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Date of Award

9-1996

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Sociology

Supervisor

Philip G. White

Language

English

Abstract

Disablement has been defined according to three criteria; impairment, which addresses the biological aspects of disablement, disability which addresses functional loss, and handicap which addresses the social and environmental aspects related to disability. One or more of these c0mponents influence social policy development. Unlike previous models of disability, this research uses a multidimensional approach to explore the subjective experiences of women with disabilities in relationship to leisure. Further, it addresses all the components of disablement to explore the biological and cultural aspects that impact on the female, disabled body during leisure pursuits. Leisure is one aspect of the human experience that provides the opportunity to experience the integration of the mind, body and social components of one"s life.

The findings suggested that the women define leisure similarly to other women and to persons without disabilities but their definition was broad enough to incorporate differing functional abilities. Their leisure became more passive, isolated and segregated with adulthood. Reasons for this includled constraints due to the body, transportation, time, environments, equipment, relationships, economics and policies which place them in a separate and distinct position in society. They must adapt their bodies, activities, time schedules, environments, and equipment to meet their desires and functional needs for leisure.

Solutions need to accommodate issues of differing needs while ensuring the treatment of persons with disabilities as persons first. Increasing awareness, incorporating persons with disabilities into decision making processes that affect their lives and universalizing policies and perceptions would encourage inclusion.

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