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Taiwan World Convention 2022


Disability Discrimination: Ableism, Hate and Social Ostracism

Thursday March 24, 8am - 12.25pm (TWT)​


Cunqiang Shi

University of Cardiff, Wales


Precarity and Opportunity: Exploring the Structure and Agency Tensions Around Disability Employment in China


This conference presentation summarises the key research findings that were generated from a PhD research project which looks at the lived experience of disabled people in China (mainland) when it comes to employment. This paper will quickly review the structure and agency debate in the sociological literature, followed by a quick summary of the key research aims and objectives. The qualitative interview data will be presented from the perspective of three key players that influence the employment choices of disabled people – family, the state and privatised labour market. This paper will highlight that although China has achieved substantial economic achievement over the past decades thanks to the reform and restoration of the market, disabled people are significantly marginalised due to the regulated market sector and legacy political restrictions. Three key factors will be focused on this presentation – Hukou, social class and education. These three important factors advantage some groups of citizens with prestigious social status, while systematically disadvantaging those ‘underdogs’ which most of the interviewees in this research has included. 


Liu Hsinyi

National Chi Nan University, Taiwan


The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Australia

This presentation is to introduce the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Australia. In 2019, I went to the University of Sydney’s Centre for Disability Research and Policy to learn more about the scheme and how it could help improve the Long-Term Care System in Taiwan. The second long-term care policy in Taiwan brought together the care issues of ageing and the need for assistance from others with disabilities in 2017. Meanwhile, Australia implemented a new model of disability support and services at a national level in five pilot sites since 2013. The scheme has been gradually implemented throughout  the country since 2016. And this replaced the earlier dispersed and discontinuous system of services for disabled people which was state based. The NDIS thus used a people-oriented support and  services model, and provided a complete, comprehensive and continuous support programme for disabled people to enhance both their social and economic participation in society and their health and wellbeing as a whole. 


The reform in Australia included: (1) At the government level, support and services for  disabled people became the responsibility of the federal government, replacing the old service system of each state and territory to ensure that all disabled Australians have access to the same and fair services and resources; (2) At the level of policy values,  an insurance perspective was adopted to treat disability as a risk in order to replace old charitable and  residual welfare views, to measure financials by actuarial calculations for all insured future total costs, and to create a market of disability supports and services; (3) At the service delivery level, a people-oriented care and support model was implemented whereby the scheme is based on the principle that each disabled person has their own unique needs and has the  ability to make decisions for the support and services he/she needs. That is, he/she can  control their rights and choices and choose who provides their support and services.  


In Taiwan, we look to the valuable experience of the NDIS in Australia, whether or not it creates more obstacles for disabled people if services for them and elderly care services are merged or diverted. Nevertheless, this presentation argues that what Taiwan needs is a localised, appropriate and  continuous service for disabled people that is supported by policy and recognises the particular needs of disabled individuals.


Josephine Sirotkin

University of Leeds, England


Making a Monster: Carceral Logics and the Mistreatment of Disabled Adults in ‘Care’

Carceral logics naturalise spaces of confinement and incarceration as ways of controlling difference, deviance and ‘immorality.’ As such, these logics produce and legitimise certain forms of violence, creating the illusion that the harms produced are minimal or non-existent. Drawing upon findings from doctoral research that examined the mistreatment of disabled adults in residential care, this presentation demonstrates how carceral logics intersect with ableism within congregate care facilities in England. Through legitimising the segregation and punishment of ‘bad people’ (or monsters), these carceral logics can both produce mistreatment and prevent it from being recognised and responded to, particularly when disabled people who are labelled as having ‘challenging behaviours’ are being mistreated.


Chen Chin Mao & Yang Shang Yu

Asia University, Taiwan


An Exploration of the Factors that Affect the Likelihood of Community Psychiatric Patients Participating in Vocational Training

Research on the effectiveness of community mental patients participating in vocational training programs is very limited. Therefore, the purpose of this presentation is to explore the factors that affect the effectiveness of community mental health patients participating in vocational training programs.


A retrospective method was adopted in this study and the participants were recruited  in a psychiatric hospital in southern Taiwan from July 2019 to December 2020. Inclusion criteria were: (1) clinically diagnosed as a mental illness; (2) living in an institution for more than 18 months and; (3) those who participated in vocational training. Other inclusion criteria were: (4) concomitant diagnosis of dementia; (5) more than 65 years old or less than 20 years old. 


