The experiences and needs of individuals with disabilities exposed to chronic political violence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose The main objective of this study was to understand, describe and map the experiences, challenges and needs of individuals with lifelong disabilities, who have been exposed to chronic politically violent events (terror, war or continuous missile attacks) in Israel. Method The study was conducted within the qualitative-constructivist paradigm. Three focus groups consisting of 18 individuals with lifelong disabilities were conducted; each focus group included a specific disability type (physical, visual and hearing impairment). Results The participants reported encountering environmental barriers, such as inaccessibly of the physical environment and information as well as dependency on others. These barriers limited the participants' functioning during emergency period and thus increased their level of distress. The participants also emphasized their physical, social and psychological needs. Conclusions The needs of individuals with disabilities in emergency situations can be met if they have a safe place to stay in, are with someone else, and plan every daily action in advance. It is also imperative to provide accessible services and information. Furthermore, it is recommended to develop training sessions for individuals with disabilities and for service providers regarding how to locate, communicate with and assist individuals with disabilities during security threat situations.Implications for Rehabilitation Successful coping of individuals with lifelong disabilities with chronic politically violent events depends on personal and organizational accommodations. Besides an accessible physical environment, the information provided should be available and accessible through mass media and assistive technologies. A comprehensive emergency service for various disabilities is needed. Service providers should be trained on how to locate, communicate with, and assist individuals with disabilities during security threat situations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-35
Number of pages13
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Taylor & Francis.


  • Accessibility
  • disability
  • political violence
  • post-traumatic stress
  • terror
  • war

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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