Disability Studies Fall School was held on September 20-21-22, 2018

Disability Studies Fall School

September 20-21-22, 2018, Istanbul

A Brief Report

The Disability Studies Fall School was a 3-day training program for graduate level social science students specialized in disability studies. The School was organized by Bogazici University Social Policy Forum in collaboration with the Raoul Wallenberg Institute.

The Disability Studies Fall School was promoted online through different social media channels and distributed among the partner organizations of the Bogazici University Social Policy Forum and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute including different social science and law departments all around Turkey.

Only students who were enrolled in a Master’s or PhD programme or newly graduated with a Master’s degree were eligible to apply. All candidates completed an online application form. The candidates were required to write a research proposal on disability (max. 600 words) and attached the document to the application form. As the training program was based on the human rights approach to disability, applicants were asked to provide information about the link between their research proposals and the human rights approach to disability.

The Disability Studies Fall School have received 70 applications from 15 provinces in Turkey. Among these applications, 19 of them were male and 51 of them were female. 17 applications were eliminated as they did not meet the eligibility criteria. Out of eligible applications, 16 were enrolled in a PhD programme, while 37 of them were enrolled/newly graduated in/from a Master’s programme.

The students were selected by the selection committee that includes all teaching staff. Proposals were distributed among the selection committee on the basis of their expertise. Each research proposal was assessed at least by two teaching staff. During the evaluation process, the names and surnames were closed to ensure neutrality and objectivity. Each research proposal was evaluated based on five criteria: Contribution of the research question to the literature (30 points), the content of the literature review (30 points), the method of the study (20 points), relevance to human rights (10 points), gender mainstreaming (10 points). Out of 100 points, only the proposals that received equal to or more than 65 points were selected.

The number of selected participants were 22; whereas 5 of them were male and 17 of them were female. Among them, 8 participants were enrolled in a PhD programme and 14 participants were enrolled/newly graduated in/from a Master’s programme. While 10 participants were from Istanbul, 12 came from 5 other provinces including Ankara, Bursa, Bingöl, Kocaeli and Konya. The graduate programmes that they were enrolled varied including social policy, law, special education, disability studies, psychology, literature, media studies and medical ethics.

The training programme was comprised of six different modules based on different disciplinary approaches to disability studies. These disciplines included law, educational sciences, social policy, sociology, architecture and medicine. The first session was an introductory module that introduced participants to the theoretical debates within disability studies and different models of disability. The medical and the social model of disability was discussed. The second module was based on the human rights approach and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). This module specified the defining characteristics and benefits of the human-rights approach to disability by focusing on the issues such as equality, autonomy and independent living within a legal perspective. The third module on social policy provided students with an understanding of the fundamental debates around the employment of people with disabilities. The fourth session informed students about the contemporary changes in the medical approach to disability including the launch of the ICF and the bio-psycho-social model. The fifth session approached disability as a personal and social identity. The last session introduced the idea of universal design. On the third day, all participants presented their research proposals and received feedback from both the teaching staff and other participants.

Thursday, September 27, 2018