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From the human rights-based approach to an ecological approach on how to achieve successful inclusion in international disability education

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Title: From the human rights-based approach to an ecological approach on how to achieve successful inclusion in international disability education
Author(s): Walker, Gabriela
Director of Research: Peters, Michael A.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Peters, Michael A.
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Burbules, Nicholas C.; Boyle, Francis A.; Besley, Tina A.; Shogren, Karrie A.
Department / Program: Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline: Educational Policy Studies
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): human rights ecology disability United Nations European Union education democracy development power ecological framework
Abstract: The barriers that people with disabilities face around the world are not only inherent to the limitations resulting from the disability itself, but, more importantly, these barriers rest with the societal technologies of exclusion. Using a mixed methodology approach, I conduct a quest to revealing several societal factors that limit full participation of people with disabilities in their communities, which will contribute to understanding and developing a more comprehensive framework for full inclusion of people with disabilities into the society. First, I conduct a multiple regression analysis to seek whether there is a statistical relationship between the national level of development, the level of democratization, and the level of education within a country’s population on one hand, and expressed concern for and preparedness to improve the quality of life for people of disabilities on another hand. The results from the quantitative methodology reveal that people without disabilities are more prepared to take care of people with disabilities when the level of development of the country is higher, when the people have more freedom of expression and hold the government accountable for its actions, and when the level of corruption is under control. However, a greater concern for the well-being of people with disabilities is correlated with a high level of country development, a decreased value of political stability and absence of violence, a decreased level of government effectiveness, and a greater level of law enforcement. None of the dependent variables are significantly correlated with the level of education from a given country. Then, I delve into an interpretive analysis to understand multiple factors that contribute to the construction of attitudes and practices towards people with disabilities. In doing this, I build upon the four main principles outlined by the United Nations as strongly recommended to be embedded in all international programmes: (1) identification of claims of human rights and the corresponding obligations of governments, hence, I assess and analyze disability rights in education, looking at United Nation, United States, and European Union Perspectives Educational Rights Provisions for People with Disabilities (Ch. 3); (2) estimated capacity of individuals to claim their rights and of governments to fulfill their obligations, hence, I look at the people with disabilities as rights-holders and duty-bearers and discuss the importance of investing in special capital in the context of global development (Ch. 4); (3) programmes monitor and evaluate the outcomes and the processes under the auspices of human rights standards, hence, I look at the importance of evaluating the UN World Programme of Action Concerning People with Disabilities from multiple perspectives, as an example of why and how to monitor and evaluate educational human rights outcomes and processes (Ch. 5); and (4) programming should reflect the recommendations of international human rights bodies and mechanisms, hence, I focus on programming that fosters development of the capacity of people with disabilities, that is, planning for an ecology of disabilities and ecoducation for people with disabilities (Ch. 6). Results from both methodologies converge to a certain point, and they further complement each other. One common result for the two methodologies employed is that disability is an evolving concept when viewed in a broader context, which integrates the four spaces that the ecological framework incorporates. Another common result is that factors such as economic, social, legal, political, and natural resources and contexts contribute to the health, education and employment opportunities, and to the overall well-being of people with disabilities. The ecological framework sees all these factors from a meta-systemic perspective, where bi-directional interactions are expected and desired, and also from a human rights point of view, where the inherent value of people is upheld at its highest standard.
Issue Date: 2011-08-26
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/26405
Rights Information: Copyright 2011 Gabriela Walker
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-08-26
2013-08-27
Date Deposited: 2011-08
 

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