Skip main navigation

Who cares?

In this video, different people with disabilities discuss their views on care.

Just like last week when we unpacked what we meant by the word “access”, this week we’ll be exploring the concepts of “care” and “support” and the different meanings that these words — and their associated actions — can have in the lives of disabled people.

Clearly, the terms “care” and “support” are not neutral and may have different meanings for different people. In the above video, our guest presenters provide their thoughts on the word care. It is clear that for most of them, “care” has very negative connotations or meanings. For example, Duncan, Steve and Jordanna all imply how “caring” for people with disabilities is disempowering and patronising. Duncan, Vivienne and Jordanna do, however, give examples of how support can be empowering.

All of their examples involve people with disabilities having access to opportunities — such as opportunities to explore their environments and express themselves in the ways they choose. As we discussed last week, the approaches taken to caring and supporting can significantly impact how disabled people feel, as well as their ability to access different opportunities in life.

Antoni expresses a different perspective from the others in the video. For him and his family, it is important that care has come from the family. Indeed, this seems a source of pride to Antoni and his family. While, as Antoni explains, this is typical of an approach to disabled people in Indonesia, it also illustrates how understandings of care and support are contextual and how these ideas may change over time, from place to place, and even over the course of someone’s life.

We provide a link to an audio description version of this video in the See Also section below.

portraits of the five guest speakers, laughing and smiling

Talking points

  • What do the terms care and support mean to you?
  • Do the words care and support have particular meanings relating to disability in your local context?
  • What role does the family play in providing care or support for people with disabilities within your culture or context?

In the next step, we’ll hear what Mel had to say about the terms care and support.

This article is from the free online

Disability and a Good Life: Working with Disability

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now