ERIC Number: ED343291
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Oct-26
Reference Count: N/A
Feminism, Disability & Education--For What?
Written from the point of view of an Australian professional woman with a degenerative visual impairment, this paper, part of an ongoing investigation into disability, equity programs, and the labor market in Australia, discusses the social and employment problems facing women with disabilities and presents four case studies of Australian visually impaired women. The paper recounts several personal experiences demonstrating the tendency of society to infantalize or ignore the disabled adult's needs especially in the employment arena. North American and Australian literature is cited demonstrating differences in male and female experiences of disability including lower rates of female marriages, more females with disabilities living alone, highly sex stereotyped education, low numbers of females receiving rehabilitation services, low job status for females, and high female unemployment. The four case studies of women (aged 32 to 63) illustrate both diversity and similarity in women's experiences of disability as well as how the initial impairment is compounded by each disabled woman's need to seek out and negotiate access to support services and piece together a working system with little or no help from the bureaucracy. It is clear that disability is not a direct, unmediated product of physical impairment, but is in fact, a socially constructed condition. The failure of society to utilize the talents of disabled females in meaningful employment is seen as a loss for all. (15 references) (DB)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Adults, Attitudes, Blindness, Case Studies, Disability Discrimination, Educational Discrimination, Employment Potential, Equal Opportunities (Jobs), Females, Foreign Countries, Independent Living, Labor Market, Marriage, Personal Autonomy, Sex Bias, Social Bias, Social Integration, Social Problems, Unemployment, Visual Impairments, Womens Education
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented to the Women's Studies and Education Conference (North Ryde, Australia, October 26, 1991).