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Teaser, summary, work performed and final results

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - RISEWISE (RISEWISE -RISE Women with disabilities In Social Engagement)


Women with disabilities suffer from discrimination in several facets of their life, for instance, having difficulties to find an employment and to integrate in social day life activities. This project focuses on the collective of women with disabilities from different...


Women with disabilities suffer from discrimination in several facets of their life, for instance, having difficulties to find an employment and to integrate in social day life activities.
This project focuses on the collective of women with disabilities from different perspectives, trying to identify needs and best practices in several EU countries, representing different cultural and socio-economic environments, for the integration and improvement of their quality of life in several respects. By applying a novel analysis method, based on the experience acquired by the exchange of researchers, innovation staff and practitioners in the European area among the participating institutions, the project identifies a set of multi-sectorial research lines that can contribute to enhance the integration and involvement of WwD.
It is worth mentioning that advances on technologies and measures towards a stronger social engagement of disabled people have finally a positive impact also in the whole population, as many examples show, on how solutions have been transferred to the rest of society in fields such as human-computer interfaces, ergonomic solutions, etc.
Finally, the outcome of the project will be the proposition of a coherent set of research lines and projects that will contribute to implement solutions integrating advances from ICT services and technologies, law, enterprises, labour market, social actors, decision making, entertainment,

Work performed

RISEWISE pays attention to WwD. It performs a deep analysis of the barriers found by integrating the different experiences arising from the exchange and sharing of knowledge. This analysis is being used to proceed with case studies, with the participation of WwD as leading actors of the project, and not only as the subject of study, with the aim to sharing best practices and promoting positive results, to introduce and implement innovation within the beneficiaries of the project and outside the consortium in a mid and long-term view.
There is still a great difficulty to measure the disability and its impact on women. Very often, where data are collected, they are not disaggregated by gender, age, and kind of disability. Thus, it is still difficult to find data connected with this group. This is the first issue that the RISEWISE project has addressed, by performing an initial analysis of the situation in numerous fields. This is done from a multidisciplinary perspective in two respects. On one side, although several aspects of the life of WwD have been addressed from a medical viewpoint, or in sociological studies, these works do not consider a holistic approach that integrates these different perspectives. On the other side, the multidisciplinary character of the project appears when considering the diversity of dimensions of the person along the daily living: home, work, education, healthcare, social life, entertainment, etc.
The methodology relies on secondments, i.e. the exchanges of people among participant organisations, gathering data and experiences, and providing conclusions. The project established a methodology that provides guidelines for driving the research process and supporting people (D1.3 Guidelines for reporting, data gathering and analysis: the final consolidated version of the previous deliverable D1.1). The recruitment is open, equal and accessible in the participating organisations, ensuring suitable environments among the beneficiaries. This has been complemented with a collaborative process to analyse, consolidate, and share knowledge and experiences, through workshops and network-based collaboration.
The secondments allow the participants in the project to actually visiting other institutions, where they work as active observers.
The project team has learnt to integrate the different experiences arising from these exchanges, described in deliverables. The results of these further observations will keep informing the future deliverables and results of the RISEWISE project. One of the advantages of the approach is the comparison among different countries, which the secondments made possible, supporting new approaches and research perspectives.
People travelling on secondments are approaching the visits from an empirical or theoretical perspective, depending on their background and the organisations they belong to
After the first activities linked to Analysis of Barriers performed in WP1 up to month 23, the partnership is providing a tool to be used [in the context of Task 2.1 of WP2] to identify and categorise the methods already developed and/or used for integration and empowerment of Women with Disabilities (WwD) that can be used to produce a catalogue of good practices and methods for better integration and empowerment of WwD in their daily living.
In the meantime RISEWISE is implementing the case studies to be used as a tool for analysis in the WP3 for validation. All this by hearing the voices of women living with disabilities.

Final results

In social, anthropological and medical studies the topic of WwD is relatively young. The approach to the specificity of the conjunction between being a woman and being a disabled person has a fresh history and still needs to be explored and investigated from different points of view. Only few studies have analysed the condition of women disability by using measurement instruments or paradigms that are women-related. Intersectionality is a young discipline born at the end of last century in USA. Intersectionality is the general approach used within RISEWISE.
RISEWISE would find a place in the theoretical framework of disability studies and feminism. In fact, gender studies linked to disability are more recent, confronting both gender and disability from the middle Eighties of last century, but in a non-organic way. Till then, feminism has been considered only as able-bodied and not linked to disabled women. On the contrary, disability studies confronted only with disability, with no genre difference. After this reflection, it was born a new branch of the women and disability related studies: feminist disability studies. These criticized in particular the feminist movement because it was focusing only on able women and not disabled or old ones. Still at the beginning of the Nineties, the body of a woman was considered only as and if able, even in the feminist circles.
RISEWISE is giving voices to those unheard and confined in a too specialistic field, such that one related to health issues, social issues or similar.
The experiences have been analysed in public conferences and consolidation workshops, where the experience reports have been analysed in order to consolidate a common understanding of the results of the experiences and offer a scientific framework going beyond the state of the art.
The project considers secondment for different types of staff in the participating institutions, training, and knowledge sharing activities. Training and knowledge sharing has been performed inside the project but also open to other individuals and organizations in the society. These activities had a positive impact in enhancing research and innovation capabilities of the individuals in several ways, depending on their activity, but all were devoted to women with disability.

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