Have Thailand’s Personal Assistance Services for Persons with Disabilities Evolved?

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.20372/dcidj.677

Keywords:

Persons with Disabilities. Critical Disability Study. Personal Assistant. COVID-19. Thailand

Abstract

Aim: To consider the critical disability theory perspective and the Independent Living (IL) philosophy to not only identify how personal assistants (PAs) and persons with disabilities in Thailand have worked together during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also analyze the power relationships among stakeholders in the Thai personal assistance service system. Methods: This research applied a qualitative research methodology with three groups: PAs, persons with disabilities working with PAs, and administrators of PA service delivery agencies in four provinces in Thailand. Fifty-eight respondents participated in in-depth interviews and three focus group discussions. A matrix involving case and coding analyses was used to analyze the data. Results: PA services under the IL philosophy, which introduced by the Thai IL movement, were incorporated in a law to be implemented. However, this implementation was mostly managed and delivered by governmental offices responsible for charitable modes of care, with an emphasis on a volunteering spirit. The PA services were perceived as caregivers for older persons. During the COVID-19 pandemic PA services provided support to persons with disabilities and filled gaps in family care. Conclusion and Implications: The group leaders among persons with disabilities are active agents to strive for more participation at all levels in the PA system structure. It is important to train PA service users and have organizations of persons with disabilities to manage and monitor PA services. Hence, developing a PA career path with proper working benefits will be significant in creating sustainable PA services.

Author Biographies

Akiko Yokoyama, Osaka University

Post-Graduate Student, Osaka University Graduate School of Human Sciences

Kamolpun Punpuing, Thailand Council for Independent Living

A Board Member of Thailand Council for Independent Living. Section Head, Research Strategic Planning and Management Division, Assistive Technology and Medical Devices Research Center, National Science and Technology Development Agency

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Published

2024-01-29

How to Cite

1.
Yokoyama A, Punpuing K. Have Thailand’s Personal Assistance Services for Persons with Disabilities Evolved?. DCIDJ [Internet]. 2024 Jan. 29 [cited 2024 Mar. 4];34(3):86-103. Available from: https://dcidj.uog.edu.et/index.php/up-j-dcbrid/article/view/677

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Section

Original Research Articles