Novel approach to empowering women with disabilities
Women with disabilities have more difficulties than their male counterparts in finding employment and joining in community life. The EU-funded RISEWISE project is working to identify clear directions for research towards improving the social and economic integration of disabled women.
© sissoupitch #98397382 2019, source:stock.adobe.com
All people with disabilities face challenges, but statistics show that disabled women in particular have enormous obstacles to overcome when looking for a job or simply getting by in modern society.
The EU-funded RISEWISE project is focusing on the problem of integrating disabled women into society. Researchers are working to identify needs and best practices across several EU countries, comparing female disabled populations of different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.
The RISEWISE team is applying a novel analytical method, involving exchange of experience among multi-disciplinary researchers from around European and among a variety of participating institutions.
RISEWISE represents the first large-scale study of this type on disabled women to be performed in Europe. It is revealing for the first time the real impact that disabled women could have in terms of economic growth and their influence on society as a whole, were they to be adequately empowered.
The project is also effectively establishing a sustainable platform for cooperation among research groups and associations in the EU that are interested in the real-life experiences of disabled women.
Researchers already know that technological and other advances towards the stronger social engagement of disabled people can have positive impacts on the wider population. Solutions in fields such as ergonomics and human-computer interfaces, for example, have been successfully transferred to the non-disabled population. This means that ultimately the RISEWISE project could have implications that reach far beyond the specific group being studied.
The outcome of the RISEWISE project is a coherent list of research lines and proposed projects that can lead to real solutions. ICT services and technologies, the legal sector, the business world, the labour market, social organisations, policymakers and the entertainment world, all have contributions to make to the enabling and empowerment of women with disabilities and they all stand to benefit in their turn.