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Title: Inclusion or illusion? : policies and practices for children with disabilities and their families in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Bulgaria
Author: Becirevic, Majda
ISNI:       0000 0004 2696 8888
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2011
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This study examines the social exclusion of disabled children and their families in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Bulgaria and aims to identify opportunities for and obstacles to social inclusion. Both countries have experienced major socio-political and economic changes associated with the transition from communism to an open market economy and democracy. They are in the process of aligning their policies and practices to a European Union favoured agenda of social inclusion and human rights. The thesis identifies key professional practices and views towards disability which are persistent and constitute major obstacles to inclusion. On the other hand a number of opportunities for inclusion have been identified in the processes of policy reform, parents' activism and the development of community care. The study also explores how current international pressures originating from supranational and international agencies, such as the European Union, World Bank and International Monetary Fund support or hinder inclusion efforts. The thesis explores the complexity of inclusion and it provides an understanding of the extent to which the idea is an illusion when it is not fully embraced by the stakeholders and countries concerned. This qualitative research reports and analyses the views of a variety of actors; children with disabilities and their parents, professionals who work in residential institutions and special schools, policy makers, social workers and representatives of NGOs and international organizations. These interviews tell the story of how policies and practices affect individual families and children with disabilities and in so doing provides a distinctive critique of the current situation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral