Publication Details

Cusick, A. & Hamed El Sahly, R. M. (2018). People with disability in Libya are a medicalised minority: Findings of a scoping review. Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, 20 (1), 182-196.


This study used a scoping review methodology to identify, collate and summarise published literature relating to people with disability in Libya. Most sources came from peak international agencies, some from humanitarian agency media releases, a few were Libyan government reports and very little from scholarly journals. Four themes summarize findings and provide a means to examine assumptions regarding people with disability in Libya: (1) scant data and information gaps are the norm; (2) disability is a medical problem to be managed; (3) acquisition context matters: conflict versus non-conflict disability; and (4) disability human rights - social model on paper but not yet in practice. Findings reveal gaps in knowledge, promising signs of change and areas for action. People with disability in Libya need: a stable and secure community; visibility in reporting, planning and evaluation of services that are inclusive in design and delivery; and measures, technical definitions and socio-cultural understandings of disability that value function, activity and participation in everyday life as much as medical conditions, impairments and expert treatment. These actions will help provide people with disability in Libya an opportunity to actively contribute in rebuilding their communities in a post-conflict future.



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