Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) for Study Session 2
Now that you have completed this study session, you can assess how well you have achieved its Learning Outcomes by answering these questions.
SAQ 2.1 (tests Learning Outcomes 2.1 to 2.4)
Which of the following statements are false? In each case, explain why it is incorrect.
A. The words and language used when communicating with persons with disabilities doesn’t affect their inclusion in WASH initiatives.
B. Many policy makers, regulators and WASH sector actors are unaware of the barriers that prevent participation and access to water and sanitation facilities by persons with disabilities.
C. The words disability and impairment can be used interchangeably because there is no major difference between the two.
D. Persons with disabilities all share problems with accessibility and exclusion. Therefore, when collecting data, it is important to aggregate them all together as one group.
A. is false. The language and words used when communicating with persons with disabilities affect their inclusion in society. Disrespectful language can undermine the confidence of persons with disabilities.
C. is false. People sometimes use disability and impairment as if they mean the same thing but they do not. Impairment is a limitation in body function, whereas disability results from a combination of limitation in body function and external barriers.
D. is false. There are many different types of impairment and disability so, to be useful, data about persons with disabilities needs to be disaggregated (separated) into different categories.
SAQ 2.2 (tests Learning Outcomes 2.1 and 2.2)
Insert the following words into the spaces in the sentences below:
assistive devices; barriers; intellectual; physical; psychosocial; sensory
- a. Difficulties in walking and other movements are described as ……………….impairments.
- b. ……………… impairments include those that affect a person’s ability to communicate with other people or to look after themselves.
- c. Some physical ……………….. can be overcome by use of ………………….
- d. ………………. impairments affect sight, hearing or speech.
- e. Conditions that affect a person’s mental health, behaviour and the ability to function in society are called ……………….. impairments.
- a. Difficulties in walking and other movements are described as physical impairments.
- b. Intellectual impairments include those that affect a person’s ability to communicate with other people or to look after themselves.
- c. Some physical barriers can be overcome by use of assistive devices.
- d. Sensory impairments affect sight, hearing or speech.
- e. Conditions that affect a person’s mental health, behaviour and the ability to function in society are called psychosocial impairments.
SAQ 2.3 (tests Learning Outcome 2.3)
Yeyitu is 17 years old and an elementary school student. Her parents earn an average income from vegetable farming. Yeyitu was born with a visual impairment. She grew up hearing that her impairment happened because her parents were being punished by God. Her parents kept her at home and did not send her to school until she was quite old. While she is at school, it is very difficult for Yeyitu to use the latrine. She frequently falls over when walking to the latrine block because there is no proper path and there are rocks which she finds hard to avoid, even though she has a white cane. When she reaches the latrine, there are no signs in Braille to help her enter so she has to feel along the walls using her hands. There are no handwashing facilities. Being exposed to this unhygienic toilet frequently makes Yeyitu ill with diarrhoea. Using the school latrine is so difficult that Yeyitu prefers to use the toilet at home and for that reason, she avoids eating and drinking during school hours.
Briefly explain the barriers faced by Yeyitu.
Yeyitu experienced social and attitudinal barriers from her parents followed by physical and institutional barriers at school. The physical barrier is characterised by the inaccessible environment (lack of path and rocks). Institutionally, the school was not following a policy or guidelines to include students with disabilities. Yeyitu also experienced communication barriers because there were no Braille-translated signs at school.
SAQ 2.4 (tests Learning Outcome 2.4)
Elsa was born with a physical impairment; both of her legs were paralysed. Her parents were shocked and did not accept the reality of the situation or support Elsa. As a child, Elsa never had the chance to go outside and play with her peers. If she did go out of the house, she usually crawled on her knees using plastic shoes to cover her hands. People in the community called her a cripple and made a dismissive sound with their mouth when she went out in public. At the age of 10, with support from a local NGO, Elsa fortunately was able to join formal education. The NGO also provided a wheelchair for her which made her life much easier. She is now able to join social activities but community members and her friends still describe Elsa as wheelchair bound. This makes her frustrated because she sees the wheelchair as a benefit but they see it as a problem and don’t understand all the many things she can do.
What are the negative words used to describe Elsa and how could this affect her emotionally?
The terms ‘cripple’ and ‘wheelchair bound’ are both negative terms that make Elsa feel frustrated, unappreciated and undervalued. These terms label her by her impairment and do not describe her as a person.
SAQ 2.5 (tests Learning Outcome 2.5)
What aspects of the Washington Group’s short set of six questions make them a useful tool for collecting data about disability?
The Washington Group’s questions are a useful tool because they:
- are a standard set of questions that can be used in any country so produce comparable data
- provide disaggregated data for different types and degrees of disability
- are open questions that do not include the word disability.
Summary of Study Session 2