Jukka and Hisayo took part in a demonstration in Helsinki, Finland to promote the right of disabled persos to personal assistants! Around 150 other joined the demonstration which took place in Helsinki on 6 December 2007, which is also the independence day of Finland. The theme was: "Independence for Disabled Persons!"


Nordic Africa Days 2007

Hisayo and Jukka participated in Nordic Africa Days 2007 which was very nicely hosted by the Nordic Africa Institute situated in Uppsala. Many scholars had gathered from all over the world to discuss Africa issues.

We (Hisayo and Jukka) were joining the workshop: "Reconsidering Urban Politics in Africa: Urban Citizens between the Global and the Local", in which we presented a paper: "Human Rights-Based Approach to Disability in Development in Uganda: A Way to Fill the
Gap between Political and Social Spaces?
". Here is a picture of all the great people in our workshop....Thank you all!

And here is the Institute's new Research Director Mr. Fantu Cheru giving the closing remarks of this very excellent conference:


Participatory Research Method - What do You Think?

We placed a text by Hisayo on participatory research method on the side bulk (it's also placed here in the blogging below). What do you think? Can it really work? What do you think are the shortcomings of the method? Please share your thoughts on this :)



"Research has been owned by the researchers. Thus researchers have been much more powerful than the researched people in many cases. In Disability Studies, it has been argued that this research context had contributed to reinforce the discrimination against disabled people in society. We would like to question this predominant research context by employing participatory research method in our study.

Participatory Research Method aims at participation of the researched people to the research process, thereby filling some of the power gaps between the researchers and the researched people. In this method, therefore, the researched people are active research participants rather than passive object of the research. The research process includes identifying the research questions, planning and designing the research, collecting data, analysing and interpreting the data and sharing the results. When the research participants can share their inputs based on their own experiences, the research can create relevant knowledge for them. The participation, however, is not compulsory. The research participants can make the decision on when and how to participate and not to participate in the research. The ultimate goal of this research method in our study is that the research outcomes will contribute to the sustainable, positive change towards the equality of disabled people.

However, we cannot give a false expectation to our research. We have to be clear about our research outcomes that we cannot promise a dramatic change because the research is only part of the society and because any single research of this kind cannot make such a significant change within the limited resources. Having stated that, we would like to make our modest contribution to the disability movement to fight against discrimination from an academic side."


Please, Share Your Thoughts !

Let's begin our joint prcess of blogging by considering the role of disability research.

What do you think, is it important that we have spesific disability research, or would it be better to go purely main-stream. Do you think that disability-spesific research really has impact on the daily lives of disabled people? Do you have experiences in participating a research on disability?

We acknowledge the inaccessibility of this form of space particularly for
Ugandan disabled people without necessary preconditions such as internet
access, literacy and transportation. This is already a challenge for us in
our "participatory" research method.

Please, our Ugandan and Finnish (also others:) friends, tell us what you think!


The President of Finland Visited our Project

On Friday 17 August the President of Finland, Tarja Halonen visited the Institute for Human Rights at the Åbo Akademi University. During this visit she was also introduced to our project and she was very interested on the implentation of international law in Uganda and disabled people. Especially she was interested in the situation of people with hearing impairments and the deaf. The visit was also reported in the website of the President and there is now link to this blog :)

In the photo with Jukka from the left: The Spouse of the President, Pentti Arajärvi; Director of the Institute, Martin Scheinin; the President of Finland, Tarja Halonen.


Welcome !

Dear colleagues

Thank you for finding your way here in our newly-founded blog! Please take some time to get familiar with our research project and with the research team members. In brief, our research is on human rights and disability in Ugandan context. Our team members consist of disability activists both from Finland and Uganda and academic scholars from different fields.

We thought that research works had been too far away from non-academic people, or even from those who are in different fields or disciplines of the academic community. We wanted to bridge this gap by creating this blog as a space for us from different backgrounds to communicate. Please don’t hesitate at all to comment here and be in contact with us.

The blog will have writings and discussion on various themes that relate to our research project. We will try our best to keep up the discussion by offering desirable subjects. In addition, our conference papers, trip reports and other related materials will be available here for your convenience.

Yours sincerely,
The Research Team