04 SES 05.5 PS, General Poster Session
General Poster Session
This poster is part of an international research project (CLASDISA, http://classifications-of-disabilities.univie.ac.at/) comparing the impact societal and cultural aspects have on educational environments of children with disabilities in Vienna, Addis Ababa and Bangkok. As it turned out one area of special interest in Thailand could be identified as the impact ‘acceptance’ of disabilities has on the daily lives and therefore on the education of children with disabilities. Although the country is characterized by fast development both in economic and technological ways (Hoare, 2004), traditions - mainly religious ones (Taylor, 2003) - still play a major role independent from a person’s income, birth place, age, and educational level etc. Acceptance can be understood as a concept deeply rooted in Thailand’s religious tradition (more than 90% of Thais are Buddhists). Dealing with ones faith is associated with a Buddhist’s belief in Karma and the sorrow he or she has to encounter and bear on the way to enlightenment.
More than 75 teachers as well as other educational experts and parents of and children with disabilities in and around Bangkok were interviewed (repeatedly) in order to identify barriers and facilitators (WHO, 2007) posed to education. The interviews included single interviews as well as focus group discussions, ranged from semi-structured to narrative ones and were conducted mostly in Thai. The translations into English revealed the fact that some areas of interest could not be transferred into English without loosing the specific meaning (Esposito, 2001; Maclean, 2007) they have in Thai Language. Acceptance was one of these. Different words in Thai are used to imply different levels of hardship and the corresponding levels of acceptance a person has to incorporate to lead an endurable life. The international research team in Bangkok decided to keep these essential sequences in their original Thai meaning when preparing the data for analysis.
Most of the interviewees believe that there is some association between disability and Karma. Many were practicing Buddhists and willing to share their opinions quite openly. It became clear that especially for parents (Ferguson, 2005) the level of acceptance they need to display can be asserted as rather high. Buddhist practice is very diverse and individual. So are the explanatory patterns for disabilities and the measures parents take to understand and cope with their fate: visiting temples with their children, consulting fortune tellers etc. This also affects further feelings and management strategies of those living and working with (children with) disabilities. Concepts such as pity and caring might serve as examples (Naemiratch & Manderson, 2009).
Esposito, N. (2001): From Meaning to Meaning. The Influence of Translation Techniques on Non-English Focus Group Research. In: Qualitative Health Research, Vol. 11(4), 568-579 Ferguson, P. M. (2005): Disability Studies and the Exploration of Parental Response to Disability. In: Albrecht, G. L.: Handbook of Disability Studies. Thousand Oaks, London New Delhi; Sage Hoare, T. D. (2004): Thailand. A Global Studies Handbook. Santa Barbara: ABC Clio Lewins, A., & Silver, C. (2007): Using Software in Qualitative Research. London; Thousand Oaks, US; New Delhi, India; Singapore: Sage Naemiratch, B., & Manderson, L. (2009): Pity and pragmatism: understanding of disability in northeast Thailand. In: Disability & Society. Vol. 24 (4), 475-488 Maclean, K. (2007): Translation in Cross-Cultural Research. An Example from Bolivia. In: Development in Practice, Vol. 17(6), 784-790 Schumm, D., & Stoltzfus, M. (2011): Disability and Religious Diversity. Cross-Cultural and Interreligious Perspectives. New York: Palgrave Macmillian Stern, P. N., & Porr, C. J. (2011): Essentials of Accessible Grounded Theory. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press Taylor, J. (2003): Cyber-Buddhism and Changing Urban Space in Thailand. In: space & Culture. Vol. 6 (3), 292-308 UN (2006): Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Optional Protocol. Switzerland, Geneva: United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) (2007): International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF-CY). Children & Youth Version. Switzerland, Geneva: World Health Organization
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