The construction of disabled as needy and invisible through help-only approach: The case of visually disabled living in Ankara, Turkey

Akşehirlioğlu, Fatma Güneş
The activities on disability issues are largely inefficient and ineffective. The common feature of this situation, which manifests itself in related practices, from disabled people and their families to the state administrators, is that people who turn theory into practice are members of the same society. Therefore, the fundamental social and cultural perception and understanding on disability put into practice by people who compose the society is one of the reasons of this situation. This study is based on an eight-month ethnographic research conducted with visually disabled young persons living in Ankara. In order to reach the social and cultural approaches of the society towards the disabled, the common causes of issues emphasized in the fields of disability, family, education, workplaces, society and the state were analyzed in the light of the decisive factors for the participants. As the conclusion, social and cultural reasons of the inefficiency and ineffectiveness are help-only approach, needy disabled assumption and invisibility of the disabled. According to help-only approach, a proposed conceptualization of the study, the only thing that can be done about the disabled is to help them. Since the approach leaves no room for a permanent solutions, it builds disabled people as needy and invisible. Also, with the dynamics of social life, just like a vicious circle, the invisibility of disabled people as a lack of awareness framed by misinformation and misconceptions reproduces the help-only approach.


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Citation Formats
F. G. Akşehirlioğlu, “The construction of disabled as needy and invisible through help-only approach: The case of visually disabled living in Ankara, Turkey,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2021.