Disability and Place of Living: Experiences of Disability, Accessibility, and Inequality in Four Regions of Myanmar

Posted by on June 22, 2023  /  0 Comments

LIRNEasia’s Research Fellow, Dilshan Fernando, along with CEO Helani Galpaya, Senior Research Manager Gayani Hurulle and Catherine Mobley of Clemson University, recently published a paper on disability and place of living. The paper was based on research conducted by LIRNEasia in Myanmar among persons with disabilities in 2016, funded by the International Development Research Center of Canada. The paper has been published in the Scandanavian Journal of Disability Research. The full paper can be read here. The abstract of the paper is as follows:

This paper aims to understand how the experiences of disability such as peoples’ sense of autonomy, their perceptions of day-to-day challenges, and access to public spaces, vary depending on the place they live, in the context of Myanmar. Informed by the social model of disability, we investigated how disabling experiences differ between those who live in Yangon, capital city of Myanmar, and peripheral areas, Mandalay, Ayeyarwady and Shan. We conducted focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with around 90 people with disabilities who had challenges in seeing, hearing, and physical disabilities like mobility to report the results. This paper finds that people with disabilities lead more independent lives, were better supported in carrying out day-to-day activities, and had more accessible services and spaces in Yangon than in peripheries. Two notable findings are: (1) accessibility is not just infrastructural, but also attitudinal, more enabling in Yangon than peripheries, and (2) people with disabilities who live in peripheries feel “home-incarcerated” due to infrastructural exclusions experienced in those areas.

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