Barriers to Welfare: A participatory action research exploring experiences of an advocacy group of 'Disabled' refugees and asylum seekers

Lead Research Organisation: Cardiff University
Department Name: Sch of Social Sciences


"People with disabilities are among the most hidden and neglected of all displaced people, excluded from or unable to access most aid programs because of physical and social barriers or because of negative attitudes and biases" ( 2014). The Social Model of Disability demonstrates that for the lived-experience of any disability to be understood, its social context must be acknowledged (Shakespeare, 1997). Unfortunately, in the case of refugees and asylum seekers (RAS) with disabilities, most research fails to appreciate intersectionality between these two concepts (Stienstra, 2002). The need for intersectional studies is made more urgent when considering what the experience of disabled individuals is influenced by factors such as 'race', religion, ethnic status and experience of war - all identified as key experiences within the RAS population (Quinn, 2013). This study hopes to answer calls from bodies such as the Refugee Support / Metropolitan Support Trust (MST) to identify the intersections between RAS with disabilities (Ward, Amas and Lagnado, 2008).

Based on previous research with RAS and LD groups, agendas for the research put forward by co-researchers may include the realities and struggles negotiating barriers to accessing support. It will be useful to explore such barriers in further details, such as the objects of knowledge such as experiences of disability and displacemet interact by all group members. This will provide a rich account of the issues that matter to the group. By providing accounts from members of this group, the research is hoped to lead service providers and communities towards evidence informed policy making.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P00069X/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
1945143 Studentship ES/P00069X/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2020 Rhian Fawcett