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Manual Event (Session ID,DateTime,Event) = tv62ivb6l90b0ghc1o04d1rnff 20220820102250 /communities/what-does-empowerment-mean-to-people-with-disabilities/

What does empowerment mean to people with disabilities?

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Discussion thread: Services for People with Disabilities
Kit Chu
22 July 2021
What does empowerment mean to people with disabilities?

What does empowerment mean to people with disabilities?

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Bibi Leung
21 July 2021

No problem.

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Kit Chu
21 July 2021

It’s really helpful.

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Bibi Leung
21 July 2021

As most people with disabilities in low-income countries find themselves in situations of disadvantage, empowerment has a role to play to reduce poverty and improve quality of life. Stressing personal agency, Stainton (2005, p. 291) defines empowerment as “enhancing, securing and/or legitimizing the power of oneself, another or of a collective”, and sees the main aspect of empowerment being capacity. The first element of capacity is to support the choice-making process. It is not the choice itself that matters, he argues, but that people with disabilities have the tools to make that choice for themselves. Stainton sees the second element of empowerment as the ability to act on the choices available. Telling someone that they are free to attend a mainstream school but failing to provide them with the means to act on such a choice is not a choice at all. Stressing structural issues, Ramcharan (2005, p. 283) argues that “empowerment in everyday life cannot happen unless the structures and institutions of civil society are themselves empowering rather that constraining”. Both the personal agency and structural perspectives may be needed if we wish to advocate effectively for human rights.

Ramcharan, P (2005). Special issue on empowerment and advocacy, Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 9(4), 283–287.
Stainton, T (2005). Empowerment and the architecture of rights based social policy, Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 9(4), 289–298.

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