Enhancing the involvement of people with disabilities in disability research

Very few people with disabilities have access to tertiary education. Pusat Studi dan Layanan Disabilitas, Universitas Brawijaya, Author provided Dina Afrianty, La Trobe University and Slamet Tohari, Universitas Brawijaya To remove the barriers that discriminate against people with disabilities, the Indonesian government should create policies based on high-quality research. People with lived experiences of disability should be at the centre of the research process. This approach is essential because relevant and accurate data can help overcome the social and cultural prejudices that prevent real action for people with disabilities. And it is critical that research reflects their needs because they understand what is needed. The majority of research still deals with people with disabilities as objects of research by restricting them to the role of informants. It is time to start including persons with disabilities as part of the research team. They can then be involved in i…
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Individual support plans can ensure better working life for people with disabilities

shutterstock.   Maria Berghs, De Montfort University and Simon Dyson, De Montfort University In the United Kingdom, over 11 million people are living with a life-limiting condition, impairment or chronic illness. All of them are more likely than others to live in poverty, and face difficulties accessing education, employment and services. In particular, disabled people experience a disability gap in employment, with only around 53% of British disabled people employed. To combat this, in 2017, the UK government set an ambitious target of getting a million disabled people into employment. An important part of this plan was the “Disability Confident Scheme” which would involve employers committing to reasonable adjustments in the workplace, to ensure that a disabled person does not face any disadvantages. (The 2010 Equality Act says these adjustments are also important for diversity and equality.) But not many employers are familiar with disability – much less chronic …
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Students with disabilities need inclusive buildings. We can learn from what’s already working

Designing schools to accommodate students with disabilities is a complicated task and needs a lot more research than what is out there. from shutterstock.com Scott Alterator, University of Melbourne; Benjamin Cleveland, University of Melbourne, and Jocelyn Boys, UCL Australia has scheduled up to A$11 billion on new schools and facility upgrades between 2016 and 2026. We need as many as 750 new schools to accommodate an additional 650,000 students. Part of this spend must go towards improving school facilities, especially for students with a disability. In 2017, around 18.8% of school students in Australia were provided with adjustments at school – to participate on the same basis as other students – because of disability. The majority of these attend mainstream public schools. This means every school (not just those for students with special education needs) should be designed with students of varying abilities in mind. We need to find ways to make all schools inclusive so …
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