ERG SES B 05, Parallel Session B 05
For the PhD-thesis entitled “Education for Children with Disabilities in Addis Ababa/Ethiopia”, research is currently accomplished on school-aged children (8-12 years) with disabilities in the Ethiopian capital. The research question is focussing on environmental barriers and facilitators (WHO, 2007) children with disabilities are experiencing in school and what impact these are having on the child’s participation and activity during class and school related activities. This research is connected to the international reseach project CLASDISA, and is therefore part of an international comparative research between Austria, Thailand and Ethiopia (project webpage: http://classifications-of-disabilities.univie.ac.at/).
The approach that is being referred to as theoretical background is the Capability Approach of Amartya Sen (1992/2001). Different authors already referred to Sen’s theory regarding people with disabilities. “The capability approach allows researchers to analyze (a) disability at the capability level; (b) potential disability; and, at the functioning level, (c) actual disability. This framework also helps explain how disability may result from three types of factors: the individual’s personal characteristics (e.g., impairment, age, race, gender), the individual’s resources, and the individual’s environment (physical, social, economic, political).” (Mitra 2006, 236)
Chapter 5, the “environmental factors” of the ICF-CY (International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health – Child and Youth Version, WHO 2007), is playing another important role for the theoretical background of the thesis. It is also being used as a basis for developing research instruments.
Ethiopia is a home to more than 80 different ethnicities and there is a huge gap between the rich and the poor parts of the population. These factors amongst others lead to tensions within the population. Addis Ababa is a very quickly changing and growing city. Houses, hotels and shopping centres are built everywhere, the number of governmental schools is growing very fast and also people and attitudes are changing. Regarding these aspects, one can imagine that this city is confronting people, and especially children with disabilities, with lots of challenging aspects in their daily life.
Due to various factors, there is a high number of people with disabilities living in Addis Ababa (Tirussew, 2005). May it be because of the high occurrence of Polio and also of Lepra or because of injuries that couldn’t be healed appropriatley, other illnesses, accidents, mal-nutrition or the occurrence of children being born with disabilities.
The Ethiopian government has good legal foundations for people with disabilities, but like in other countries, it is not enough to have good regulations to make things happen or change. Furthermore, Ethiopia ratified several international agreements on different topics and also aims at fulfilling the MDG’s.
Children with disabilities are getting special attention when it comes to the goal of Education for All (UNESCO, 2007). Education should be accessible for all, but accessibility means more than only the possibility to visit a school every day.
The focus for the presentation will lie on findings of the first phase of field research as well as on experiences regarding the adaptation of the research instruments. Furthermore, it will include a presentation of the planned second phase of field research and some comparative elements regarding Austria and Thailand.
Ainscow, M. (2007): From special education to effective schools for all: a review for progress so far. In: Florian, L. (Ed.) The Sage Handbook of Special Education. (London/Thousand Oaks/New Delhi, Sage), 146-159 Bahru, Z. (2001): A history of modern Ethiopia 1855 - 1991. (2. 2) (Oxford et al., Currey et al.) Bryant, A./Charmaz, K. (Eds.) (2007): The Sage Handbook of Grounded Theory. London et al: Sage Chapireau, F. (2005): The Environment in the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, Vol. 18, 305 - 311 Florian, L., et al. (2006): Cross-Cultural Perspectives on the Classification of Children With Disabilities: Part I. Issues in the Classification of Children With Disabilities. Journal of Special Education, Vol. 40 (1), 36-45 Mitra, S. (2006): The Capability Approach and Disability. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, Vol. 16 (236), 236-247 Sen, A. (2009): Inquality Reexamined.(original work published 1992) (New York, Oxford University Press) Tashakkori, A./Teddlie, C. (2003): Handbook of Mixed Methods in Social & Behavioral Research. (Thousand Oaks et al., Sage) Terzi, L. (2008): Beyond the Dilemma of Difference. The Capability Approach in Disability and Special Educational Needs. In: Florian, L./ McLaughlin, M.J. (Ed.): Disability Classification in Education. Issues and Perspectives. Thousand Oaks et al: Corwin Press, 244-262 Tirussew, T. (2005): Disability in Ethiopia: issues, insights and implications. (Addis Ababa, Addis Ababa University Printing Press) UNESCO (1994): The Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special Needs Education. World Conference on Special Needs Education. Access and Quality. (Paris, UNESCO) UNESCO (2007): A Human Rights - Based approach to Education for All. (Paris, UNESCO) WHO (2007): International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. Children & Youth Version. (Geneva, WHO) Zegeye, A./ Pausewang, S. (Ed.): Ethiopia in change. Peasantry, Nationalism and Democracy. (London, British Academic Press), 231-241
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