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Journal article

Sharing the world: the researcher and the researched

Author:
SHAH Sonali
Journal article citation:
Qualitative Research, 6(2), May 2006, pp.207-220.
Publisher:
Sage

This article explores the methodological opportunities and challenges encountered, as a disabled researcher, while doing research on the educational experiences and career aspirations of a group of young disabled people, still in full-time mainstream or special education. While the key barriers facing disabled researchers are recognized, they are challenged in this article and rather seen as opportunities. Further, they are diluted by the ontological privileges that are at the disposal of the disabled researcher, including the use of empathy, which provides a way of understanding other people's experiences in the context of both similarities and differences between the researcher and the researched. This article focuses on three methods of qualitative enquiry – namely, classroom observation, forum theatre workshops and individual interviews. It explores how they were employed to ensure the voices of young disabled people were captured by the research process in ways that reflect their views and recognize them as active social agents who are able to make decisions about their own futures.

Book

Career success of disabled high-flyers

Author:
SHAH Sonali
Publisher:
Jessica Kingsley
Publication year:
2005
Pagination:
208p., tables, bibliog.
Place of publication:
London

This book challenges the assumption that disabled employees are a homogenous group and discusses important questions such as: What is disability? How do people with physical impairments define success? Does gender impact in the same way on disabled and non-disabled people's careers? Drawing on in-depth case studies of thirty-one disabled adults who have been successful in their careers, this book suggests that individual traits and patterns of behaviour are key factors in career success, and shows that it is often society rather than impairment that hinders professional progression. Providing role models and valuable insights for young career-minded disabled people, it will also help inform policy and practice in education and training about disability and equality in schools, employment, and society in general.

Journal article

The impact of childhood on disabled professionals

Authors:
SHAH Sonali, ARNOLD John, TRAVERS Cheryl
Journal article citation:
Children and Society, 18(3), June 2004, pp.194-206.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

The impact of childhood on success in adulthood has been much researched. This paper discusses how parental expectations, social class, childhood experiences and gender influenced the career success of disabled people. For respondents with congenital disabilities, disability was perceived as a primary factor influencing parental expectations, but those with acquired disabilities felt it was gender. Social class played a significant part in all respondents' childhood socialisation and parental expectations. Some experienced deprivation and trauma as children, encouraging them to master future life events. The findings highlight the importance of childhood socialisation to the career success of disabled people.

Book Full text available online for free

Access to specialised victim support services for women with disabilities who have experienced violence. Comparative Research Report: Austria, Germany, Iceland and United Kingdom

Authors:
WOODIN Sarah, SHAH Sonali
Publisher:
University of Leeds. Centre for Disability Studies
Publication year:
2014
Pagination:
59
Place of publication:
Leeds

This comparative report presents the results of research into violence against women with disabilities for the project 'Access to specialised victim support services for women with disabilities who have experienced violence', which was funded by the EU Daphne III programme. It is based on research which took place in Austria, Germany, Iceland and United Kingdom between 2013 and 2014 and involved 187 women with disabilities (106 women in focus groups and 81 women in individual interviews). The research included women with mobility and sensory impairments, women with intellectual impairments, women with mental health conditions and women with multiple impairments. Specialised service providers assisting women who have experienced violence also took part in this study (602 responses to an online survey and 54 individual interviews with representatives from services). Research findings are discussed in the following areas: perceptions and understanding of violence; experiences of violence and support over the life course; women's knowledge about their rights; knowledge about use of services; experience of barriers; helpful aspects of support. Suggestions for improvement and good practice are also included. The report highlights the need for support services that recognise the type and extent of violence against disabled women need to be developed, and for both mainstream and specialised strategies to be pursued. (Edited publisher abstract)

Book

Access to specialised victim support services for women with disabilities who have experienced violence. National report United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Authors:
WOODIN Sarah, SHAH Sonali, TSITSOU Lito
Publisher:
University of Leeds. Centre for Disability Studies
Publication year:
2014
Pagination:
73
Place of publication:
Leeds

This report sets out the UK strand of an international study funded as part of the Daphne III programme by the European Commission to investigate violence against disabled women and their access to specialised women’s support services. It reports on the findings generated from life history interviews with 16 disabled women and focus groups conducted with 29 disabled women from different parts of the UK. It also includes evidence from interviews with service providers and their perspectives on the subject of access to support for disabled women with an experience of violence. The results of a national survey of providers of services to women who have experienced violence are also discussed. The report covers violence in its broadest sense, and includes physical, sexual, psychological and financial abuse; domestic violence, rape, sexual harassment, forced marriage; ‘honour’ killings and genital mutilation. The research found that disabled women had a very limited awareness of their rights in relation to violence. Women had also poor access services and a limited knowledge of possible sources of support and links to outside assistance easily severed by perpetrators. D/deaf women faced particular problems reporting abuse due to small and close social networks that meant interpreters often knew the people involved. Women with sensory and speech impairments and women with mobility impairments were particularly poorly served by mainstream services. The report concludes that disabled women faced considerable barriers to securing assistance compared with non-disabled women. Although some did receive assistance, the way that services were delivered and the overall availability militated against the possibility of easy access to help. (Edited publisher abstract)

Book

Disability and social change: private lives and public policies

Authors:
SHAH Sonali, PRIESTLY Mark
Publisher:
Policy Press
Publication year:
2011
Pagination:
224p.
Place of publication:
Bristol

Combining critical policy analysis with biographical accounts, this book provides a socio-historical account of the changing treatment of disabled people in Britain from the 1940s to the present day. It explores how public policies and institutional care have influenced the types of life-choices and the opportunities available to people. It also asks whether life has really changed for disabled people. A key strength of the book is how it uses biographical methods in new and critical ways to examine social and historical change over time. Chapters cover: Policy, history and biography; Telling stories; Keeping it in the family; Living with medicine; Learning about life; and Working for a living. Especially relevant for researchers, students and policy makers.

Book

Young disabled people: aspirations, choices and constraints

Author:
SHAH Sonali
Publisher:
Ashgate
Publication year:
2008
Pagination:
124p., bibliog.
Place of publication:
Aldershot

Based on research funded by the European Social Fund, this publication examines the career-related decisions and aspirations of young disabled people. A comparison is made between young disabled people in special and mainstream education in relation to the origins of their career-related decisions, and their perceptions of how they will achieve their goals. The book also covers social and personal factors that may act as barriers to young people's choices, such as disabling barriers (physical, social and attitudinal), impairment, friends, family background and relationships, education system, government policy and the expectations of others.

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