Topical Collection "Ability Expectation and Ableism Studies (Short Ability Studies)"

Editor

Prof. Dr. Gregor Wolbring
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 4N1, Canada
Interests: community empowerment; technology governance; disability studies; ability studies; ethics; sustainability; health systems; ecohealth
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Ability Studies is an emerging field that investigates ability expectation (want stage) and ableism (need stage) hierarchies, preferences, and their impact on human-human, human-animal, and human-nature relationships. The exhibition of ability expectations or ableism’s can have positive (enablement/enablism) and negative (disablement/disablism) consequences. The ability expectation of sustainable development was put forward with the expectation of positive consequences and people within the capability approach have developed lists of abilities that they think would have positive consequences if implemented. However, ability expectations and ableisms were/are also leading to negative consequences (disablement/ disablism). To give two examples; the term ableism was coined by the disabled people’s rights movement to indicate the cultural preference for species-typical physical, mental, neuro, and cognitive abilities and the disablement/disablism experienced by people who were/are “lacking” these required abilities. Women were/are disadvantaged in many settings because they were/are labelled as lacking the ability of “rationality” (see, e.g., the right to vote controversy).

This Special Issue invites theoretical and empirical papers that engage with the concepts of ability expectation and ableism in a cross ability expectation/ableism way. Papers should make connections between different ability expectations and ableism’s. For example, how does the ability expectation of competitiveness influence the ability expectation of cognition? And vice versa? Authors that engage with ability expectations and ableism through other discourses, such as disability studies, governance of technologies, occupational justice, occupational satisfaction, occupational sustainability, the Post-2015 development agenda, sustainability, eco-health, care ethics, and other ethics theories, cultural competency, education, global north-global south interaction, and various social theories, such as value, labeling, conflict, choice, identity, motivational, achievement, goal, self-determination, neo-institutional, body theories, and social constructivism theories are especially encouraged to submit to this issue.

Prof. Dr. Gregor Wolbring
Collection
Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the collection website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Societies is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Ability Studies
  • Disability Studies
  • ability privilege
  • policy
  • social theories
  • sustainability studies
  • technology governance
  • animals
  • nature
  • education

Published Papers (5 papers)

2021

Jump to: 2020, 2018, 2016

Article
Giving a Voice to Students with Disabilities to Design Library Experiences: An Ethnographic Study
Societies 2021, 11(2), 61; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11020061 - 15 Jun 2021
Viewed by 460
Abstract
Although librarians generally display an inclusive management style, barriers to students with disabilities remain widespread. Against this backdrop, a collaborative research project called Inclusive Library was launched in 2019 in Catalonia, Spain. This study empirically tests how involving students with disabilities in the [...] Read more.
Although librarians generally display an inclusive management style, barriers to students with disabilities remain widespread. Against this backdrop, a collaborative research project called Inclusive Library was launched in 2019 in Catalonia, Spain. This study empirically tests how involving students with disabilities in the experience design process can lead to new improvements in users’ library experience. A mix of qualitative techniques, namely focus groups, ethnographic techniques and post-experience surveys, were used to gain insights from the 20 libraries and 20 students with disabilities collaborating in the project. Based on the participants’ voices and follow-up experiences, the study makes several suggestions on how libraries can improve their accessibility. Results indicate that ensuring proper resource allocation for accessibility improves students with disabilities’ library experience. Recommendations for library managers are also provided. Full article
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Review
Equity/Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in Universities: The Case of Disabled People
Societies 2021, 11(2), 49; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11020049 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 968
Abstract
The origin of equity/equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) initiatives at universities are rooted in the 2005 Athena SWAN (Scientific Women’s Academic Network) charter from Advance HE in the UK, which has the purpose of initiating actions that generate gender equality in UK universities. [...] Read more.
The origin of equity/equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) initiatives at universities are rooted in the 2005 Athena SWAN (Scientific Women’s Academic Network) charter from Advance HE in the UK, which has the purpose of initiating actions that generate gender equality in UK universities. Since then, Advance HE also set up a “race charter” to deal with equality issues that are experienced by ethnic staff and students within higher education. Today “equality, diversity and inclusion” and “equity, diversity and inclusion” (from now on both called EDI) are used as phrases by universities in many countries to highlight ongoing efforts to rectify the problems that are linked to EDI of students, non-academic staff, and academic staff, whereby the focus broadened from gender to include other underrepresented groups, including disabled students, disabled non-academic staff, and disabled academic staff. How EDI efforts are operationalized impacts the success and utility of EDI efforts for disabled students, non-academic staff, and academic staff, and impacts the social situation of disabled people in general. As such, we analysed in a first step using a scoping review approach, how disabled students, non-academic staff, and academic staff are engaged with in the EDI focused academic literature. Little engagement (16 sources, some only abstracts, some abstracts, and full text) with disabled students, non-academic staff, and academic staff was found. This bodes ill for the utility of existing EDI efforts for disabled students, non-academic staff, and academic staff, but also suggests an opening for many fields to critically analyse EDI efforts in relation to disabled students, non-academic staff, and academic staff, the intersectionality of disabled people with other EDI groups and the impact of the EDI efforts on the social situation of disabled people beyond educational settings. The problematic findings are discussed through the lens of ability studies and EDI premises, as evident in EDI policy documents, EDI academic, and non-academic literature covering non-disability groups, and policy documents, such as the 2017 “UNESCO Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers” and the 1999 “UNESCO World Conference on Sciences” recommendations that engage with the situation of researchers and research in universities. Full article
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2020

Jump to: 2021, 2018, 2016

Article
“The Voice of the Parent Cannot be Undervalued”: Pre-Service Teachers’ Observations after Listening to the Experiences of Parents of Students with Disabilities
Societies 2020, 10(3), 50; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc10030050 - 13 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1443
Abstract
The purpose of this qualitative research was to consider the influence of parent interaction on the perspectives of pre-service teachers with regards to their interactions with and instruction of students with disabilities. The data set for this research was 106 reflection papers written [...] Read more.
The purpose of this qualitative research was to consider the influence of parent interaction on the perspectives of pre-service teachers with regards to their interactions with and instruction of students with disabilities. The data set for this research was 106 reflection papers written as part of a class assignment after the pre-service teachers participated in a discussion panel with parents of children with disabilities. The pre-service teachers were asked to reflect on things they learned after listening to the parents and how they would use that information in their future interactions with parents when they had their own classrooms. The findings suggest that listening to the parents’ experience from the parents themselves had an impact on the pre-service teachers and would positively influence their future interactions. Recommendations to improve opportunities for parent exposure in teacher-education programs are provided. Full article

2018

Jump to: 2021, 2020, 2016

Article
The Disablement Score: An Intersubjective Severity Scale of the Social Exclusion of Disabled People
Societies 2018, 8(1), 12; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc8010012 - 13 Feb 2018
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1593
Abstract
If a disability is understood as a type of social exclusion, its severity can be gauged from the social aspect. Such measurement is necessary to explore the intersubjective structure of social exclusion associated with bodily functions and structures. This paper presents a sociological [...] Read more.
If a disability is understood as a type of social exclusion, its severity can be gauged from the social aspect. Such measurement is necessary to explore the intersubjective structure of social exclusion associated with bodily functions and structures. This paper presents a sociological and statistical method to rate the severity of a disability as social exclusion. The method is modeled on the rating procedure of occupational prestige. According to this technique, people subjectively rate severity by answering a questionnaire. The ratings are converted into a score (the “disablement score”). The method is applied in a preliminary web survey. The reliability of the scale is examined. People evaluate various conditions very differently, with physical conditions with functional limitations rated as severe and disfigurements as mild. Although the result does not necessarily agree with the objective circumstances, it is meaningful in that it reflects people’s reactions and attitudes toward disabilities. Full article

2016

Jump to: 2021, 2020, 2018

Article
“Reasonable Accommodation” and “Accessibility”: Human Rights Instruments Relating to Inclusion and Exclusion in the Labor Market
Societies 2016, 6(1), 3; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc6010003 - 16 Jan 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2723
Abstract
Ableism is a powerful social force that causes persons with disabilities to suffer exclusion. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is based on the human rights principles of equality and freedom for all people. This Convention contains two [...] Read more.
Ableism is a powerful social force that causes persons with disabilities to suffer exclusion. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is based on the human rights principles of equality and freedom for all people. This Convention contains two human rights instruments: the principle of accessibility and the means of reasonable accommodation, which can be used to protect the human rights of disabled persons. The extent to which they are used depends on whether the state implements the Convention adequately and whether companies accept their responsibility with respect to employing disabled persons and making workplaces available and designing them appropriately. Civil society can demand the adequate implementation of the human rights asserted in the CRPD and, thus, in national legislation, as well. A crucial point here is that only a state that has ratified the Convention is obliged to implement the Convention. Civil society has no obligation to do this, but has the right to participate in the implementation process (Art. 4 and Art. 33 CRPD). The Convention can play its part for disabled persons participating in the labor market without discrimination. If it is not implemented or not heeded sufficiently, the state must push this and put more effort into its implementation. If the state does not do this, this violates human rights and has direct consequences for the living conditions of disabled persons. The powerful ideological force of ableism then remains dominant and hampers or prevents the participation of persons with disabilities in the labor market and, thus, in society as a whole. Full article
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