Advantages and disadvantages of being disabled in Bolivia

By: Lykke E. Andersen*

Today is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and I wanted to share some data from the latest Bolivian Population Census (2012), which was unusual, because it included questions about disabilities for the first time. According to this census, disability is not that common in Bolivia. Less than 2% of the population have difficulties seeing, and less than 1% have difficulties either hearing, speaking, walking or remembering (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Percentage of the Bolivian population with some kind of disability, 2012

Figure 1: Percentage of the Bolivian population with some kind of disability, 2012
Source: REDATAM tabulations of the Census information at www.ine.gob.bo.

Read More »

Guest Roast: Bad news? Sick and disabled people in British media

By Dr. Kayleigh Garthwaite

For the past three years, I have been studying the lives of long-term sickness benefits recipients in North East England, U.K. as part of my PhD research. In that time, government policy has increasingly distinguished between the ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ in relation to sick and disabled people. Yet it is not only policy that makes that distinction.

In recent years, the media have taken a more vitriolic stance towards sick and disabled people, often branding them deeply offensive terms such as ‘scum’, ‘feckless’, and ‘work-shy’ (Garthwaite 2011). A comparable discourse is evident not only in political debates and the mass media, but also when considering public opinion. Polls show unsurprising support for welfare reform plans, signalling the public’s negative view towards benefits and people who receive them. For example, an IPSOS Mori poll carried out for the BBC published in October 2011 revealed that although a resounding 92 percent of British people wanted a benefits system providing a safety net for all, 63 percent doubted the U.K. benefits system works effectively, 72 percent wanted politicians to do more to cut the benefits bill, and 84 percent wanted to see stricter testing for sickness benefits. Read More »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: