Next Issue
Volume 2, June
Previous Issue
Volume 1, December

Disabilities, Volume 2, Issue 1 (March 2022) – 12 articles

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Article
"I Just Stay in the House So I Don't Need to Explain": A Qualitative Investigation of Persons with Invisible Disabilities
Disabilities 2022, 2(1), 145-163; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities2010012 - 15 Mar 2022
Viewed by 509
Abstract
Research has shown that persons with disabilities continually face discrimination. More research attention has focused on individuals’ experiences of visible disability, despite evidence that there are higher numbers worldwide of people with invisible disabilities. As such, persons with invisible disabilities can feel under-represented [...] Read more.
Research has shown that persons with disabilities continually face discrimination. More research attention has focused on individuals’ experiences of visible disability, despite evidence that there are higher numbers worldwide of people with invisible disabilities. As such, persons with invisible disabilities can feel under-represented in disability literature. A qualitative study was conducted to address this. Twenty-five persons with an invisible disability were recruited to take part in focus groups and interviews aimed at understanding the lived experience of invisible disability on social life and within the workplace. Data were analyzed using Braun and Clarke’s reflexive thematic analysis, identifying themes of (1) Incongruity between looking and feeling, (2) The impact of others, (3), Adaptation, (4) Talking about disability, (5) (Un)supported and (un)accepted, and (6) Discrimination/legislation. The findings indicate that the language, attitudes and behaviour of others are important to support inclusion in the social and working lives of those with invisible disabilities. Persons without a disability should be willing to talk about disability, see the strengths of those with an invisible disability and be mindful of language used around visibility. Suggestions relating to what we can do to be better support those with an invisible disability in society are discussed. Full article
Article
“Someone Like Anyone Else”: A Qualitative Exploration of New Zealand Health Professional Students’ Understanding of Disability
Disabilities 2022, 2(1), 131-144; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities2010011 - 03 Mar 2022
Viewed by 613
Abstract
Background: One in four New Zealanders identify as disabled. Disabled people, including Māori (the indigenous people of New Zealand (NZ)), experience health disparities. Systemic and individual health professional (HP) biases are factors that may affect health outcomes. Disability education is a means for [...] Read more.
Background: One in four New Zealanders identify as disabled. Disabled people, including Māori (the indigenous people of New Zealand (NZ)), experience health disparities. Systemic and individual health professional (HP) biases are factors that may affect health outcomes. Disability education is a means for improving attitudes and behaviors towards disabled people. The objective of this study was to explore NZ HP students’ understanding of disability and health-related concepts. Methods: HP students from one tertiary institution in NZ were interviewed through Zoom video call about their understanding of disability and health. A relativism paradigm and contextualism epistemology (underpinned by the socio-ecological model) shaped the reflexive thematic analysis. Transcripts were analyzed at a deductive and latent level. Results: Nine HP participants, from different professional courses and cultural backgrounds, were interviewed. Three main themes influenced participants’ understanding of disability: life experiences, professional education, and societal exposure. Participants who had more experience with disabled people had a deeper and more nuanced appreciation of the challenges disabled people face in accessing health services and obtaining equitable health outcomes. Cultural background also influenced the participants’ understanding of disability. Participants preferred more experiential learning methods to improve their knowledge of disability concepts. Lastly, expectations of inclusion are determined by observing social norms. Conclusion: Participants reported learning just a few models of disability. The HP students predominantly came from a perspective of ensuring equality rather than equity. There was limited recognition of the systemic biases that exist within multiple social determinants and how these perpetuate health inequities for disabled people. A socio-ecological consideration of disability throughout the curricula, self-reflection, acknowledging systemic bias, and proactively including disabled people as HP students and teachers are potential means for addressing health inequities. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Fear, Isolation, and Invisibility during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Study of Adults with Physical Disabilities in Marginalized Communities in Southeastern Michigan in the United States
Disabilities 2022, 2(1), 119-130; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities2010010 - 27 Feb 2022
Viewed by 827
Abstract
This study examines the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adults with physical disabilities from marginalized communities in southeastern Michigan, one of the early pandemic epicenters in the United States. A purposeful sample of fifteen adults with moderate to severe physical disabilities [...] Read more.
This study examines the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adults with physical disabilities from marginalized communities in southeastern Michigan, one of the early pandemic epicenters in the United States. A purposeful sample of fifteen adults with moderate to severe physical disabilities were recruited, taking part in individual remote semi-structured qualitative interviews, which were recorded, transcribed, and coded for emergent themes using a thematic approach to coding and analysis. Three interrelated, overarching themes emerged: fear, feelings of isolation, and a sense of being invisible. These were identified in the contexts of health and healthcare, home care assistance, and access to resources. The findings help illuminate the experiences of those from socioeconomically and racially marginalized communities, populations that are often “always already” vulnerable. Participant narratives made visible the negative impact of the pandemic on physical and mental health as well as the lack of accommodations available. They showed that participants were faced with a dilemma between engaging in risky behavior to have their needs met or avoiding risk and not have those needs met. This knowledge can expand awareness and appreciation of how social, economic, and political systems impact adults with physical disabilities in lower-income and racially diverse communities and provide guidance in designing future clinical and emergency response policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and COVID-19)
Article
Wheelchair Skills Education and Training for Children with Spina Bifida and/or Hydrocephalus and Their Parents: A Pilot Study
Disabilities 2022, 2(1), 96-118; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities2010009 - 22 Feb 2022
Viewed by 838
Abstract
Background: Many children with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus use manual wheelchairs. However, training to ensure appropriate wheelchair use is limited and informal, and this negatively impacts daily activity and participation. Evidence suggests formal training can increase children’s confidence and independence, with early intervention [...] Read more.
Background: Many children with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus use manual wheelchairs. However, training to ensure appropriate wheelchair use is limited and informal, and this negatively impacts daily activity and participation. Evidence suggests formal training can increase children’s confidence and independence, with early intervention being critical for healthy development. In Ireland, like in many other regions internationally, such interventions are not readily available to families. Aim and objectives: The overall aim of the study was to pilot wheelchair skills training for children aged 3–8 years with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus and their parents, to develop a sustainable program. The objectives were: (1) to develop and evaluate a wheelchair skills information pack; (2) to investigate the impact of training on children’s performance of wheelchair skills; (3) to explore parents’ perspectives on how training influenced their children’s daily participation; (4) to identify beneficial aspects of program delivery for children and parents. Methods: We applied a mixed-methods study design that included three stages: (1) evaluation of the use of a bespoke wheelchair skills information pack; (2) within-subject pre-post analysis of the wheelchair skills test (WST) and individual training goals; (3) qualitative thematic analysis of Photovoice documentary narratives from focus groups with parents. Results: Four children and their parents participated in the study. Parents reported the wheelchair skills information pack to be useful, recommending more child-friendly images, and the provision of the pack when children first receive their wheelchairs. Analysis of the pre/post-WST showed an increase in the performance of skills. Parents’ perspectives and experiences are captured in two Photovoice themes: (1) children developing their skills, (2) supporting parents to support their children. Conclusion: The pilot program was a success for these families, highlighting potential gaps in Irish wheelchair provision services and the need for wheelchair skills education and training to support parents and children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disabilities and Quality of Life)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Changing Children’s Attitudes to Disability through Music: A Learning Intervention by Young Disabled Mentors
Disabilities 2022, 2(1), 87-95; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities2010008 - 22 Feb 2022
Viewed by 734
Abstract
Children with disabilities are at greater risk of social exclusion. In part, this results from the negative perceptions of disability held by their peers. An innovative, school-based project used creative music-making sessions facilitated by young disabled musicians to nurture more positive attitudes among [...] Read more.
Children with disabilities are at greater risk of social exclusion. In part, this results from the negative perceptions of disability held by their peers. An innovative, school-based project used creative music-making sessions facilitated by young disabled musicians to nurture more positive attitudes among children aged 9 years in four schools, with two classes from each. In all, around 200 pupils were involved in weekly sessions totalling 16 h. Their attitudes to disability were assessed before and after participating in the project, along with the reactions of parents and teachers. Pupils were significantly more disposed to interacting with children with disabilities and to persons with disabilities more generally as well as to having a teacher with a disability. Parents and teachers confirmed the pupils’ enthusiasm for the project and the impact it had on them. A core driver for change appeared to be sharing enjoyable musical activities with competent musicians who had disabilities. Further research should explore the potential of mentoring by disabled persons in other arts activities and sports to provide further validation of this approach. Full article
Editorial
Acknowledgment to Reviewers of Disabilities in 2021
Disabilities 2022, 2(1), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities2010007 - 29 Jan 2022
Viewed by 671
Abstract
Rigorous peer-reviews are the basis of high-quality academic publishing [...] Full article
Article
Dynamic Standing Exercise in a Novel Assistive Device Compared with Standard Care for Children with Cerebral Palsy Who Are Non-Ambulant, with Regard to Quality of Life and Cost-Effectiveness
Disabilities 2022, 2(1), 73-85; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities2010006 - 24 Jan 2022
Viewed by 834
Abstract
Children with cerebral palsy who are non-ambulant cannot stand or walk independently. In Sweden, daily static standing is part of standard care for these children even though it is time-consuming and costly, and while it may benefit the well-being of many children, it [...] Read more.
Children with cerebral palsy who are non-ambulant cannot stand or walk independently. In Sweden, daily static standing is part of standard care for these children even though it is time-consuming and costly, and while it may benefit the well-being of many children, it is inconvenient for others. A novel stander enables dynamic standing through walking movements. The aim of this study was to compare dynamic and static standing regarding quality of life and cost-effectiveness. Twenty children with cerebral palsy who were non-ambulant were included in this randomized controlled study with a cross-over design. Mean age of the participants was 11.6 ± 3.6 years, nine were female. They participated in four months of static and four months of dynamic standing. Quality of life was assessed with the Caregiver Priorities and Child Health Index of Life with Disabilities (CPCHILD), which has been shown to be valid and reliable, and is tailored to children with severe cerebral palsy. Information about other aspects of quality of life and about cost-effectiveness was collected by study-specific questionnaires. Dynamic standing was the preferred alternative from the family perspective, as it cost less (€64, p < 0.01) and had greater benefits than standard (static standing) care. From societal and healthcare provider perspectives, dynamic standing had benefits but higher costs than static standing (€290 and €354 respectively, p < 0.01). These findings may contribute to the development of individualized standing recommendations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Wellbeing of Individuals with Disability)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Who Is Responsible for Students’ Challenging Behaviour? A Study of the Causal Attributions of Teachers to Challenging Behaviour in Primary Schools in West Bengal, India
Disabilities 2022, 2(1), 56-72; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities2010005 - 18 Jan 2022
Viewed by 744
Abstract
The aim of the study was to understand the causal attributions of teachers to challenging behaviours in primary classrooms in West Bengal, India. Data from 21 teachers from government and private primary schools were collected using semistructured interviews. The study investigated the types [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to understand the causal attributions of teachers to challenging behaviours in primary classrooms in West Bengal, India. Data from 21 teachers from government and private primary schools were collected using semistructured interviews. The study investigated the types of challenging behaviours as perceived by teachers, their causal attributions, and the strategies suggested by the teachers for managing them. The participants described challenging behaviour broadly, and it was divided into four categories: aggression, disruption, talking, and noncompliance. They reported the causes of challenging behaviours in five broad categories: home- and parent-related causes (family violence, busy parents); social causes (socioeconomic conditions); student-related causes (disabilities); school- and teacher-related causes (large class sizes); and government- and policy-related causes (banning corporal punishment). The teachers predominantly recommended employing proactive strategies, such as improving teaching strategies, collaborating with parents, and building relationships with students. A small group of teachers recommended using reactive (e.g., discipline and threats) strategies to manage challenging behaviours in their classrooms. Full article
Article
Physical Activity Experiences of People with Multiple Sclerosis during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Disabilities 2022, 2(1), 41-55; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities2010004 - 10 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 760
Abstract
During the COVID-19 pandemic, government and health officials introduced measures such as social distancing and facility closures that amplified barriers to physical activity. Certain groups, including people with multiple sclerosis (MS), have been underserved during the pandemic. In this qualitative study we aimed [...] Read more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, government and health officials introduced measures such as social distancing and facility closures that amplified barriers to physical activity. Certain groups, including people with multiple sclerosis (MS), have been underserved during the pandemic. In this qualitative study we aimed to: (1) explore the physical activity experiences of people with MS during the COVID-19 pandemic; (2) identify the facilitators and barriers to physical activity during COVID-19 for people with MS; and (3) make recommendations for inclusive physical activity policy and programming. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 11 adults (9 women) with MS during January and February 2021. Following an inductive thematic analysis, three themes were developed: (1) changing opportunities and adapting to new opportunities; (2) social isolation and physical activity; and (3) adapting physical activity to stay safe from COVID-19. Common facilitators identified included having knowledge and resources to adapt activities, social connections, and access to outdoor recreation opportunities. Identified barriers included fear and anxiety related to the spread of the virus, a loss of in-person activity options, and the closure of physical activity spaces. Online and at-home opportunities for physical activity were a valued and accessible way to address barriers to physical activity for people with MS, and should be maintained post-pandemic while considering flexibility to accommodate variable support needs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and COVID-19)
Article
I Be Africa Man Original: Towards a Contextual Conceptualization of Father Involvement in the Education of Children with Disabilities in Kenya
Disabilities 2022, 2(1), 28-40; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities2010003 - 10 Jan 2022
Viewed by 685
Abstract
Father involvement could play a significant role in the lives of children with disabilities. Research is scarce on father involvement in the education of children with disabilities in Africa. We seek to provide a context for father involvement in the formal education of [...] Read more.
Father involvement could play a significant role in the lives of children with disabilities. Research is scarce on father involvement in the education of children with disabilities in Africa. We seek to provide a context for father involvement in the formal education of children with disabilities in Kenya, with the aim of contributing to the development of a conceptual understanding for father involvement in such a circumstance. We examine general research on father involvement in Kenya, explore the policy frameworks that guide fatherhood in the country, and look at the specific area of involvement in education. We then present a case study that examines father involvement in the formal education of children with disabilities in Kenya. Our analysis flags up a key opportunity in the pursuit of education for children with disabilities when fathers are involved; they can support their children with disabilities’ access, participation and success in education. We highlight the need for research that builds upon the voices of fathers to illuminate their role in education and we also make some suggestions toward a conceptual lens that will highlight the contextual realities involved, particularly in regard to the education of children with disabilities. Full article
Article
Development of the Tactile Map Creator (TMC) Application
Disabilities 2022, 2(1), 19-27; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities2010002 - 22 Dec 2021
Viewed by 851
Abstract
There are multiple studies demonstrating that 3D printed maps are important to people with blindness. When designed properly, they help users by improving safety and mobility and allow people with blindness to efficiently learn spatial information from the map and plan their travel [...] Read more.
There are multiple studies demonstrating that 3D printed maps are important to people with blindness. When designed properly, they help users by improving safety and mobility and allow people with blindness to efficiently learn spatial information from the map and plan their travel prior to navigation. However, tactile maps are still not widely among people with blindness, as they are not readily available to them. Creating maps for each person needing a map of a certain location currently requires help from an individual with advanced technical training. They need to use specialized software for 3D models that personnel from disability services and family members of people with blindness usually have no experience with. The goal of this research is to design and implement software that can be used for the automatic generation of maps and be accessible to the general public. Our hypothesis is that by automating all the challenging steps (generation of the 3D model and drawing of optimally designed symbols), this will lead to increased usability and acceptance. Here, we demonstrated an early prototype and evaluated our hypothesis in a user study. To assess the success of this approach, participants answered questions about the process, usability, and social impacts of the software. Overall, participants liked the application because it was easy to use and allowed them to create custom maps with appropriate tactile-encoding features that provide meaningful information to the end user. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Putting a Spotlight on Validators of Easy-to-Read Content
Disabilities 2022, 2(1), 1-18; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities2010001 - 21 Dec 2021
Viewed by 766
Abstract
Easy-to-Read content results from applying text simplification principles to make information accessible for persons with reading and learning difficulties. While both the creation process and simplification principles have gained the interest of scholars and the general public in the past years, the role [...] Read more.
Easy-to-Read content results from applying text simplification principles to make information accessible for persons with reading and learning difficulties. While both the creation process and simplification principles have gained the interest of scholars and the general public in the past years, the role of validators is still less visible compared with that of writers or translators. This paper sought to put a spotlight on validators by answering the questions of who these professionals are, what tasks they take on, and how they have acquired the necessary knowledge and skills for the job. In doing so, it investigated a subset of the data about validators’ demographical and educational backgrounds and current activity collected in an online survey launched within the innovative framework of the Erasmus+ project Train2Validate. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop