Education and disability research

Nidhi Singal is an expert on education and disability research at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. In this video she talks about direction of education in disability research in the southern context. She states that many debates in this field are mostly determined by the northern hegemonic understanding of disability and education. Only a few studies talk about complexities and real life issues of children living with disabilities in the global south. She further argues that research should be sensitive to the variations of the context, empowering people with disabilities to engage with this global agenda. There is a need to reflect on the existing assumptions in this field (such as stigmatisation, victimisation and deficit model of the south) that guide the current research agenda. Therefore, future research should look at:

  • Developing a nuanced, localised and a culture-specific understanding of disability and education within the current systems in the southern context. For example, developing robust qualitative and quantitative research  by engaging children with disabilities and their families.
  • Building alliances with research on mainstream education that may reflect on issues like quality of education in disability research.
  • Understanding how intersectionality with gender, caste, and class impact education for disabled children.
  • Looking beyond access and attitude related issues in disability research to look at the quality of education in the complex real south. For example, how children with disability experience education and the long-term outcomes.

Please see the HEART topic guide on Inclusive Education for more on this area.

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