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Original Research Articles

Barriers and Facilitators for Wheelchair Users in Bangladesh: A Participatory Action Research Project

Authors:

Heather Aldersey ,

Queen’s University, Kingston, CA
About Heather

Assistant Professor, Queen's Unviersity School of Rehabiltiation Therapy

Director, International Centre for the Advancement of Community Based Rehabilitation

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Mohammad Morshedul Quadir,

Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP), Dhaka, BD
About Mohammad Morshedul

Deputy Manager- Knowledge Management & Resource Mobilization, at Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP)

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Soniya Akter,

Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP), Dhaka, BD
About Soniya

Community Researcher, Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed

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Rabiul Hossain Mozumder,

Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP), Dhaka, BD
About Rabiul Hossain

Community Researcher, Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed

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Nayma Nazneen,

Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP), Dhaka, BD
About Nayma

Community Researcher, Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed

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Reshma Parvin Nuri

Queen’s University School of Rehabilitation Therapy (SRT), Kingston, CA
About Reshma Parvin

Doctoral Candidate, Queen's University School of Rehabilitation Therapy

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Abstract

Purpose: People who use wheelchairs face a range of physical, social, and economic barriers to regular participation in their communities. These barriers may be more acute in countries such as Bangladesh which are affected by poverty and often lack the physical infrastructure or resources necessary to create inclusive or accessible environments. This research aimed to identify: (a) the barriers and facilitators to accessibility faced by wheelchair users in Bangladesh; (b) how these barriers affect the inclusion of wheelchair users in Bangladeshi society; and (c) what could be done to improve accessibility and inclusion for wheelchair users in Bangladesh.

Methods:  This participatory action research (PAR) project used Photovoice and semi-structured interviews to identify barriers and facilitators to accessibility for people who use wheelchairs in Bangladesh.

Results: Participants mentioned a number of barriers in public spaces, such as roads, missing or inadequate ramps, inaccessible restrooms, and negative attitudes. There were also participants who had made their home environments more accessible with accommodations such as ramps, arrangement of space, and low countertops/work spaces. Women wheelchair users seemed to face greater barriers to access, as compared to men, in a range of community spaces and activities. Participants’ recommendations for improvement targeted government stakeholders and included greater focus on road infrastructure, particularly during flooding in the rainy season, and modifications to the public transportation system.

Conclusion: A key goal of the study was to identify barriers and facilitators, and use the information gathered to promote social change on the ground. Future research and action should encourage more people to get involved in removing barriers for people with disabilities, in Bangladesh as well as globally.

How to Cite: Aldersey, H., Quadir, M.M., Akter, S., Mozumder, R.H., Nazneen, N. and Nuri, R.P., 2018. Barriers and Facilitators for Wheelchair Users in Bangladesh: A Participatory Action Research Project. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 29(2), pp.24–44. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5463/dcid.v29i2.730
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Published on 02 Oct 2018.

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