Children with Disabilities and Disaster Risk Reduction in New Zealand

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dc.contributor.advisor Gaillard, JC en
dc.contributor.advisor Marlowe, J en Ronoh, Steve en 2017-10-12T20:56:58Z en 2017 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description.abstract The global rise in the number of disasters is largely due to the interplay between environmental and human factors. Children and especially children with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by disasters, with an estimated seven million children affected worldwide annually. Children with disabilities can have increased vulnerabilities because of mobility difficulties, pre-existing medical conditions, existing socio-economic barriers and policies that fail to recognise the diverse needs of this group. Indeed, researchers and practitioners have historically overlooked the experiences and needs of children, particularly so for those with disabilities, who are disproportionately affected by natural hazards and disasters. Their capacities, needs, and, importantly, potential roles in disaster risk reduction (DRR) have received little consideration from researchers and policy makers. This thesis draws on the findings of a multi-case study of three New Zealand schools working with children having diverse disabilities. The schools are in the regions of Canterbury, Hawke’s Bay and Auckland. It aims to generate new information to help inform DRR and give direction, and provide a holistic framework towards the development of an inclusive approach to DRR. This orientation aims to specifically integrate the experiences, perspectives and needs of children with disabilities. Although grounded in disaster studies, this thesis frequently draws upon the wider scholarship related to children, participatory approaches and disability. The central goal of the study is to assess and interpret the experiences of children with disabilities in dealing with natural hazards, and to identify their actual and potential contribution to DRR. It presents the use of flexible participatory tools which support a sustained continuum of engagement among children with diverse disabilities, skills, and experiences. Crucially, this work offers a bridge and conceptual framework that recognises communication as a two-way process between adults and children by requiring adults to learn how children express their views, thus according participants a voice in DRR research. The case studies reveal considerable variation on how children with disabilities access available resources, and how they perceive, face and cope with natural hazards. The research also identifies constraints and complexities towards achieving disability-inclusive DRR and shows that ideas about DRR are shaped and influenced by socio-economic structures. Based on the participants’ existing variation of potential vulnerabilities and capacities (individual and group) and their potential contribution in DRR, the thesis offers suggestions for policy and practice of a more inclusive approach to DRR. It emphasises the need to direct resources and programmes that facilitate and strengthen effective communication between adults and children to encourage sustained participation along children’s spectrum of abilities. Finally, the thesis recommends a framework incorporating a shift in attitude to children with disabilities as integral and active participants in DRR. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99264949213002091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.title Children with Disabilities and Disaster Risk Reduction in New Zealand en
dc.type Thesis en Environmental Science en The University of Auckland en Doctoral en PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
dc.rights.accessrights en
pubs.elements-id 691811 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2017-10-13 en

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