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Article
Publication date: 12 August 2020

Jörgen Lundälv, Henrik Ehrlington and Andreas Johansen

The purpose of this study is to describe knowledge, awareness and experience of different employees in a Swedish municipality (City of Gothenburg) concerning the disability

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to describe knowledge, awareness and experience of different employees in a Swedish municipality (City of Gothenburg) concerning the disability perspective, accessibility and universal design in practice.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on an online survey. A total of 119 different employees responded to the survey. The data was analyzed from a mixed-method approach, using descriptive statistics and textual analysis. The study also included personal interviews with 19 employees in the City of Gothenburg.

Findings

A total of 521 employees in the City of Gothenburg participated in disability awareness exercises (DAE) at the Disability Awareness Arena to gain greater knowledge and insight on disability perspectives in different environments and services. Of these, 119 people representing different professions in soft and hard services and companies participated in the survey; and 19 people participated in personal interviews. The study showed that a vast majority of them were very satisfied and they have developed and practiced their new knowledge and attitude toward disability and accessibility.

Research limitations/implications

One limitation in this study is that it has investigated the experiences and effects of the DAE 6–12 months after its implementation. Therefore, it is not possible to analyze long-term effects that the DAE can have in practice.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, no prior study of these issues has been conducted in Sweden. This study is deemed to have significant social benefit because of the steadily increasing demand for disability simulations, awareness of disability perspective and accessibility in municipality settings. No other study has addressed the importance of the DAE in these perspectives. DAE is defined in this article as a unique concept for promoting the usage of the disability perspective in the everyday workplace.

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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2014

Gemma Cino

The purpose of this paper is to critically explore the impact of anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) on young people with mild learning disabilities. In an attempt to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to critically explore the impact of anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) on young people with mild learning disabilities. In an attempt to identify why young people (under the age of 18) with learning disabilities are exposed to the criminal justice system, an emerging body of evidence is considered. The research provides an insight into some of the difficulties vulnerable young people may encounter, such as receiving unrealistic prohibitions and the lack of support provided after receiving a court order. The research also highlights the lack of professional awareness and understanding of learning disabilities and considers the level of training available to professionals. The paper closes with a discussion of the themes identified from the literature reviewed and some of the changes proposed by the coalition government regarding the future of the criminal justice system.

Design/methodology/approach

Although a strict systematic review of the literature was not required for the literature review, a less rigorous systematic approach was employed. When searching for literature, the general principles and guidelines of the Cochrane Collaboration were employed, this included inclusion and exclusion criteria. The eligibility criteria guided the focus of the literature review and determined the relevance of the research. During the literature review it was recognised that much of the research is discussion/review based, and currently there is a limited amount of empirical research available. An eco-systems perspective was employed to consider the connections between young people, the environment and anti-social behaviour (ASB).

Findings

The findings from the literature review, illustrate a growing body of evidence which suggests that young people with learning disabilities have been “caught up” in ASB measures. It is positive that more recently, there has been a much needed focus on early identification and diversion away from the criminal justice system, for those with mental health conditions and learning disabilities. The research findings presented by Cant and Standen, and Talbot, provide possible explanations as to why vulnerable young people are made subject to ASBOs. Indeed this lack of sufficient training has not gone unnoticed by other researchers.

Research limitations/implications

Although the author is aware of the valuable insight qualitative research can provide, the methodological limitations raise questions regarding the validity of the research the author has considered, especially as most of the research the author has drawn upon is based on exploratory approaches. Nevertheless, the concurring themes drawn from the research findings raise much curiosity around the potential links between disability awareness training and the identification of young people with mild learning disabilities.

Practical implications

Despite the governments recent proposal to abolish the ASBO and introduce a new approach to tackling ASB, it appears unclear as to how the new measures will differ from the existing ones. The recent proposed measures are set out in the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. Although the accompanying guidance for frontline professionals clearly sets out the need for early intervention, which sits alongside a new menu of ASB powers, including the Criminal Behaviour Order (which seems very similar to the ASBO), it is disappointing that the guidance does not give any direction of how new measures will impact on young people with learning disabilities.

