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Impoverished adults with disabilities lived experiences of attitudinal barriers & the struggle for inclusion


Impoverished adults with disabilities lived experiences of attitudinal barriers & the struggle for inclusion

Randy Johner, PhD, Faculty of Social Work, University of Regina, Canada

October, 2012

Abstract: In Canada, twenty-five percent of individuals living in impoverished households are people with disabilities. Fifty percent of Canadians with disabilities will experience societal exclusion. This on-going project is exploring Saskatchewan impoverished people with disabilities lived experiences of exclusion from activity participation within a social action rights-based framework that encompasses emancipatory disability research (EDR) principles. Project objectives are to 1. Understand how the interaction between contextual factors, specifically attitudinal barriers and impairments influence participation in society and 2. Promote empowerment via collaborative partnership between researcher and participants with the creation and sharing of digital stories. In-depth interviews and digital-stories have already been conducted with seven individuals with diverse impairments (i.e. Bi-Polar Disorder, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, mobility and intellectual challenges, Asperger’s Syndrome, etc.). Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. Qualitative thematic and content analysis incorporated all interview content; derived results include key emergent themes. Results to date indicate that the interaction between contextual factors and impairments obstructed individual ability (inability) to scale barriers or ‘walls’ to social inclusion. This project has begun to highlight the dire need for policies and actions to focus on persons with disabilities, so that they benefit from progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals.