JICA commented on the disability issues in Vietnam (2002)Legislation on PWD is progressive but still inadequate and not effectively implementedNational coordination is insufficientData and information on PWD, widely varied, poorly disseminated and not updatedPublic awareness is promotedAccessibility and communication for PWD is not adequately fulfilledEducation for PWD: Inclusive education is progressing while special education remains important in VietnamVocational training and employment for PWD requires more initiativesCBR is effective and efficient not only in prevention, rehabilitation and assistive device but also for social and educational aspectsSelf-help organisations of PWD and service delivery organisation for PWD are great supporters for PWD in Vietnam Regional and international cooperation plays an important role in helping PWD in Vietnam
These ideas have been criticised by disabled sociologists in terms of failing to reflect life experiences of people with disabilities, omitting the non-medical causes of disadvantages due to concentrating on the body functions, and aiming at promoting the social attitudes considering impairments equal with “abnormality” (Oliver, Micheal 1990)This model analyses on personal conditions physically and functionally which lead to understandings on the deficiency on holding and fulfilling social norms and obligations by individual with disabilities. Such awareness by those people and society is aiming at social deviance in daily life, both in personal and social areas. Social deviance associates and promotes the social exclusion for life of individuals with impairments.
The WHO definitions were favour with many social scientists, but met the criticisms by disabled people organisations in terms of these ideas: Firstly, the approach to these definitions is still based on medical view and uses a definition of normality. It is evident that there is disregard to the impact of social factors in informing explanations on whether impair condition is normal rather than pathological. In addition, the definition of handicap also ignores the social and cultural relation in role holdings. Secondly, impairment is defined as the cause of disability and handicap, so it increases the arguments by disabled people that disability is not health issue and being restricted factor for rehabilitative and educational efforts. The third criticism is that this WHO’s approach regards the environment as neutral and cut-off content to which disabling social, economic and cultural barriers are significant in social inclusion of people with impairments (Barnes & Mercer 2002:14-15).
this model regards more on equality and emphasises on changes which require all societal sections to be changes in fields of: Having positive attitude to disability and people with disabilities; Increasing social supports to deal with social barriers to people with disabilities’ experiences; Having more information, by having more accessible internet facilities and practices for training and using the Braille, signal languages and technological assistances; And emphasising on the physical structures which are more friendly and accessible to people with disabilities
General perceptions, attitudes and practices towards PWD Pity is a common attitude towards PWD from non-disabled people. It links to concept of PWD cannot do, not see what PWD can do PWD tend to overly rely on others support: It conveys a message that PWD do not want to try but put on the responsibility to other’s shoulderPWD is being burden PWD is seen as unproductive, also passive. Which creates a barrier to employment for PWD PWD cannot live a “normal” life PWD bring bad lucks and risks to others. Which bring many discriminatory attitudes and behaviours. PWD face verbal insult People avoid PWD before an important departure Family of PWD is also stigmatized, especially for those are mental disability Superstition about the cause of disability is found to be widespread. It is a matter of a fate, PWD could not avoidPWD are those who were paying the price for bad things their ancestors done in the past- Self-stigma is observed in PWD
During the development, United Nation has considered strongly to disability issues by many strategies for promoting the status of disabled people in all aspects. These were ranging from rehabilitation (1945-1954), social welfare perspective (1955-1970) to human rights (during 1970s), as well as having the world action (1980s) and decade action to disabled people (1983-1992) (UN 2008). Recently, UN approved the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (1993) and adopted the International Convention on rights of disabled people.
