One of the topics that I have long been contemplating in my work around disability in Tanzania is the ramifications of identification and labeling and the specific words used by teachers and students about disability.
This past week I presented a poster about the words used and the themes around the understanding of disability in this community. One of the important pieces that was not included in the poster, but developed in my thinking as I discussed the understandings of disability was the fact that teachers and parents have seen their children grow and develop through the supports of the program and they are overcoming some of the negative labels. Because of the progress on educational outcomes, children are seen as academically and socially capability. The key question for me is: Can they overcome or challenge a label of a disability in a society where it is not accepted or do they have a better chance for overall success if they are just overcoming labels such as slow learner or lazy. I am in no way saying that the kids we are working with do not have developmental delays or learning disabilities, but are those labels useful in this context? DADD Poster 2015
The poster is attached here for your interest. If you are a researcher or someone who wants to cite information from this poster, please give credit and use the following citation:
Stone-MacDonald, A. (2015) Identification and Labels for Young Tanzanian Children: An Examination of Labels for Children with Intellectual Disabilities. Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities International Conference, Clearwater Beach, FL, January 22, 2015.