This study collected 34 participants (11 males) and the mean age was 42.8 years old. The results showed that both social function and cognitive function were significantly positively correlated with the effectiveness of vocational training (p<0.05) whereas physical diseases were significantly negatively correlated with the effectiveness of vocational training (p<0.05). 


In order to enhance the effectiveness of vocational training, the presentation recommends that occupational therapists should simultaneously strengthen the case’s social function and cognitive function when providing vocational training, and pay attention to the case’s physical illness status.


Rebecca Porter

University of Leeds, England


The Evils of Welfare Dependency: Disabled People’s Struggles with an Unjust welfare State

This presentation examines the testimonies of disabled people regarding the latest change to the welfare system and the disability benefit, Personal Independence Payment. It has had a continuing negative impact on disabled welfare claimants lives, regardless of if their claim is successful. Using the theory of necropolitics, this paper theorises that disabled people are the UK’s living dead: they do not get to live a full life, they are only able to exist, and are only provided a bare minimum (or worse, nothing at all). Using interview data from my PhD, the presentation will give evidence to highlight the injustice disabled people are facing in their battle against a system that has been described as a “Human catastrophe” (UN, 2017). 


Mo Stewart

Freelance Researcher, England


The Adoption of Preventable Harm, Masquerading as Social Policy Reforms

As the world is preoccupied by the pandemic, and the public are beginning to comprehend the full impact of Brexit, the identified growing public mental health crisis in the UK has been totally disregarded. Few people realised that preventable harm was the inevitable creation of successive social policy reforms, gradually adopted by every administration since Thatcher, on route to her political ambition which was the demolition of the welfare state to be replaced by private healthcare insurance. In order to demolish the welfare state, it was first necessary to remove the past psychological security provided by the welfare state. This has been achieved. In 2010 the Coalition administration adopted a thinly veiled character assassination of the chronically ill and disabled community in need of state financial support. They watched as their rhetoric encouraged a 213 per cent increase in disability hate crimes, and they disregarded the many thousands of deaths linked to the work capability assessment, which was adopted by the Department for Work and Pensions to restrict access to long-term disability benefit. Influenced by corporate America since 1992, the social policy reforms guaranteed that many of those in greatest need were destined to die when killed by the state.


Kharis Hutchison

University of Leeds, England


The Complexity of Domestic Violence and Abuse Experiences of Disabled Women

Disabled people are more likely than non-disabled people to experience a variety of forms of violence throughout their lives. This includes domestic violence and abuse (DVA). The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) found that in the year ending March 2020 more disabled men (7.5%) and women (14.7%) had experienced DVA than non-disabled men (3.2%) and women (6.0%) (ONS, 2020). This data highlights not only the increased prevalence of DVA for disabled people in general but also for disabled women in particular, emphasising the gendered nature of this form of violence. A variety of literature has demonstrated that disabled women experience DVA differently to non-disabled women, such as impairment specific abuse, and experience more frequent and severe abuse which continues over a longer time scale than non-disabled women and disabled men (McCarthy et al., 2017; Thiara et al., 2012). The experiences of disabled women have often been hidden within both the mainstream feminist and disabled people’s movement, and only in recent years have their voices started to become heard through research. This presentation will draw on the literature review I have conducted for my PhD to explore the complexity of DVA experiences of disabled women.


Leah Burch

Liverpool Hope University, England


Reporting Disability Hate Crime: Ambiguous Concepts and Fractured Relationships 

Official recordings of disability hate crime within England and Wales continue to underestimate the prevalence of hate within the everyday lives of many disabled people. While recent data on police-recorded disability hate crimes shows an increase from previous years, many disabled people continue to report barriers when attempting to access criminal justice responses. This presentation highlights these flaws within the criminal justice system which fail to protect disabled people against hate crime, such as conceptual ambiguity, fear of repercussion, and lack of trust in professionals. In an attempt to unpack this, this presentation discusses disabled people’s perceptions and experiences of reporting disability hate crime to the police. The presentation shares experiences of fractured relationships between disabled people and the police and some of the preconceptions that prevent many disabled people from reporting their experiences. Following this, the presentation reflects upon the possibility of fostering more positive and collaborative relationships between disabled people and those working within the criminal justice system. 


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