizes the experiences and realities of marginalized groups during the lockdown and pandemic situations. Some of the existing challenges faced by marginalized groups include access to information and health measures related to COVID 19, access to livelihoods and employment, increasing rates of suicide, violence against women from marginalized groups, women with disabilities, and others. The study will integrate these components and deal with intersections with concrete recommendations.
Recent research in the global South has highlighted that persons with disabilities are a vulnerable category of persons during the COVID19 outbreak. This paper provides some preliminary insights into Sri Lankan government responses to the outbreak, which, as we will be highlighting, take an ableist approach that further neglect the interests of persons with disabilities while entrenching disability dependencies on informal structures of familial and household support and in turn, increasing their marginality and economic insecurity. The COVID-19 outbreak hit Sri Lanka during a period of political turmoil – national Parliament had been dissolved on 3 March 2020 with elections initially called for 25 April 2020, six months prior to the official end of the Government’s elected term. Drawing upon rapid interview narratives, we present the lived experiences of two women with disabilities and the unique challenges they are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we write this paper in September 2020, we acknowledge that the longer-term impacts of COVID-19 will not become immediately visible, particularly for disabled people from ethno-religious minority groups, including those residing within the former conflict zones.
Purpose: The aim of the present study was to investigate the experiences of people with Parkinson’s disease and their close communication partners regarding disease-related communicative changes and participation in everyday conversations.
Materials and methods: Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with six dyads consisting of a person with Parkinson’s disease and a close communication partner. The interview material was analysed through thematic analysis.
Results: The main theme was the experiences of barriers and facilitators for participation in conversations. Subthemes were experiences related to changes in voice and articulation, language and cognition, body language and facial expressions, fatigue, self-image, communicative initiative, and familiarity with conversation partner. The results show individual variation. A change observed in almost all dyads was the person with Parkinson’s disease participating less in conversations.
Conclusions: Assessment and interventions should be based on a broad perspective on communication, and individuals’ priorities should be foregrounded in intervention planning. Both the person with Parkinson’s disease and communication partners need to make adjustments for communication to work. Therefore, close communication partners should be included in assessment and intervention of communication in Parkinson’s disease from an early stage.
Reducing stigma is key to improving the wellbeing of people with albinism in Tanzania. This study aimed to obtain more insight into the effects of two radio interventions with regard to albinism-related stigma: a radio drama and a radio interview. Assessment of the radio interventions was based on two attitude measurement instruments (The Albinism Explanatory Model Interview Catalogue Community Stigma Scale and the Albinism Social Distance Scale), an entertainment scale, and two informal (group) interviews. In total, 111 community members participated in the assessment prior to the radio drama, and 65 after. In the case of the radio interview, 123 community members participated in the assessment prior to the radio show, and 77 after. Following the radio drama, a significant reduction was found in terms of community stigma, and a reduction in social distance was found after both interventions. The entertainment score for both interventions was high, but significantly higher for the radio drama. The respondents indicated that they had gained more understanding of albinism as a result of the interventions, and were positive about this type of education. The current study shows that a radio show in which the listener interacts with someone with albinism can contribute to a reduction in stigma, and demonstrates that different types of radio intervention can have different outcomes.
This article represents a culmination of inclusive education projects implemented in western Kenya since 2010. In this article, we discuss the 2018 iteration of this on-going community-based participatory research (CBPR)-informed project in which we utilised multiple theoretical frameworks to inform our methods in this project, including decolonising methodologies and Critical Disability Studies (CDS). We conducted qualitative interviews as a way to learn about the ways in which inclusion committees facilitated the partial removal of barriers to the development of an inclusive education system in the region over the last decade. In this article, we provide an overview of the barriers to inclusive education in the global South and sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular focus on western Kenya. We present findings that highlight the various inclusion committee actions that contributed to the partial removal of barriers which included: sensitising communities about inclusive education; promoting access to inclusive education; and implementing inclusive strategies like income generating activities (IGAs) and co-teaching. We conclude the article by suggesting potential ways forward for inclusive education in Kenya including: a multi-sector approach for family supports; providing government incentives to inclusive schools; and promoting IGAs and co-teaching practices in teacher education programs and in schools.
Purpose: This paper aimed to investigate Greek secondary education teachers’ views on people with intellectual disabilities, their inclusion in the typical educational system, and the dimensions of social and educational exclusion that may be associated with it.
Method: The qualitative research design involved semi-structured interviews with 18 Greek secondary school teachers.
Results: It was revealed that people with intellectual disabilities face educational exclusion for two reasons. The first is because the structure of the education system itself cannot meet their increased needs, and the second is due to the fact that a percentage of secondary education teachers feel negative about their inclusion in the typical education system.
Conclusion and Implications: The implemented policy for the co-education of people with intellectual disabilities in Greece is not effective due to endogenous difficulties. It is necessary to orient the educational policy towards an education for all without "filters" of social exclusions.
Purpose: This study assessed the extent to which visual impairment impacts on vision-related quality of life in Indonesia, by comparing four groups of people: those with 1) normal vision, 2) corrected visual impairment, 3) uncorrected visual impairment, and 4) blindness.
Method: Purposive sampling was used. There were 162 respondents, between 21 and 86 years of age. Participants with normal vision and blindness were community-dwellers in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Those with corrected and uncorrected visual impairment were recruited from an eye clinic. This cross- sectional study used NEI VFQ-25 to assess vision-related quality of life. The total scores and 11 NEI VFQ-25 subscales scores of four respondent groups were analysed using ANOVA, followed by post-hoc analyses to reveal between group differences.
Results: There was a significant difference in the NEI VFQ-25 total scores among the four respondent groups. Respondents with normal vision had the highest score and those with blindness had the lowest. There were also significant differences among the four groups for the 11 subscales. Post-hoc analyses revealed no significant difference between respondents with normal vision and corrected visual impairment in the total and 9 NEI VFQ-25 subscales. Respondents with uncorrected visual impairment and blindness had significantly lower vision- related quality of life compared to those with normal vision or corrected visual impairment in the total and 5 NEI VFQ-25 subscales, indicating that visual impairment decreases vision-related quality of life.
Conclusion: Visual impairment has a detrimental impact on a person’s vision- related quality of life. The negative impact of visual impairment can be minimised by correction. Failure to correct visual impairment leads to significantly lowervision-related quality of life.
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