Special Issue "Mobility, Access, and Participation for Disabled People"

A special issue of Disabilities (ISSN 2673-7272).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2024 | Viewed by 3645

Special Issue Editors

1. Department of Rehabilitation, Université Laval, Quebec City, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
2. Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration, CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale, Quebec City, QC G1M 2S8, Canada
Interests: wheelchairs; assistive technology; social participation; environmental factors; participatory research
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
1. Department of Management, Université Laval, Quebec City, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
2. Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration, CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale, Quebec City, QC G1M 2S8, Canada
Interests: social theories; disability; social participation; policies; participatory research
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted in 2006, aimed to promote, protect, and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their dignity. However, due to accessibility issues pertaining to the social and physical environment, people with mobility impairments continue to experience low levels of social participation and inclusion, which impact their ability to contribute to their community as much as they would like. In some cases, disabled individuals may choose to quit their active lifestyles because of these obstacles. This environment is generating socio-economic conditions that contributed to their depletion impacting their health status on a long-term basis.

Many governments have recently developed new policies and legislation to address this issue. There remains a lack of knowledge, however, about how to best implement these policies to make processes, premises, and attitudes more inclusive of people with disabilities and ensure their relevance at the municipal level, where most accessibility-related changes occur.

This Special Issue aims to highlight mobility and accessibility interventions that promote the participation of individuals with intellectual and/or physical disabilities and autism. We wish to promote participatory research involving people with disabilities and the organizations that provide them with services, represent them, or advocate for them: municipalities, transportation companies, etc. Potential topics include navigation and pedestrian environment accessibility, transportation accessibility, and social accessibility (attitudinal and social factors), among others. Submitted manuscripts may address policies, rehabilitation interventions, clinical practices, municipal practices, community approaches, etc. We encourage and welcome submissions across a broad range of topics and study types.

Prof. Dr. François Routhier
Dr. Normand Boucher
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Disabilities is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • disability
  • mobility
  • accessibility
  • participation
  • environment
  • barrier-free communities
  • participatory research
  • disability policies
  • social exclusion

Published Papers (4 papers)

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18 pages, 2459 KiB  
Article
Multiple-Stakeholder Perspectives on Accessibility Data and the Use of Socio-Technical Tools to Improve Sidewalk Accessibility
Disabilities 2023, 3(4), 621-638; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities3040040 - 28 Nov 2023
Viewed by 364
Abstract
For people with disabilities, accessible pedestrian infrastructure can support independence, mobility, and improved quality of life. Yet, most pedestrian infrastructure presents barriers that impede movement. A major challenge for cities to improve pedestrian accessibility is the lack of reliable data on sidewalk accessibility. [...] Read more.
For people with disabilities, accessible pedestrian infrastructure can support independence, mobility, and improved quality of life. Yet, most pedestrian infrastructure presents barriers that impede movement. A major challenge for cities to improve pedestrian accessibility is the lack of reliable data on sidewalk accessibility. Little is known about the type of data needed for cities, as well as how different stakeholders perceive and use sidewalk data. Therefore, this study seeks to explore the perceptions of multiple stakeholders on the use, gathering, and application of sidewalk accessibility data. We conducted a series of workshops with 51 participants, including people with disabilities, caregivers, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinators, and urban planners, to discuss sidewalk accessibility data and data collection tools. We used the socio-technological tool Project Sidewalk as an example. Participants identified various uses for the accessibility data such as route planning, barrier removal plans, and advocacy, and discussed issues of usability, trust, access, and accessibility of the data and tools. Our findings contribute to a better understanding of important factors that impact the use and application of accessibility data and how to implement accessibility data collection initiatives that utilize socio-technological approaches such as crowdsourcing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mobility, Access, and Participation for Disabled People)
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14 pages, 325 KiB  
Article
Exploring Knowledge of the Concept of Physical Literacy among Rehabilitation Professionals, Students and Coaches Practicing in a Pediatric Setting
Disabilities 2023, 3(4), 493-506; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities3040031 - 20 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1043
Abstract
Approximately 22% of Canadian children with physical disabilities meet the daily physical activity recommendations. Physical activity is attributed to physical literacy, a conceptualization of the domains required to be physically active throughout life. In Canada, pediatric rehabilitation professionals’ and coaches’ roles are essential [...] Read more.
Approximately 22% of Canadian children with physical disabilities meet the daily physical activity recommendations. Physical activity is attributed to physical literacy, a conceptualization of the domains required to be physically active throughout life. In Canada, pediatric rehabilitation professionals’ and coaches’ roles are essential for developing physical literacy. The aim of the study was to explore knowledge of physical literacy and strategies for developing physical literacy for children with physical disabilities among pediatric rehabilitation professionals, students, and coaches in Quebec. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with pediatric rehabilitation professionals, students and coaches and thematically analyzed using NVivo. Twenty professionals and students reported having variable knowledge about physical literacy, but suggested that adaptation, play and interdisciplinarity were essential in the development of physical literacy for children with physical disabilities. Participants highlighted the need to redefine fundamental movement skills for children with physical disabilities. Despite perceiving varied knowledge of the physical literacy concept, pediatric rehabilitation professionals and coaches described essential domains to foster physical literacy in children with disabilities. Pediatric rehabilitation professionals and coaches play a vital role in fostering physical literacy. Therefore, it is essential to support the development of knowledge that may support professionals, such as through training programs and continuing education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mobility, Access, and Participation for Disabled People)
22 pages, 549 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Quality of Life of People with Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury Who Can Ambulate
Disabilities 2023, 3(4), 455-476; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities3040029 - 06 Oct 2023
Viewed by 675
Abstract
(1) Purpose: To examine associations between subjective quality of life and other socio-demographic variables and to explore differences in experiences of people with different levels of quality of life (low, moderate, high). (2) Materials and methods: Semi-structured interviews and standardized measures of mobility, [...] Read more.
(1) Purpose: To examine associations between subjective quality of life and other socio-demographic variables and to explore differences in experiences of people with different levels of quality of life (low, moderate, high). (2) Materials and methods: Semi-structured interviews and standardized measures of mobility, function, health-related quality-of-life, and quality-of-life were used to collect the data for this mixed-method study. (3) Results: Twenty-four participants were interviewed with an average age of 55 years and 54% were male. High quality of life, according to quantitative analysis, was strongly associated with being male, attending rehabilitation, and being married. The qualitative findings supported the quantitative findings and also revealed that people with a low quality of life felt the neighborhood-built environment was not supportive of people with incomplete spinal cord injury who can walk. Participants who reported a low/moderate quality of life reported feeling devalued by able-bodied people and that their mobility was getting worse over time. (4) Conclusion: Findings suggest that those with incomplete spinal cord injuries who can walk could benefit from improved quality of life by modifying their social support and neighborhood’s built environment. For instance, sensitivity training for the general population could help to reduce negative attitudes and misperceptions about invisible impairments and promote inclusion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mobility, Access, and Participation for Disabled People)
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18 pages, 3346 KiB  
Case Report
Power Mobility, Supported Standing and Stepping Device Use in the First Two Years of Life: A Case Report of Twins Functioning at GMFCS V
Disabilities 2023, 3(4), 507-524; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities3040032 - 31 Oct 2023
Viewed by 773
Abstract
Mobility experience has a positive impact on activity, participation, socialisation, language and cognition, but children with cerebral palsy (CP), Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) level V require assistive devices or assistance in all environments. Supported standing devices afford upright, weight-bearing positions to [...] Read more.
Mobility experience has a positive impact on activity, participation, socialisation, language and cognition, but children with cerebral palsy (CP), Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) level V require assistive devices or assistance in all environments. Supported standing devices afford upright, weight-bearing positions to promote muscle, bone, joint and overall health. Supported stepping devices afford stepping and upright independent mobility, positively impacting self-esteem and participation, while power mobility is the only possibility for effective, independent community mobility. These devices and opportunities should be introduced at the age when children who are typically developing are pulling to stand, moving and exploring their environment. A detailed case description including lived experience and device use data is presented for female twins with dystonic tetraplegic CP born at 25 weeks gestational age and functioning at GMFCS level V. The feasibility of using power mobility, standing and stepping devices in home and community settings within the first two years is illustrated. The twins transitioned from spending 24 h in lying positions or being held in arms to spending more than 2 h daily in upright positions and having opportunities to move independently. Positioning and mobility devices can help to address all the F-words for child development: functioning, family, fitness, fun, friends and future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mobility, Access, and Participation for Disabled People)
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