JOURNAL: The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal
Researchers and students, but especially people new to their field, can find it challenging to locate research, essays, and other academic literature about people with disabilities in developing countries. This may be in part because there are few international, disability-oriented journals available to publish such literature. One of the few exceptions is The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal (RDS).
The RDS journal publishes research articles, essays, and bibliographies on the culture of disability and people with disabilities. On occasion, it also publishes poetry, short stories, creative essays, photographs, and art work related to disability. It publishes four times a year, with approximately 50 pages in each issue. People can subscribe to RDS for a fee, or people can download past issues of RDS for free. Issues from 2006 onward are available in either Word format or PDF format; older issues are available in text-only format.
This publication is not focused solely on developing countries. In fact, many of its articles are written by researchers and writers in industrialized countries, particularly the United States. But some of its articles may be of interest to We Can Do readers. Some examples are listed further below. I chose some of these articles because they deal specifically with disabled people in developing countries; I list others because they deal with broader themes, such as exclusion, that transcend national and income boundaries.
Please note that it is not possible to download separate articles. To read a specific article that interests you, you will need to download the full issue it is in and then skip ahead to the correct page. Page numbers given are based on the PDF version where applicable. Page numbers will be slightly different in the Word version. Or click on the hyperlink within the Word file to be taken directly to the article you select.
Please also note that this is not a comprehensive listing of all articles in past issues of RDS. For example, I usually skipped over book reviews–but I did see a few for books that would be relevant to disabled people in developing countries. You may wish to explore the RDS on your own by following this link.
Selected RDS Articles
A Little Story to Share
“A Little Story to Share” by Lee-chin Heng, Volume 1, Issue 2, 2004, page 109-111. Abstract: An autobiographical story of a person from Malaysia with physical disabilities who possesses an associate diploma in music. Download in text-only format (2.1 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSissue012004.pdf .
Who is Disabled?
“Who is Disabled? Who is Not? Teachers Perceptions of Disability in Lesotho” by Christopher Johnstone, Ph.D. Candidate Educational Policy and Administration University of Minnesota, Volume 1, Issue 3, 2005, starting on page 13. Abstract: This paper reports on educational research conducted in Lesotho, Southern Africa. Mixed methods of research were used to elicit and describe teachers’ attitudes toward children they perceived as disabled. The study took place in a country where discussions on ‘the Continuum’ of services, specialist diagnoses, and Western notions of assistive technology are largely irrelevant. Over-arching themes are compared to themes that have emerged from special education and Disability Studies literature over the past decade. Download in text-only format (715 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS01032005.pdf
Evaluation of MA Program in Rehabilitation Counseling
“Evaluation of Master of Arts Program in Rehabilitation Counseling and Guidance Service for Persons with Disabilities in Thailand” by Tavee Cheausuwantavee, M.Sc. Ratchasuda College, Mahidol University, Thailand, Volume 1, Issue 3, 2005, starting on page 66. Abstract: This research examines the positive and negative aspects of the Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and Guidance for persons with disabilities in Thailand, since it began in 1997. A CIPP model was utilized for the program evaluation. Multiple methods were used to collect the data, and both retrospective and prospective data collection were undertaken. The research results indicated many positive outcomes. They also indicated certain features of rehabilitation within the Thai context differed significantly from traditional rehabilitation counseling programs in Western countries. Download in text-only format (1.4 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS01032005.pdf
Leprosy in South India
“Leprosy in South India: The Paradox of Disablement as Enablement” by James Staples, Ph.D., School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Volume 1, Issue 4, 2005, starting on page 13. Abstract: Rooted in ethnographic fieldwork with people affected by leprosy in India, this article argues that certain impairments, in certain social contexts, are simultaneously disabling and enabling. This paradox poses difficult challenges, not only for those working with individuals affected with leprosy, but for disability activists
andpolicy-makers. Download in text-only format (3 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS01042005.pdf
Social and Economic Stress Related to HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Botswana
“Social and Economic Stress Related to the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Botswana” by Thabo T. Fako, Ph.D. & Dolly Ntseane, Department of Sociology,University of Botswana & J. Gary Linn, Ph.D. & Lorna Kendrick, R.N., Ph.D. School of Nursing Tennessee State University, Volume 2, Issue 1, 2006, starting on p. 33. Abstract: The paper describes the consequences of HIV/AIDS in Botswana; the country with the highest HIV prevalence rate in Africa. In addition to frequently experienced trauma due to sickness and death, many households experience rising health expenditures and a sharp deterioration of incomes. High levels of morbidity and mortality among workers result in depressed returns on investment, reduced productivity and increased expenditure on training and replacement of workers. As the health care system finds it increasingly difficult to cope, home-based care provides an inadequate solution since the home infrastructure of many households is inadequate for proper care of seriously ill patients. The stigma associated with AIDS often isolates fragile households and provides an environment in which abuse of infected individuals and of orphans whose parents have died of AIDS is not uncommon. The quality of education also suffers, resulting in an ill prepared skilled manpower, with adverse consequences for social, economic, and political development as well as for good future governance of the country. Download in PDF format (3 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS02012006.pdf or in Word format (800 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDS02012006.doc
Toward a Global History of Inclusive Travel
“Toward a Global History of Inclusive Travel” by Laurel Van Horn, M.A., Open Doors Organization, USA; José Isola, President, Peruvian Polio Society, Peru, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2006, starting on page 5. Abstract: This paper provides an overview of the development of inclusive travel and tourism, from its origins in the United States and Europe following World War I and II to its current status as an increasingly important and viable movement worldwide. The paper investigates the key roles played by disability organizations, disability rights legislation, technological change, international organizations and pioneers within the travel and tourism industry. Developments are described sector by sector for air travel, ground transport, the cruise lines and the hospitality industry. While the primary historical focus is the U.S., the paper also highlights advances taking place in Dubai, Egypt, India, Japan, South Africa, Thailand and other countries. It concludes with a case study by José Isola of the development of inclusive travel in Peru. Mr. Isola also describes disability conferences that took place in South America in 2004. It is hoped others will begin to investigate the development of inclusive travel in their own countries and regions and contribute to a truly global history. Download in PDF format (1.4 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS020206.pdf or in Word format (700 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDS020206.doc
Ethnobotany on a Roll!
“Ethnobotany on a Roll! Access to Vietnam by My Lien T. Nguyen, Ph.D., Department of Botany, University of Hawai’i, at Mānoa, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2006, starting on page 36. Abstract: This article describes the research and experiences of an ethnobotanist with a physical disability working in Vietnam. Due to a spinal cord injury, the ethnobotanist uses a wheelchair and walking canes to explore the bustling food markets of Vietnam. Information and recommendations are provided for equipment and traveling to and in Vietnam, particularly for those interested in conducting scientific research and for travelers with physical disabilities. Success is largely due to the mutual respect and kindness shared by people along the way, and by accepting and accommodating to given situations. Appendices of resources for travel in Vietnam and educational granting sources for people with disabilities provided. Download in PDF format (1.4 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS020206.pdf or in Word format (700 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDS020206.doc
The Benefits of Studying Abroad
“Making an Impact: The Benefits of Studying Abroad” Michele Scheib, M.A., Project Initiatives Specialist, National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2006, starting page 50. Abstract: Qualitative interviews with ten individuals with disabilities who participated in a study abroad program within the past eight years, compared equally to long-term outcomes cited in studies with the general study abroad alumni population. Students reported increased self-confidence, independence and career or educational gains related to their study abroad experiences. Download in PDF format (1.4 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS020206.pdf or in Word format (700 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDS020206.doc
“Esau’s Mission, or Trauma as Propaganda: Disability after the Intifada” by Marcy Epstein, University of Michigan, Volume 2, Issue 3, 2006, starting on page 12. Abstract: Israelis and Palestinians, while sharing an I/Abrahamic root, many chapters of Semitic history, and common values of resourcefulness and valor, both have defended their cultural boundaries through the exchange of mutilating, annihilative blows upon the other. The intifada (an Arabic word meaning to shake off or shiver because of illness, fear, or weakness) of the millennium signify a trope of body and status among the fragmented population in the region; specifically, the propagandizing of traumatic events that suggest victimization and invalidation. The discursive nature of “unnatural” catastrophe–devastation of Palestinian communities by Israeli Defense Forces, blitzing of Israeli civilians in planned attacks–substitutes the propaganda of trauma for the reality of disability experienced in both cultures. Reflecting the duality of rhetorical positions seen in I/Abraham’s disposition of both Isaac and Esau, this essay links the root of trauma propaganda to the ideology of religious fitness and righteousness. Download in PDF format (1.4 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS02032006.pdf or in Word format (600 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDS02032006.doc
“Natural Hazards, Human Vulnerability and Disabling Societies: A Disaster for Disabled People?” by Laura Hemingway & Mark Priestley, Centre for Disability Studies, University of Leeds (UK), Volume 2, Issue 3, 2006, starting on page 57. Abstract: The policy and research literature on disaster management constructs disabled people as a particularly “vulnerable group.” In this paper we combine concepts from disaster theory and disability theory to examine this assumption critically. Drawing on primary, secondary and tertiary sources, we assess the vulnerability of disabled people in two globally significant disasters: Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 and the Asian tsunami of December 2004. In both cases, disabled people were adversely affected in terms of their physical safety and access to immediate aid, shelter, evacuation and relief. Using a social model analysis we contest the view that this vulnerability arises from the physical, sensory or cognitive limitations of the individual and show how it may be attributed to forms of disadvantage and exclusion that are socially created. The paper concludes that “natural hazards” are realized disproportionately as “human disasters” for disabled people, and most notably for disabled people in poor communities. Social model approaches and strong disabled people’s organisations are key to building greater resilience to disaster amongst “vulnerable” communities in both high-income and low-income countries. Download in PDF format (1.4 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS02032006.pdf or in Word format (600 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDS02032006.doc
Politics and the Pandemic
“Politics and the Pandemic: HIV/AIDS, Africa, and the Discourse of Disability” by Laura L. Behling, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota, Volume 2, Issue 3, 2006, starting page 97. First Paragraph: In 2004, Africa News filed a report on then 12-year old William Msechu, a young African who lost both of his parents to AIDS in 1999. He, too, was HIV positive. Msechu is characterized as a “very bright boy,” although, the article reports, he is “yet to come to terms with his HIV status.” “I was told that I have tuberculosis and I am getting better,” the article quotes William as saying to journalists (“HIV-AIDS and STDs” 2004). William Msechu’s disbelief at having contracted HIV is unremarkable; persons diagnosed with severe diseases, including HIV/AIDS, often work through denial and incredulity.1 Just as unremarkable, however, is Msechu’s contention that he had not tested positive for HIV, but rather, had contracted tuberculosis, another widespread disease but not nearly as stigmatizing as HIV/AIDS. Substituting “tuberculosis” for “HIV” may be an affirming measure for Msechu, but it also provides one more example of the rhetorical slipperiness that historically, and still continues to accompany, the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Download in PDF format (1.4 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS02032006.pdf or in Word format (600 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDS02032006.doc
Seeing Through the Veil
“Seeing Through the Veil: Auto-Ethnographic Reflections on Disabilities” by Heng-hao Chang PhD., Nanhua University, Chia-Yi, Taiwan, Volume 2, Issue 4, 2006, starting page 6. Abstract: This article is an auto-ethnography reflecting the interactions among society, my family and my brother who has Cerebral Palsy. The experiences of me and my family show the visible and invisible veils that segregate people with disabilities and their families from mainstream Taiwanese society.” Download in PDF format (1 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSv02iss04.pdf or in Word format (630 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDSv02iss04.doc
Building Familial Spaces
“Building Familial Spaces for Transition and Work: From the Fantastic to the Normal” by Joakim Peter, MA, College of Micronesia—Federated States of Micronesia, Chuuk Campus, Volume 2, Issue 4, 2006, starts page 14. Abstract: Transition for persons with disability is a process of negotiating difficult situations and barriers set by others and by systems. My strategies to overcome those barriers in my personal transitions through education systems and employment included the creations of familiar spaces in which group support plays a major role. This paper tracks my process through the familiar spaces and gives examples of encounters with barriers along my transition through hospital treatments to schools and then work.” Download in PDF format (1 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSv02iss04.pdf or in Word format (630 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDSv02iss04.doc
A Model for Learning from Children
“Family Focused Learning: A Model for Learning from Children with Disabilities and Their Families via Technologies for Voice” by James R. Skouge, Kathy Ratliffe, Martha Guinan, & Marie Iding University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Volume 2, Issue 4, 2006, starting page 63 Abstract: In this paper, we describe a collaborative multidisciplinary model for faculty and students learning about culture and children with disabilities and their families in Pacific Island contexts. The model, Family Focused Learning, incorporates aspects of case-based and problem-based learning within the context of “consumer” and “professional” partnerships (Ratliffe, Stodden, & Robinson, 2000; Robinson, 1999).Children with disabilities and their families share the daily challenges and successes of their lives with graduate students and faculty at the University of Hawai‘i, via video letters, video mapping, cultural brokering and satellite videoconferencing. To illustrate this process, we present the story of “Tomasi,” a child with cerebral palsy in American Samoa, a US territory. Tomasi and his family are “given voice” and act as teachers for an interdisciplinary team of faculty and students from public health, social work, physical therapy, speech pathology, nursing, special education, nutrition, medicine, political science and law.” Download in PDF format (1 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSv02iss04.pdf or in Word format (630 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDSv02iss04.doc
Social Change and the Disability Rights Movement
“Social Change and the Disability Rights Movement in Taiwan 1981-2002” by Chang, Heng-hao. Ph.D., Department of Sociology, Nanhua University of Chia-Yi, Volume 3, Issues 1 & 2, 2007, starting on page 3. Abstract: This paper provides a historical overview of the disability rights movement in Taiwan from 1981 to 2002. It shows the major events in Taiwanese disability history, legislation, and development of disability rights organizations, with a focus on two influential advocacy associations: the Parents’ Association for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (PAPID) and the League of Enabling Associations (LEAs). It also demonstrates that the disability movement has developed in concert with Taiwan’s democratic transition.” Download in PDF format (780 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSv03iss01.pdf or in Word format (770 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDSv03iss01.doc
Disability and Youth Suicide
“Disability and Youth Suicide: A Focus Group Study of Disabled University Students” by Esra Burcu, Ph.D., Hacettepe University, Department of Sociology, Volume 3, Issues 1 & 2, 2007, starting page 33. Abstract: For young people thoughts of suicide are based on various social factors. The research literature in this area reveals that there are two important interrelated factors that correlate with suicide rates: being young and being disabled. This study was undertaken in order to explore possible reasons for this increased tendency for young disabled people to commit suicide. The study was carried out at a university in Turkey with a group of disabled students. All the members of the focus group had thoughts of suicide and felt that their disability played an important role in creating these thoughts. The basic premise of the research was that physical disability increases the young person’s isolation and social loneliness and this can generate ideas of suicide in the young person’s mind that may be acted upon.” Download in PDF format (780 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSv03iss01.pdf or in Word format (770 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDSv03iss01.doc
Impact of the South Asian Earthquake
“Impact of the South Asian Earthquake on Disabled People in the State of Jammu and Kashmir” by Parvinder Singh, Ph.D. Candidate, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Volume 3, Issue 3, starting page 36. Abstract: On the morning of October 8, 2005, a devastating earthquake, measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale, struck the Kashmir region with its epicentre near Muzzafarabad in Pakistan-administrated Kashmir. It took a while for both India and Pakistan to comprehend the scale of destruction that the quake had unleashed. In the two weeks following, the quake had left over 50,000 dead on the Pakistani side of the India-Pakistan border and claimed 1,300 lives on the Indian side. A second wave of deaths was expected with the onset of the region’s notorious winter. Download in PDF format (600 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSv03iss03.pdf or in Word format (380 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDSv03iss03.doc. Or, this article has also been published at We Can Do with permission of the author and RDS.