The 1994 Labor Code (No. 35-L-CTN) tackled issues related to wage laws; occupational safety and hazards; vocational training; and established production protections for PWD. In 1998, the Ordinance on Disabled Persons (No. 06/1998/PLUBTVQH-10, hereafter Disability Ordinance) was adopted and addressed all aspects of legislation pertaining to people with disabilities. In 2001, the Office of the National Coordinating Council on Disability (NCCD) of Vietnam, comprised of 26 representatives from various government ministries, was established to advise the government on disability issues. Task of NCCD:(1) To work with relevant agencies to evaluate the effectiveness of disabilities policies, programs and projects of the government, NGOs and mass organizations; (2) To work with relevant agencies to review and evaluate the implementation of the Ordinance on Disabled Persons; (3) To coordinate with relevant agencies and give comments regarding development and amendment of legal regulations, laws, codes and standards on disabilities; (4) To assess the situation and needs of persons with disabilities in coordination with provincial authorities and agencies to develop programs and projects to support persons with disabilities; (5) To call for financial and technical assistance from individuals, government organizations and NGOs, domestic and international, to support persons with disabilities; (6) To participate in activities relating to disabilities in the region and in the world (JICA 2002; Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability 2006). In conjunction with these GSRV efforts, many disability advocacy organizations are working in cooperation to concentrate on central issues of poverty, lack of access to education, employment, and social support. Local and regional groups of people with disabilities, state, regional, and international NGOs, and various governments concerned with people with disabilities have joined the effort to improve their status. While many engage primarily in assistance and public education, some are focusing on legal and structural changes not only in Vietnam but also in the region.
The Ordinance makes the meaning of disability based on non-discrimination on the cause of disabilities, considered to the single or multi-disabilities, the latent or tacit types of disabilities which affect the social functioning of people having disabilities in areas of life activities (JICA 2002). This meaning is similar to the conception by WHO and UN in general. Article 15 and 16 identify the priorities for CWD in schools and encourage CWD attending the mainstream schools (Vietnam National Assembly 1998). The implementation of the Ordinance on PWD is being evaluated in 2003 with regards to the improvements of rights, life-condition of PWD as well as recommendations for further implementation of this Ordinance (MOLISA 2004). Up to now Vietnam has not had its specific law that provides full legal status for PWD. The Law on PWD is on progress for promulgation. This law will be helpful for not only PWD but also for the legal ways for NGOs working in the field of disability in Vietnam.(b) There is a need to strengthen the role of MOLISA, especially the NCCD. It also needs for having the integration of disability issues into Vietnam Government activities. The Government of Vietnam undertakes a variety of programs and campaigns to serve Vietnamese people, in all aspect of life world. For PWD to have equal opportunity in Vietnam society, all campaign in this aspect should include disability related suggestions. This is occurring in one area, poverty reduction but should be made more government-wide. (c) There is a lack of enforcement of the policies by which the government has developed to ensure the integration of PWD into society.
After 1975, Vietnam paid attention on helping invalid soldiers and war victims more than PWD in other type of disabilitiesThere are specific legal document, social policy as well as social allowance to invalid soldiers and war victims (children with Agent Orange)Invalid soldiers and war victims are not officially named PWD
APPROACHES TO UNDERSTANDING THE CONCEPT OF DISABILITY IN VIETNAM<br />Van Kham Tran<br />PhD Student, <br />School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy<br />
This paper aims at<br />Looking at the general understanding on disabilities:<br />By looking at research on disability based on individual and social model of disability<br />By analysing social policy and legal documents<br />By regarding Vietnam traditional view<br />
Overview of PWD in Vietnam<br />Estimates that approximately 6.34% of the population, or 5.3 million Vietnamese or 7.93% of households, have disabilities. <br />87.27% PWD live in rural areas<br />Illiteracy rates among PWD are estimated to be as high as 36% compared to national rates that are below 10%. <br /> (MOLISA 2006)<br />
