Young Girls With Developmental Disabilities in the Himalayas- A Closer Look!

Shubha Nagesh, Amanda Nicole Dorsey, Colin Weiss, Ashley Darcy-Mahoney, Megha Girdhar, Spoorti Chimmalgi


Background: Research exploring disability and gender are limited in India. The documented few opine largely about the double discrimination, impacting access and utilization of intervention services. The Latika Roy Foundation, a non-profit providing intervention services for children with developmental disabilities, found that proportionally more young males compared to females utilize their services. Consequently, these researchers aim to understand why. Procedure: 24 families participated in a semi-structured home-based interview. All their daughters had been assessed to have a developmental disability, were aged 3-10 years, were living in and around Dehradun, India, but were not currently accessing intervention services. Results: Families had a reduced knowledge about the disability, poor understanding about the urgency of early intervention, and yet a keenness to do everything possible. Limitations included remote locations, unavailable transportation, and impeding family structures. All the families reported significant concern for their daughter with a disability and had a positive approach to the challenges they faced, though they had difficulties physically accessing services. Implications: The study data challenges the predominant dialogue around the intersection between gender and disability in the region. These findings are optimistic for the future of disability and gender equality and India. 


developmental disabilities, gender, access, barriers, intervention services

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