The Scale of Attitudes Toward Disabled Persons
“The Scale of Attitudes Towards Disabled Persons (SADP): Cross-cultural Validation in a Middle Income Arab Country, Jordan” by Kozue Kay Nagata, Senior Economic Affairs Officer of the Development Cooperation Branch, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Volume 3, Issue 4, 2007, starting page 4. Abstract: The purpose of this pilot study was to assess the level of the existing attitudinal barriers towards disabled persons in four communities of Jordan. Jordan is a middle income Arab country, with a PPP-adjusted GDP/capita of US$ 4320. The study attempted to determine the present level as a baseline of prejudice against people with a disability in Jordan, and to examine the relationship between the randomly selected participants’ attitudes and their previous exposure to and experience with disability. The Scale of Attitudes towards Disabled Persons (SADP) was selected as the instrument. An Arabic translated version of the Scale was used for 191 participants. The respondents showed overall negative attitudes towards disabled persons, as illustrated by previous documented materials. The result of this survey was highly correlated with the collective opinion expressed by the focus group that was conducted by the author in Amman in January, 2005. Thus, the cross-cultural validity of this instrument has been confirmed, and the major findings of this pilot study could inform future policy directions and public awareness raising strategies to foster positive public attitudes. Download in PDF format (530 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSv03iss04.pdf or in Word format (410 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDSv03iss04.doc
Barriers to Education
“Barriers to Education for People with Disabilities in Bekaa, Lebanon” by Samantha Wehbi, MSW, Ph.D., School of Social Work, Ryerson University, Volume 3, Issue 4, starting page 10. Abstract: This paper presents the findings of a recent study on the educational situation of people with disabilities in Lebanon. The main findings of a survey conducted with 200 participants in the impoverished rural Bekaa region illustrate the inadequate educational situation of people with disabilities. The focus of the paper is on a discussion of the barriers that people with disabilities face in pursuing their education. Participants identified the following difficulties in pursuing their education: educational system barriers, inadequate finances, health issues, transportation difficulties, and family pressures. Although the focus of the article is not on factors that can facilitate educational achievement, some of these supports are identified, including family support and personal motivation. The article concludes with a discussion of current and planned community responses such as the development of an interdisciplinary community action network (The Inclusion Network), the provision of literacy courses, and a pilot project to foster the inclusion of children with disabilities in mainstream schools. Download in PDF format (530 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSv03iss04.pdf or in Word format (410 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDSv03iss04.doc
Jordan and Disability Rights
“Jordan and Disability Rights: A Pioneering Leader in the Arab World” by Kenneth R. Rutherford, PhD, MBA, Missouri State University, Volume 3, Issue 4, 2007, starting page 23. Abstract: This article investigates Jordan’s rationale for assuming a leadership role on the disability rights issue in the Arab World. Tens of millions of people, including over ten percent of Arab families, are impacted and impoverished because of disability. To address this substantial challenge, the Jordan Royal family has leveraged Jordan’s tradition of openness and generosity coupled with one of the best educational systems in the Arab World to promote disability issues. As a result, Jordan is recognized by the international community as leading the Arab World in promoting disability rights. Jordan’s international and regional leadership on disability rights was recognized in 2005 when Jordan received the Franklin Delano Roosevelt International Disability Award. Download in PDF format (530 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSv03iss04.pdf or in Word format (410 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDSv03iss04.doc
You can browse and download past issues of the Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/.
Or you can learn more about the RDS at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/about/.