Thematic Panel 3: Time in disability policies and in support for disabled people in different care regimes

Yueh-Ching Chou, National Yang-Ming University
Teppo Kröger, University of Jyväskylä

This thematic panel focuses on the development of disability policies and the role of time in it. Last 50 years have seen huge changes concerning the inclusion of disabled people in society as equal citizens: in the 1960s the North American independent living movement and in the 1970s the social model of disability in the UK both led to new global perspectives of disability (e.g., ICF of WHO and UNCRPD) and social care reforms, especially to personal assistance and personalisation of social care that have become the mainstream of formal support or integrated with homecare in some European countries in the 1990s and in some Pacific and Asian countries in the 2000s. On the other hand, however, still after a half of a century of independent living movement, limited public resources restrict the realisation of these policy changes in many countries. Even in a welfare state like Sweden, provisions of personal assistance are currently being cut down. It has thus become clear that the development of disability policies does not necessarily mean continuous progress. Backlashes are also possible and actually taking place, leading disabled people to lose their hard-won independence.

Temporality and change are a key feature of disability policies. What can we learn from the debates on disability and social care policies and the impacts of these policies on disabled people in different welfare states when we focus our look on the meaning of time? To what extent and how are disabled people supported by different care and disability policies and care work and personal assistance, including both formal and informal support systems and migrant care workers, and what are their impacts on the lives of disabled people and formal/informal carers/assistants? There is now also a need to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on disabled people, comparing it with the impact on non-disabled people. What does the pandemic as a sudden rupture in time reveal of disability policies? And what can we learn from disabled people’s experiential knowledge who in some societies have faced restrictions and isolation not just during the pandemic but during their entire life course?

This thematic panel aims at contributing to the above issues and questions from the perspectives of global policy, equality, and critical disability studies addressing the impact of time in social care policies and services on disabled people and related groups (e.g. family/friends, formal care workers, migrant care workers).

Posted in Conference 2021, Thematic Panels.