How can We Bridge the Gap between Intercultural Studies and Disability Studies? The Case of the Blind Immigrant in Ireland
Although Intercultural Studies and Disability Studies each maintain an interdisciplinary position, both have developed as/in mutually exclusive areas of research and inquiry. Disability issues have been sidelined from the intercultural agenda and intercultural issues are largely overlooked by disability social service providers. Yet, the intrinsic shaping of human identity and its fundamental needs are constructed at the intersection of a multitude of diverse and complex dimensions, and on these grounds the socio-cultural concerns of the disabled individual must not be neglected. The current research is being conducted into the case of the blind and/or visually impaired immigrant in Ireland and how their cross-cultural adaptation may be facilitated through knowledge into the specific needs of this individual. This paper proposes to engage in dialogue between Intercultural Studies and Disability Studies, in order to address the issue of provision of culturally competent services, firstly specifically for the visually impaired immigrant in Ireland with the overall intention that a practical model may be designed to be applicable to the socio-cultural needs of the disabled community in Ireland.
Keywords: Disability Studies,, Intercultural Studies,, Visually Impaired/Blind, Culturally Competent Services
Dr. Esther Murphy
PhD Research Student and Part-time Intercultural Studies Lecturer, School of Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies (SALIS), Dublin City University, Ireland
Her interests include cross-cultural disability research, identity studies, social policy.
She is currently undertaking her PhD at the School of Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies at Dublin City University in Ireland.