Social implications

Although the ASBO was not initially designed to target children and young people, it is clear from the literature that certain families and young people are often singled out and labelled as “anti-social”. It is unsurprising, that children and young people from poor families, with low educational attainment, limited employment opportunities and live in the most marginalised and deprived communities are amongst those who are singled out as being particularly problematic.

Originality/value

The research findings have helped me to understand some of the potential difficulties vulnerable young people may encounter if they come into contact with the criminal justice system. As there appears to be a lack of empirical research available which considers the connections between learning disabilities and ASBOs, further research within this area of practice would be beneficial. The research invites an alternative perspective which adds to the existing literature.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8824

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Article
Publication date: 17 October 2016

Yung Yau and Wai Kin Lau

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the level of disability awareness in the property management industry in Hong Kong.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the level of disability awareness in the property management industry in Hong Kong.

Design/methodology/approach

A structured questionnaire survey was conducted on 342 local property management practitioners. The survey was conducted online in the period between 15 September 2014 and 30 November 2014 to collect various information of the respondents such as their backgrounds, different perceptions towards the disabled and disability awareness. In addition, in-depth interviews with two front-line property management personnel were undertaken to provide a more narrative account of the topic.

Findings

The respondents generally recognized the importance of inclusive built environment to persons with disabilities (PWD) and the vital role played by property management in safeguarding the interests of PWD. However, the research found that some misconceptions about disabilities still prevailed in the industry and the interests of PWD have received inadequate consideration in the routine property management tasks performed by the practitioners, reflecting a lack of disability awareness in the local property management industry.

Research limitations/implications

The research findings provide a baseline reference for longitudinal tracking of the disability awareness among property management practitioners in the future.

Practical implications

Drawing on the research findings, this paper made several recommendations for improving disability awareness in Hong Kong’s property management industry. In addition, the research findings can be used for before-and-after analyses when the public authority strives to evaluate the effectiveness of their programmes, training workshops or campaigns of disability awareness promotion in the industry.

Originality/value

The importance of property management in the achievement of inclusive built environment has long been ignored in the literature. This study on disability awareness of property management practitioners is very likely the first of its kind in the world.

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Alison Adam and David Kreps

The purpose of this article is to analyse the continuing problem of web accessibility for disabled people as a critical information systems issue.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to analyse the continuing problem of web accessibility for disabled people as a critical information systems issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The ways in which the web is used by disabled people, and problems that can arise, are described and related to the development of critical disability theory from older models of disability, including the medical and social models, noting that the social construction of disability model may tend to mask the embodied, lived experience of disability.

Findings

The lack of interaction of the critical disability approach and dominant discourses of web accessibility and internet studies, particularly in relation to embodiment, is a major contributor to the continuance of an inaccessible Worldwide web.

Research limitations/implications

The paper does not offer a comprehensive set of web accessibility issues, concentrating instead on the most common problems as exemplars.

Practical implications

The paper raises awareness of web accessibility.

Originality/value

The paper brings the topic of accessibility of technology by disabled people into the critical information systems arena and also incorporates social construction of disability and theoretical considerations of embodiedness in its analysis.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 22 October 2019

Lisa Buchter

Previous theories discuss how corporate managers can stir anti-discrimination laws away from their initial social goal by managerializing the law. Yet, other actors …

Abstract

Previous theories discuss how corporate managers can stir anti-discrimination laws away from their initial social goal by managerializing the law. Yet, other actors – notably insider activists – can contribute to move corporate regulations beyond merely symbolic compliance. I demonstrate this influence of activists with three cases studies: (1) LGBT activists for same-sex parental leave; (2) disability rights activists for implementing a quota; and (3) Muslim activists to secure accommodations in French workplaces. Through these cases, I show how activists can move corporate laws beyond compliance, pressure firms to go from merely symbolic to substantive compliance, and analyze mechanisms that explain their unequal success. Bringing together insights from the legal endogeneity theory and social movements theory, I analyze these activist legal intermediaries as actors faced with unequal structure of opportunities, and examine what factors hinder or favor an activist-driven legal endogeneity. I demonstrate the impact of more prescriptive regulations, the institutional power of union representatives (and their alignment with activists’ claims), reputational stakes for companies, and the resources of activists themselves (legal expertise, ability to reframe laws, and informal power within their organizations). Last, I show how activists leverage organizational and legal tools (collective agreement, diversity policies) to induce recoupling between formal commitments and informal practices.

