Home › Forums › Default Forum › People with disabilities in Vietnam: Findings from a social survey at Thai Binh, Quang Nam, Da Nang and Dong Nai, by Le Bach Duong, Khuat Thu Hong and Nguyen Duc Vinh, 2008
23rd February 2011 at 11:36 pm #3688Van Kham TranMember
This book is about findings from a research project on people with disabilities. This research examines the economic and social situations in which people with disabilities live and work in the high provinces of Vietnam which were severely affected by dioxin from Agent Orange. It aims to identify the vulnerabilities of people with disabilities and their support needs. It is divided into two main parts; the first includes research findings on the social and economic aspects of households that have a person with a disability, the social and economic characteristics and difficulties of people with disabilities, disability-related stigma and discrimination, and support for people with disabilities. It concludes with remarks which may be useful for social policy makers and practitioners concerned with people with disabilities in Vietnam.
The authors use a clear definition of disability based on Vietnamese traditional views and concepts which is consistent with medical, individual and social models in international legal documents by the United Nations and World Health Organisation. They look at the ways a person with a disability constructs their understanding of their experiences by exploring their difficulties, then based on these perspectives, the lives of people with disabilities are investigated in detail in line with relevant social aspects. They show that the attitude towards disability by the community and society is negative, in that having a disability is seen as abnormal, “what they cannot do” rather than “what they can do.” These analyses compare the voices of people with disabilities and of those without a disability. The perception is that a person with a disability brings bad luck, is a burden for other people and that anyone with a disability should be avoided before an important departure or event. Verbal and non-verbal stigma and discrimination against people with disabilities are exposed in various forms. They face discrimination in their family environment, schools, communities and workplaces as well as other aspects of their life such as getting married, daily activities, health care services, sport and cultural activities. One of the main reasons for this is confirmed in this book showing that discrimination is due to very poor awareness in communities and families of the rights of people with disabilities and of government policies on disability which worsened the situation. By being stigmatised and discriminated against, people with disabilities are not only marginalised and excluded from their local community’s activities but they also become self-discriminating and express pessimistic attitudes and views to their own life. Such situations lead to a less inclusive life for a person with a disability.
This book reaches its objective and introduces an overview of the life of people with disabilities in Vietnam as well as specific aspects of how people with disabilities experience and construct their understanding of life in an environment of discrimination from their families and communities. This book is very readable and provides a significant resource for researchers, policy developers or practitioners interested in people with disabilities in Vietnam.
Van Kham Tran, PhD Candidate, School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy, University of South Australia
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