Disability in Rural Areas of Australia: An Opportunity to Develop Community Resources

By Kerre A. Willsher.

Published by The International Journal of Community Diversity

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 26, 2015 $US5.00

Due to medical advances, many children with disability are now living to adulthood. Previous research has revealed that parents of children with disability have major concerns about the future when they are no longer able to care for the child. These concerns are magnified in rural areas where resources are scarce. Semi-structured interviews with fourteen parents/carers of children with disability and a focus group of eight community supports took place in rural areas of Australia in 2012–2013. A Reflexive Feminist Standpoint Interpretation which strives to be empathic and empowering is used to interpret the results. Several themes emerged from the research, including quality of life, stigma, and access to services. Fewer service options are available for disabled adults in rural areas of Australia and many of the operational ones are under threat owing to population decline. However, concerns for the future as parents age, was the most prominent theme. The research revealed that collaborative approaches between families and service providers are required to develop appropriate services for rural families that have a child with disability.

Keywords: Concerns for the Future, Advocacy, Rural Location, Quality of Life

The International Journal of Community Diversity, Volume 14, Issue 4, September 2015, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 26, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 321.258KB)).

Ms Kerre A. Willsher

Ph.D Student, Lecturer, Centre for Regional Engagement, University of South Australia, Whyalla, SA, Australia