Overview of PWD in Vietnam<br />Prominent types of disabilities: Physical and mental<br />20% of PWD have multi-disabilities<br />Reasons for being disabilities: <br /><ul><li>congenital (35.8%),
and others (2.81%)</li></ul> (MOLISA 2006)<br />
LOOKING AT INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIAL MODELS OF DISABILITY<br />
Disability Research<br />Disability study/research has not been a prominent area in Vietnam now. <br />Research mainly focuses on inclusive education in voice of teachers and other non-disabled people, functional rehabilitations or looking disabilities in economic and social development as well as human rights.<br />Approaches to understanding disabilities definition in Vietnam from cultural and moral value as well as individual and social model. <br /> (JICA 2002, Le Bach Duong 2007)<br />
Individual model<br /> - Disability has been equal with defected minds and bodies<br /> - PWD are dependent on families, friends and social assistance and need living in segregated in specialised institutions and agents (Draker 1998; Barnes & Mercer 2002).<br /> - Judgements based on medical conditions of people by identifying the physical, sensory and mental impairments and these people are unable to satisfy social roles and responsibilities (Darlington, Miller & Gwynne 1981) <br /> - Disability defines PWD living dependently with able-bodied people and it is defined as a personal tragedy (Oliver, Michael 1983; Oliver, M & Sapey 1999)<br />
Individual model (cont)<br /> - Due to sick and weakness conditions, disability is also regarded as social deviance. In order to reach to some degree of “normality”, individual with disability is required to be rehabilitated<br /> - PWD is linked up to ascribed than achieved rule breaking<br /> - PWD follows all organisations and staff requirements and by which lead them to live more dependently<br /> (Barnes & Mercer 2002: 4)<br />
Individual model (cont)<br />WHO’s definition in 1970s:<br /> impairment is referred to body and mental deficiency and disorder<br /> disability was used as the impact of impairment on daily life <br /> and the handicap is regarded to the social disadvantages appeared by disability <br /> (Draker 1998:10)<br />
Social model <br /> A change away in which the physical to social limitations of a PWD.<br /> Disability is not caused by impairment but results from the social restrictions imposed on people with impairment (Thomas 2007:57)<br /> Ask society to remove disabilities placed on individuals with impairment through engaging active struggles.<br />
Social model (cont)<br />WHO’s definition in 1980:<br />Impairment: Any loss or abnormality of psychological and physiological or anatomical structure or function…<br />Disability: Any restriction or lack (resulting from impairment) of ability to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being…<br /> (WHO 1980:29)<br />
Social model (cont)<br />WHO’s revised definition in 1999<br />Functioning, activity and participation are influenced by many environment factors materially and socially (Barnes & Mercer 2002:14-15) <br />Defining more relationships to life experiences of PWD in terms of social and cultural factors rather only physical one<br />
By cultural and traditional values<br />People look disability as the result of bad deeds or sins committed by one ancestors which is origin from the concept of reincarnation holding that life is not linear continuum from the birth to death but cyclical<br />Who is committed to be evil in social activities will not only be punished by reincarnated but also their descendants will also be suffer disability as similar consequences <br /> (Hunt 2002).<br />
By cultural and traditional values<br />The key words on talking to PWD: bad temper, low self-esteem, feeling of inferiority, feeling sorry for themselves, isolated, not smart, crazy, failure, crippled, unhappy or unfortunate. Only positive keyword mentioning to “normal”(MOLISA 2004, pp.135-136).<br />The name of people with disabilities has been called with the epithets in a disparaging ways as thằngmù(blind person), thằngquè(limping person), con điên(lunatic person), đồdởhơi(crack-brained person)<br />
2001: EFA flagship on the Right to Education for PWD: Towards inclusion
2006: UN Disability Convention</li></ul> UN perspectives on:<br /> rehabilitation (1945-1954), <br /> social welfare perspective (1955-1970) <br /> human rights : During 1970s, <br /> the world action and social participation, social inclusion: after 1980s (UN 2008)<br />
Vietnam legal milestones on disability<br /><ul><li>1945: The first Vietnamese Constitution
