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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2011): Services for the disabled - overseas

Deficient bodies and inefficient resources: the case of disability assessment in Bulgaria

T. Mladenov

Disability and Society, vol. 26, 2011, p. 477-490

This paper analyses the disability assessment, conceived as the dominant way of assigning disability status within the modern welfare state, and using Bulgaria as a case study. It uses an holistic understanding of the human being, informed by Heidegger's phenomenology, and on this basis develops a critique of modern medicalisation and productivism. This critical philosophical framework is supported by a sociological analysis, drawing on the science and technology studies concept of a 'boundary object'. Finally, the paper criticises the naturalisation of disablement, relating it to the modern tendency to reduce human beings to objects and/or resources.

Writing histories of disability in India: strategies of inclusion

J. Buckingham

Disability and Society, vol. 26, 2011, p. 419-431

The historical and contemporary experience of disability in India differs from that in the West. This paper looks at the way that people with disabilities have been treated in India in the past, and at their ongoing experiences of marginalisation, emphasising the role of poverty, gender, caste and community in their in their exclusion. However, the experience of other marginalised groups in India suggests that history can be used by excluded communities to affirm their right to complete inclusion in society. Evidence of historical oppression is an important contribution to ethical arguments for the just distribution of resources to alleviate contemporary experiences of disability.

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