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Article
Publication date: 14 November 2016

Angela Kinn

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationships between recovery approaches and the social model of disability developed within the broader disability movement.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationships between recovery approaches and the social model of disability developed within the broader disability movement.

Design/methodology/approach

Personal narrative and reflective account written from the perspective of a senior peer trainer with reference to selected literature.

Findings

It is important to embrace a social model and rights-based approach within recovery approaches.

Originality/value

An original viewpoint on the perspective of a peer trainer linking recovery approaches to the social model and rights-based approach developed within the broader disability arena.

Details

Mental Health and Social Inclusion, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-8308

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 4 November 2014

Geoffrey Edwards, Luc Noreau, Normand Boucher, Patrick Fougeyrollas, Yan Grenier, Bradford J. McFadyen, Ernesto Morales and Claude Vincent

Since the mid-1990s, the social model of disability has come under scrutiny. Several researchers have examined the role of ontology (philosophical ideas about the nature…

Abstract

Purpose

Since the mid-1990s, the social model of disability has come under scrutiny. Several researchers have examined the role of ontology (philosophical ideas about the nature of what it means to be human) in relation to disability. In this paper, we situate this burgeoning understanding of disability within the set of post-cartesian ontologies, which disrupt the separation of the mind from the body and its attendant dichotomies. Furthermore, we seek to show how such a change can carry through to the research paradigm and therefore affect tangible outcomes of disability research.

Design/methodology/approach

A commitment to an embodied ontology requires first and foremost that researchers rethink what is being studied by focusing on the diverse characteristics of being and its actualization within the world. This will involve an emphasis on the lived experience of the body, including issues of affect, identity and movement, as well as broader issues of embodied being.

Findings

Using a research program currently underway at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration (CIRRIS) as a detailed example, we draw on the ontological framework to help articulate the way research can be re-organized. We show how projects at different scales can be brought to work together, and highlight how a focus on embodiment issues facilitates such multi-disciplinary, inter-project collaboration. We note that adopting such an ontology-based framework will accomplish three major outcomes: (1) increase the relevance and effectiveness of new projects with regard to the overall vision; (2) enhance cross-project synergies and ensure stronger ties between research and practice; and (3) contribute to shifting the underlying ontology from a more cartesian approach to a post-cartesian embodied perspective.

Originality/value

The new ontologies embrace, integrate and extend the earlier social and biomedical perspectives, and offer a critical perspective on technology. The embodied approach recognizes not only the embodiment of research subjects, but also the embodied experience of the researchers themselves. In addition, the approach leads to a more holistic organization of research within a global, interconnected structure of projects rather than simply a collection of separate projects organized into thematic areas, as was done in previous decades. This reorganization of research enhances the ability to engage academic researchers with practitioners not just in the hospital and clinical settings, but also within the wider community.

Details

Environmental Contexts and Disability
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-262-3

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2007

Samantha Wehbi and Yahya El‐Lahib

Through a reflection on a recent voting rights campaign for people with disabilities in Lebanon, the article aims to contribute to a body of literature that seeks to…

Abstract

Purpose

Through a reflection on a recent voting rights campaign for people with disabilities in Lebanon, the article aims to contribute to a body of literature that seeks to challenge the marginalisation of people with disabilities; and aims to share our reflections with others interested in deeper thinking on the global impacts on their day‐to‐day work.

Design/methodology/approach

The article begins with a background discussion of the Lebanese context and the voting rights campaign, followed by an analysis of rights‐based work through a discussion of key issues faced by community activists.

Findings

The analysis highlights the impact of global forces on local grassroots work through the following issues: formalisation of relationships between national government organisations (NGOs); professionalisation within NGOs; contentious dealings with the state; the meanings and uses of diversity and international political relations.