Expected to be approved by the end of 2009</li></li></ul><li>How disability is socially constructed in Vietnam legal documents?<br />Vietnam has not approved the specific law on disability, PWD<br />There are fruitful legal documents on disability and PWD<br />Disability has been stated in Vietnam Constitution, regarding education for all under State and society supports.<br />The Ordinance on PWD in 1998 clarifies rights of PWD in areas of health, education, employment, and social participation<br />Draft of Law on PWD emphases the disability based on WHO revised definition.<br />
Priority for war invalid soldiers and victims<br />MOLISA concerned with the issue of war invalids by the term of "invalidity percentage of work capacity“ to classify disabled people for its scheme of providing social allowances.<br />only visible physical disabilities were examined and evaluated according to the invalidity percentage of working capability<br />Children with disabilities, intellectually disabled persons, and those under or above the working age were not examined or evaluated, as they were often excluded from the list for social allowances <br /> (JICA 2002, p.8).<br />
In labour and working perspective: PWD are those who are unable in working due to health conditions<br />In health and disease perspective: PWD are those who have impairments, and have body dysfunctions<br />In social policy perspective: PWD are those who are impaired, lack of self-caring capacity, they live on other family members, community and society assistances.<br />
How to call disability?<br />The terms of calling people with disability by the name of impairments’ types (such as blind, limping or deaf person) are used widely in general speaking; or impaired person or disabled person in professional and social policy documents.<br />The name of “tàntật” – “disabled people” or “impaired people” was used in national highest legal document (the Ordinance of disabled people; the self-help groups, organisations and associations by impaired people)<br />Associations for PWD are called with the name of disability (blind, deaf or dumb associations)<br />
General understanding of disability in Vietnam<br />Disability is used on classifying PWD those who have lack of one or more body functions in terms of physiology or mentality due to congenital, diseases, accidents, or war consequences.<br />PWD have limitations on working, difficulties in daily life, education and community participation caused by health conditions<br />Using the word of disability instead of being impaired and being disabled, which reflects the social awareness on disability, social position of PWD in society and social contributions<br />
Disability has been socially constructed in legal documents and social policies in Vietnam based on international legal documents. It is viewed in specific perspective. <br />Social awareness on disability is still limited in practice. Which is affected by cultural values, policy priority and lack of comprehensive research.<br />Research on disability areas focus more on inclusive education, rehabilitation, economic contribution by PWD<br />
References<br />Barnes, C & Mercer, G 2002, Disability, Blackwell Publisher Ltd., Oxford.<br />Draker, RF 1998, Understanding disability policies, MacMillan Press Ltd, London.<br />German Development Service 2004, Vietnam Guidelines: For Working With People With Disabilities, viewed 24 December 2008, <http://www.ded.de/cipp/ded/lib/all/lob/return_download,ticket,g_u_e_s_t/bid,502/check_table,it_chap_downl_embed/~/vnm_Leitlinien_GH_Behindarb03_engl.pdf>.<br />Hunt, PC 2002, An Introduction to Vietnamese Culture for Rehabilitation Service Providers in the U.S., The Center for International Rehabilitation Research Information and Exchange, New York, viewed 12 March 2009, <http://cirrie.buffalo.edu/monographs/vietnam.pdf>.<br />JICA 2002, Country profile on disability: Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Japan International Cooperation Agency Hanoi.<br />Le Bach Duong, Khuat Thu Hong & Nguyen DucVinh 2008, People with disabilities in Vietnam: Findings from a social survey at Thai Binh, Quang Nam, Da Nang and Dong Nai, National Political Publishing House, Hanoi.<br />MOLISA 2004, Situational analysis on children with disabilities in Vietnam/Phântíchtìnhhìnhtrẻemkhuyếttật ở Việt Nam, Labour and Social Publishing House, Hanoi.<br />The United Nations 2008, History of disability and the United Nations, viewed 10 June 2008, <http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/history.htm>.<br />The United States Agency for International Development 2005, Vietnam disability situation assessment and program review viewed 20 December 2008, <http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PDACF476.pdf>.<br />World Health Organisation 2001, International classification of functioning, disability and health, World Health Organisation, Geneva, viewed 19 May 2009, <http://www.handicapincifre.it/documenti/ICF_18.pdf>.<br />