Using photovoice as an advocacy tool to empower people living with disabilities


UNiTED

  • discrimination

    I’m speaking to the man, but he is not understanding me. Therefore, the person is telling me to go away. There are people who do not have patience with me. They don’t take time for me to explain what I’m trying to say. I feel very sad when someone sends me away.

  • limited independence

    Even though I am disabled, I don’t have to beg to make a living. That is why I force myself to go to farm so I can feed myself. I would like to show the community that even though I’m physically challenged, I’m still independent.

  • struggle

    When I come home from town, I am so tired that it is really difficult climb the steps. I need help from someone to open the door for me. I would like the community members to be benevolent to help me in such situations. At this moment people only come when I call them to help. I feel like I disturb people, I think people will frown their faces if I do this.

  • help

    These are the medications I take. There are pain killers and ointments for my back (waist) pains. I have to take four different medications three times a day, every day. It is important for community members to know that this is how I have been living. I would like community members to understand my sickness and pain, as it is not good to be sick.

  • future aspirations

    I was a businesswoman who traveled around and sold items. Due to my accident I am unable to do this now. If I would have a container like this, I would not have to set up my store on the roadside every day. Inside the container things are arranged well and you do not have to pack things every day and send them home. I hope to get help from somebody to set up a container or buy the items to sell.

  • poverty

    I’ve set up the market, but I am not there. I had to leave and lie down because I did not feel well. My daughter is in school and my mother is always busy. In this situation, I don’t earn any income that day. This happens about once a month. It is important for people around me to know that I face these difficulties and need help with the selling.


ResultsinHealth together with UNiTED Projects and Karijn Kakebeeke Consultancy conducted an assessment using the photovoice method. The method was used as an advocacy tool to voice the concerns of people living with disabilities (PLWD) and express their situation to fellow community members and authorities with the aim of opening the discussion for more and better support for PLWD.

Since 2016 UNiTED has implemented the community led support group for people living with disabilities (PLWD). The project is aimed to empower PLWD by educating surrounding community members on disabilities and the resources available for them, the final goal being inclusion for PLWD. Often people with disabilities encounter difficulties in helping the able-bodied population to understand issues faced by persons with disability in the community. Photovoice is a group analysis method often affiliated with participatory action research (PAR) that places cameras in the hands of “everyday” people. The photovoice method records the views of people living and coping with disability from their own point of view, thereby potentially acting as advocates for change in their communities. The resulting photographs provide evidence of life as experienced by the photographers and are a means to share their knowledge and experiences with others. With the photographs UNiTED aimed to educate the public, as well as those who have the political power to make changes in our communities.

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