04 SES 01 A, Biographical Experiences of People with Disability in European Educational Systems
In recent decades, important changes in the educational and social systems of European countries have taken place. A move can be traced away from separate educational settings in special schools to more inclusive forms, and from the principle of charity to new forms of empowering persons with disabilities under a human rights perspective.
The proposed round table presentations from four European countries are based on the intermediate results of the collaborative European research project Quali-TYDES (http://quali-tydes.univie.ac.at). In this 3–year project (2010-2013) funded by the European Science Foundation (ESF), the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS), the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (MICINN), and the Czech Science Foundation (GACR), researchers from Austria, the Czech Republic, Ireland and Spain investigate and explain how developments on different policy levels have impacted on the lives of young disabled people. By combining biographical research with critical policy analysis, the research partners aim to generate policy-relevant knowledge that is grounded in the experiences of young disabled people. The sample consists of 20 young people from each country (n=80), all born in the 1980s. The focus is on this specific cohort in order to research the impact of the dramatic changes in different fields of disability policy over the last 30 years. The round table will address differences in the development of policies in educational and social systems in the participating countries.
Research questions in this context are:
Which educational policies are evident in each country across the 30-year time span, and how are they related to European and Global strategies?
In which ways did the policy changes impact on the educational pathways of participants?
Which barriers, opportunities and choices for disabled students emerge from the biographical data? How are they related with the policy level?
The country-specific contributions will present findings from each country and compare them in a European perspective, in order to identify overarching key issues for future policy development and implementation.
The sample for comparison is diverse and consists of persons with sensory, physical and intellectual disabilities, of different genders, persons with and without migration background and differing social resources. Avoiding the `gate keeper´ phenomenon of service providers for disabled people, most participants were recruited via Disabled Peoples Organisations (DPOs) and Self-Advocacy Organisations by an `information drop´.
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