Institutional Scholarship

Unveiling (In)equality in resources for Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Three Chinese American Caregivers’ Experiences

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dc.contributor.advisor Evans, Shani Lin, Stephanie Yuqing 2020-10-16T19:59:57Z 2020-10-16T19:59:57Z 2020
dc.description.abstract Throughout American history, disability has been utilized by the American government to justify and legitimize policies as methods of oppression against immigrants, women, and people of color (Baynton 2005). Through the establishment of the Americans with Disabilities Act, all Americans with disabilities should have the same access to quality care and resources that are appropriated to their individual needs (Weber 2010; Connor and Ferri 2013). Current literature on caregiver’s experiences raising children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are predominantly focused on white middle-class families (Zechella and Raval 2016) and are thus not representative of the experiences of caregivers in minority communities. Disabilities and mental health are two stigmatized topics in the Chinese American communities. The needs and experiences of minorities like Chinese American immigrant caregivers differ from White middle-class families. Through two models of disability, social and medical, this thesis aims to understand how the intersectionality of their marginalized identities as Chinese American immigrant caregivers impacts their understanding of their child’s IDD, and their experiences navigating the health, social and education institutions to access necessary resources for their child’s care. I conducted semi-structured interviews with 3 Chinese American caregivers who cared for children with IDD in English and Mandarin. These interviews revealed the disparities in both quality and access to resources; the stress and initial reactions that caregivers had to the child’s medical diagnosis; the multitude of barriers including linguistic, structural, racial, socioeconomic and the cultural insensitivities from professionals’ that caregivers endured; and the support groups that caregivers relied on. The three Chinese American caregivers emphasized the need for systemic and social change to ensure that the professionals that work with families like theirs are well-trained, committed, culturally competent, empathetic, and equipped to provide comprehensive language services. It is through these changes that it can bridge the disparities in access and quality of care for children with IDD in families like theirs. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Swarthmore College. Dept. of Sociology & Anthropology en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights Full copyright to this work is retained by the student author. It may only be used for non-commercial, research, and educational purposes. All other uses are restricted.
dc.title Unveiling (In)equality in resources for Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Three Chinese American Caregivers’ Experiences en_US
dc.rights.access No restrictions en_US

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