Personal Assistance to People with ASD in Czechia: Between Positive Discrimination and Ableism.



Year of publication 2019
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Journal of social policy studies
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Education

Keywords ableism; people with ASD; personal assistance; positive discrimination; post-socialist politics of disability
Description Contemporary politics concerning those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) revolves around a contest between the medical perspective of autism as a pathology in need of a cure and the autism acceptance perspective, which maintains that autism is a normal human variation. Neither of these extremes provides a sustainable solution to the dilemma of empowerment and care for the people with ASD. Even more, each of the extremes runs the risk of reproducing ableism, a cultural status quo that privileges an able-bodied 'norm' and re-establishes hierarchies of ability upon people with ASD. The call for personal assistance, a pillar of independent life for people with disabilities, reframes the policy of the individual approach for people with ASD by ensuring better continuity between assessment and intervention. The current Czech policy concerning people with disabilities remains aligned with the approach introduced in the late 1980s that divides people with disabilities into categories according to the degree of their dependence instead of refining the approach in line with needs assessment and individualizing interventions. How do different actors respond to the obvious lack of personal assistance to people with ASD? This article examines the impact of governmental bodies responsible for disability policy, the regional authorities and civil society actors on reproducing post-socialist path dependence on medicalised assessment, the centralised approach to funding, and the univocity with residential care. We apply the 'Assessing Personal Assistance Schemes', a multi-faceted set of criteria aimed at monitoring the right to independent life, for indicating options concerning sustainable switching to personal assistance
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