Originality/value

There is a dearth of published studies on the disability‐rights movement in the Arab region; more specifically, the article provides a critical reflection on the changes facing the movement in Lebanon, where there are no published studies on the topic. This article would be of value to activists in other parts of the world interested in the changes facing activism on disability rights or other issues.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 August 2014

Patrick Dawson, Christopher Sykes, Peter McLean, Michael Zanko and Heather Marciano

The purpose of this paper is to examine the early stages of change and the way that stories can open up forms of collaborative dialogue and creative thinking among…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the early stages of change and the way that stories can open up forms of collaborative dialogue and creative thinking among divergent stakeholders on known but “intractable” problems by enabling multiple voices to be heard in the co-construction of future possibilities for change. The empirical focus is on a project undertaken by two organizations located in Australia. The organizations – AAC, a large aged care provider and Southern Disability Services, a disability support service – collaborated with the researchers in identifying and re-characterizing the nature of the problem in the process of storying new pathways for tackling the transitioning needs of people with intellectual disabilities into aged care services.

Design/methodology/approach

An action research approach was used in conducting interviews in the case organizations to ascertain the key dimensions of the presenting problem and to identify change options, this was followed by an ethnographic study of a Pilot Project used to trial the provision of disability day service programmes within an aged care setting.

Findings

A key finding of the study centres on the importance of stories at the early stages of change in widening the arena of innovative opportunities, in facilitating collective acceptance of new ideas and in initiating action to resolve problems. The paper demonstrates how stories are used not only in retrospective sensemaking of existing problems but also in giving prospective sense to the possibilities for resolving protracted problems through innovative solutions that in turn facilitates a level of collective acceptance and commitment to opening up new pathways for change.

Originality/value

The paper focuses on problem characterization during the early stages of change and bring to the fore the often hidden notion of time in utilizing concepts from a range of literatures in examining temporality, stories and sensemaking in a context in which future possibilities are made sense of in the present through restorying experiences and events from the past. On a practical and policy front, the paper demonstrates the power of stories to mobilize commitment and action and presents material for rethinking change possibilities in the delivery of aged and disability care.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2020

Arnab Kundu, Tripti Bej and Kedar Nath Dey

This study aims to investigate Indian mainstream secondary school teachers’ awareness and attitude toward assistive technology (AT) and its implementation level in an…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate Indian mainstream secondary school teachers’ awareness and attitude toward assistive technology (AT) and its implementation level in an inclusive setting.

Design/methodology/approach

The study followed a descriptive survey method within the cross-sectional research design, and the selected approach consisted of a mixture of quantitative (e.g. questionnaire surveys) and qualitative (e.g. interviews) methods. A survey was distributed among 150 teachers from 15 secondary schools following the stratified random sampling technique. Collected data were analyzed descriptively and inferentially.

Findings

Findings revealed that teachers’ awareness of AT was not up to the satisfactory level yet they showed an overall positive attitude toward it. Regarding teachers’ knowledge, professional support or institutional support, almost everywhere the inadequacy was obvious. These schools were running with a poor resource pool of assistive products along with a squat implementation level. Hence special needs students did not get required supports from schools as they deserved which had been hampering the overall inclusive atmosphere. Lack of suitable policies, adequate awareness and financial limitations were evolved as major barriers in the implementation of AT in these schools. Further, statistical analysis revealed a surprising output that male teachers showed slightly higher awareness level regarding AT than their female counterparts but in respect of attitude they were found overpowered by the females. Teachers of urban schools also exhibited slightly better awareness and attitude toward AT than those of rural schools.

Research limitations/implications

The study has a high research value for not only having a scarcity of past studies on this topic but also in developing the inclusive education concept in India by enhancing the use of AT for making the process effective and efficient so far as the academic achievements of students with special needs is concerned. The survey can also serve as a source for academic planners in the country by getting information on the current state of resources, both human and material, and thus by making suitable measures for optimum use of available resources.

Practical implications

The write up of this paper was very difficult, as there were almost no previous studies done on this topic in the past in India, and we had to face an acute shortage of related literature. So, this study would prove to be a good addition in this respect for future researchers.

Originality/value

This is the reporting of an original research conducted in India. To do this study, the authors conducted intensive surveys, interviews and observations. The write up of the findings focuses mainly on the survey and interview data. This type of the study is exclusive in the Indian context and can help Indian policymakers and many other similar developing countries on the globe.

Details

Journal of Enabling Technologies, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-6263

Keywords

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