Disability, Ethnicity and Childhood: a critical review of research

Ali, Zoebia; Fazil, Qulsom; Bywaters, Paul; Wallace, Louise and Singh, Gurnam (2001). Disability, Ethnicity and Childhood: a critical review of research. Disability and Society, 16(7) pp. 949–968.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09687590120097845


Whilst there is an increasing body of literature on the perspectives of carers of disabled children, there is little research giving the disabled child's perspective from either majority or minority populations. Indeed, the voices of black and Asian children in disability research have been almost silent. This literature review collates and analyses existing knowledge about the perceptions held by disabled and non-disabled children, and young people from black and Asian families concerning issues of disability and impairment. The Disability Movement has long proclaimed its belief in the full participation and self-representation of all disabled people. However, despite this laudable objective, the Disability Movement in Britain has mirrored society in general and for the most part been led by white, middle-class, heterosexual, articulate males. This review discusses the simultaneous oppression faced by black and Asian disabled children, and concludes that their experience is unique and different from that of white disabled children. Accordingly, it emphasises the need for further research about the subjective experience of black and Asian disabled children in order to meet their particular needs.

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