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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2008): Services for the disabled - overseas

'The AISH review is a big joke': contradictions of policy participation and consultation in a neo-liberal context

C. Malacrida and S. Duguay

Disability and Society, vol. 24, 2009, p. 19-32

It is claimed that disability policies developed through sustained, collaborative and equal partnerships produce superior programmes to those derived through traditional 'top-down' means. Using a case study methodology, and drawing on this framework, this research examined the policy review process for the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped, a social protection programme of last resort providing health and financial benefits to severely disabled people in Alberta. Although the provincial government claimed to seek the input of people with disabilities, it precluded citizen participation by late inclusion, intimidating environments, and inaccessible language. While the government seemed to have a more equal dialogue with agencies, these had limited expectations and refrained from making demands that were unlikely to be met.

Institutional woes of participation: Bulgarian disabled people's organisations and policy-making

T. Mladenov

Disability and Society, vol. 24, 2009, p. 33-45

This paper presents a critical study of the participation of Bulgarian disabled people's organisations in the national policy-making process through representation on the National Council on Integration of People with Disabilities. It shows how the representatives of disabled Bulgarians become depoliticised and even depersonalised through their involvement with the council. Their 'participation' actually sustains the status quo of underdevelopment and dependency.

'Jumping through hoops': parents' experiences with seeking respite care for children with special needs

J.L. Doig, J.D.McLennan and L. Urichuk

Child: Care, Health and Development, vol. 35, 2009, p. 234-242

Respite care may reduce stress and fatigue in people caring for a dependent with a disability. Despite this, a variety of barriers exist to obtaining such services. This study explored parents' experiences of seeking respite care for their children with special needs in Alberta, Canada. Parents faced multiple obstacles to obtaining respite care, resulting in stress, confusion and frustration. Greater flexibility and co-ordination of respite services could help to diminish these difficulties.

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