Research Focus | Max-Planck-Institut für Sozialrecht und Sozialpolitik - MPISOC
Max Planck Fellow

Research Focus

Dis[cover]ability & Indicators for Inclusion (2015-2020)

Against the background of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which was ratified by Germany in 2009, the Fellow Group investigates the theoretical conception as well as the empirical and analytical foundation underlying expectations of an inclusive society.

The Fellow Group thus follows a twin-track approach: on the one hand, with reference to so-called “disability mainstreaming”, it examines the social and material barriers which persons with disabilities are confronted with (e.g. inadequate access to public spaces, communication barriers, prejudices and ableist attitudes). Upon this basis, the researchers aim to identify room to maneouvre and access paths that could pry open the currently segregating and/or exclusionary institutions encountered by individuals faced with impairments or disabilities.

On the other hand, inspired by the concept of empowerment, the group’s focus is on the specific requirements entailed by living with impairments and/or disabilities and the design of adequate support within social services, health provision, education and livelihood, not to mention multiple opportunities for political and sociocultural participation.

The common denominator pertaining to both research priorities – i.e. the analysis of societal context factors as well as the life situations of individual actors – is the programmatic “Discover Abilities” motto used to counter the prevalent “deficit” perspective on impairment/disability and to develop indicators for a self-determined implementation of participation.