Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Occupational Therapy]]> vol. 38 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Human Rights: A professional responsibility and an institutional obligation</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Thinking about how occupational therapists can promote the human rights of vulnerable groups</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>The use of the confessional tale as a tool to enter the critical tale and become an advocate for those at the margins - a researcher's journey and reflection</b>]]> In this article the author describes her journey and reflection during the process of conducting qualitative research on homeless people with mobility impairments. After having entered the environment of the homeless people with mobility impairments, the researcher s previous assumptions and stance regarding the role she is required to play during research and afterwards is closely examined. The author uses the confessional tale to map out her journey and reflection including the experience of conducting ethnographic research with homeless people with mobility impairments. At the core of the researcher's reflective confessional tale is the display of how she grapples with trying to draw lines between her own assumptions regarding the participants and the need for her to find the critical tale for this marginalised group of people - the homeless people with mobility impairments. The paper ends by making recommendations on the key principles that a researcher should take cognizance of on becoming a conscious advocate. <![CDATA[<b>Participation in work: A human rights issue for people with psychiatric disabilities</b>]]> The article will endeavour to situate discrimination against disabled people in the world of work as a human rights issue. An argument will be made for occupational therapists to give more attention to recent developments in the literature, policies and legislation in order to develop services that will best promote the participation of people with disability in work. Recommendations for service models will be made, each based on a case study that was developed using an interpretive biography research design. <![CDATA[<b>Discovering the barriers that stop children with disabilities from being children: The impact of lack of access to mobility devices - a human rights perspective</b>]]> In most research projects there is a tendency not to consult young disabled children about their priorities and experiences. Their needs and aspirations are pre-empted through service providers. Furthermore, there is little research about how resilient young disabled children are in dealing with or overcoming the barriers in their daily lives due to inadequate provision of mobility devices. Therefore, this study undertook to explore and describe the perceptions and experiences of a sample of children with mobility impairments from disadvantaged backgrounds with regard to the impact of lack of access to mobility devices on their lives. From 1998-2000 in a qualitative study, a case study design was used as a method of inquiry to explore the experiences and perceptions of disabled children at a special school in a township in Cape Town in the Western Cape Province, South Africa with regard to the impact of inadequate provision of mobility devices on their lives. Analysis of the stories of disabled children revealed that without adequate mobility devices they were deprived of their right to development, education, play and social interaction as well as adequate health and rehabilitation services. The stories told by disabled children, their caregivers and therapists reflected the contradictory messages sent to disabled children about service delivery. Recommendations were related to the urgent need for transformation in the provision of mobility devices, based on the needs of disabled children. <![CDATA[<b>CBR students' understanding of the oppression of people with disabilities</b>]]> According to the social model of disability, there are clear links between the barriers that people with disabilities experience and their oppression by able-bodied people. Community based rehabilitation students have been taught to work from a social model perspective of disability. Through action research, this study investigated how community based rehabilitation students understand the oppression of people with disabilities. Following an initial phase of interviews with past students, changes were implemented in the CBR course. Subsequent interviews with students demonstrated that they have a greater understanding of the complexities of the oppression of people with disabilities than past students. Recommendations are made to link training on the oppression of people with disabilities to a human rights approach to disability. <![CDATA[<b>The right to respect for autonomy: Part 1 - What is autonomy all about?</b>]]> This paper seeks to clarify the nature, extent and significance of a patient's right to respect for autonomy from the practitioner. It is one of two articles and attempts to contextualise patient autonomy within a legal, bioethical and professional perspective. The Bill of Rights contained in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (108 of 1996), the Mental Health Care Act (17 of 2002), the National Health Act (61 of 2003) the Promotion of Access to Information Act (2 of 2000) as well as the rules of Professional Conduct as stipulated in the Health Professions Act (56 of 1974) are discussed as relevant to patient/client's right to respect for autonomy and inherent within that right, the right to informed consent, confidentiality, refusal of treatment, a second opinion, access to personal information and to be treated with respect and dignity. Common and case law are addressed briefly together with the bioethical principle of 'respect for autonomy.' Commentary is given on each of the Acts with a view to professional practice implications. <![CDATA[<b>"We are also travellers": An action story about disabled women mobilising for an accessible public transport system in Khayelitsha and Nyanga, Cape Metropole, South Africa</b>]]> The paper reports on the experiences of disabled women in Khayelitsha and Nyanga in Cape Town in mobilising for an accessible public transport system so that they had equal opportunities to participation in social and economic development. The paper highlights various policies linked to addressing/achieving equal rights and access for disabled people across sectors, with a specific focus on the centrality of accessible public transport to development. The specific aim of this action story was to explore the experiences of disabled women in mobilising for change regarding an accessible public transport system as a strategy for social inclusion. A qualitative research approach using participatory action research (PAR) was chosen as the research design to allow for emergent process of collaboration and dialogue. Purposive sampling and snowballing were used to select the sample of disabled women living in Khayelitsha and Nyanga in Cape Town. Data was generated through pioneering narrative action reflection (NAR) workshops, as an innovative method to generate data of disability experiences collectively rather than on a one-to-one basis. The method enables storytelling and action learning by marginalised groups in impoverished contexts to mobilise collectively for equal opportunities and social inclusion. The theme "We are also travellers" emerged with two sub-themes that described the barriers and strategies for inclusion, namely "Waiting for transport" and "We have to stand up". The lessons learnt and outcomes included the power of action learning as a strategy for mobilising for social change, and the centrality of an accessible public transport system for the participation of disabled women in development opportunities. NAR workshops were also found to be a culturally sensitive method for emphasising the political and social aspects of knowledge production. <![CDATA[<b>HIV/AIDS: Guidelines for practitioner conduct - within a legal and ethical framework</b>]]> The HIV/AIDS pandemic affects every sector and the very fabric of South African society and presents a challenge to every health practitioner and student┬╣. As a profession and association, we accept that we need actively to deal with issues around HIV/AIDS, not only in terms of patients in our care, but also our students in training and our own colleagues. We acknowledge that whereas we need to protect ourselves against infection, we likewise need to protect the public from infection from ourselves. Legislation and numerous regulations and protocols exist which govern the duties and responsibilities of all sectors of the public, including occupational therapy practitioners. The fundamental premise of all legislation and regulations is that the person with HIV/AIDS may under no circumstances be discriminated against and must enjoy equal rights as a citizen. These rights are enshrined in the Bill of Rights┬▓. This premise is enthusiastically endorsed by OTASA.