This joint INSERM-EHESP chair is financed by the Caisse nationale de solidarité pour l’autonomie (CNSA – National Autonomy Solidarity Fund). It is part of the Maison des sciences sociales du handicap (MSSH – Social Sciences Centre for the Disabled) at 236 bis rue de Tolbiac, 75013 Paris.
Jean-François RAVAUD, holder of the chair, Class 1 Director of Research, DR1 INSERM, Director of the Institut Fédératif de Recherche sur le Handicap (IFRH - Federative Institute on Research into Disability).
The chair is set up for a period of 4 years and will have 1 sociology lecturer (provided by his parent university), 2 PhD students, 2 post-doctorates, 1 research engineer responsible for scientific coordination of the chair and 1 research assistant.
Interactive approaches such as the ICF (International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health) and the Disability Creation Process (DCP) define disability as the meeting point between the disabled person and environmental barriers. These approaches go beyond the accepted division between the model of the individual and the model of disability, by questioning the causality of the links observed between the disabilities of the persons and the handicaps on participation.
One of the aims of the chair is to encourage a twofold change in epidemiological approach:
- Focus on the limitations on activities and restrictions in participation linked to deficiencies rather than state of health,
- Focus on their consequences rather than their causation.
This preoccupation with “social” epidemiology leads to two changes that may apply to the various forms of epidemiology (descriptive, analytical, evaluative) usually centred on describing the health problems, etiological factors and therapeutic evaluation.
The Disability-Invalidity and Disability-Health population surveys carried out by INSEE (National Statistics and Economic Studies Institute) and DREES (Directorate for research, studies, evaluation and statistics) will be used in particular for applying the approach proposed.
From the sociological point of view, the chair again encourages two changes in approach:
- Consider disability as a transverse social issue rather than a sub-domain of health defined by social services.
- Focus in particular on those directly concerned by disability, producing publications on the experience of disability, measures taken and new systems encouraging social participation, etc.
The chair intends to organise scientific research along 3 complementary axes: study of people with disabilities, the experience of disability and the way society deals with disability.
The research carried out during the chair’s 4 year period will be based on the following themes:
Socio-epidemiology of the deficiencies, limitations of activity and disability within the general public
- Wheelchair users
- Disability and social inequalities
Experience of disability and loss of autonomy
- Long term outlook for tetraplegia caused by spinal cord injuries
- Disability and discrimination
- Social history of collective actions taken in the field of disability
The way society deals with disability
- Health and welfare facilities for adults with disabilities: local challenges and effect on social participation of users
- Changes in European policies on disability
- Ethical issues
The educational activities organised by the chair are open to the whole PhD network of the EHESP. They usually combine registration in an academic course (master) with open access (professional circles and militants).
The seminars will always be held at the MSSH.
This will be the case for:
- The seminar on “disability in public health research” by the École Doctorale de Santé Publique Paris-Sud – Paris Descartes (ED 420) (Paris-Sud – Paris Descartes Public Health Doctoral School)
- The Master on Social Sciences Research, specialty health, populations and social policies, Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS – School of Higher Social Science Studies):
- The twice monthly seminar “Sociohistoric approach to disability: categories, practices and policies ”
- The monthly seminar “Training for research into disability”
2 new seminars are being set up:
- A seminar on organising Disability-Health surveys as part of the mission (Drees-CNSA) entrusted to the IFRH.
This seminar is open to all research teams and all organisations involved in using these surveys.
- A new EHESP/EHESS seminar organised by the chair was set up at the start of the 2011 academic year on “Programmes and collective identities in the field of health and disability “.
This seminar is intended for Master and PhD students (as part of the EHESS Master on Social Sciences: specialty health, populations and social policies) and is open to researchers and professionals engaged in work relating to disability.
As part of a proposal to create an Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctoral Programme: “Disability Mundus: A Joint Doctoral Training Programme in Interdisciplinary Critical Research”, we intend to invite Professor Patrick Devlieger, professor of anthropology at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium).
- 2012 organisation of study days on collective programmes and associations of persons with disabilities
- 2013 international conference on social participation of persons with disabilities in collaboration with the Garches Foundation
- The chair’s assistants have been involved in setting up the ALTER European Journal of Disability Research (IFRH, Elsevier) whose editorial board is also supported. The aim is now to gain impact by being referenced in international databases, in particular ISI-Thomson Reuters.
- Publishing projects are in progress, in particular with the university publisher, De Boek.
ANR (National Research Agency), CNSA (National Autonomy Solidarity Fund), DREES-MiRe (Directorate for research, studies, evaluation and statistics), IRESP (Public Health Research Institute), Garches Foundation.
Partnerships within the IFRH as part of an agreement to group research courses within several research institutions:
- EPST (Public Scientific and Technical Research Establishment) (INSERM (National institute of health and medical research), CNRS (National scientific research centre), INED (National Institute for demographic studies), IFFSTAR (French Institute of transport, development and infrastructure sciences and technologies))
- 20 partner universities with 11 teaching hospitals (including 3 from the AP-HP (Public assistance – Paris Hospitals)
- Other higher education establishments (CNAM (National conservatory of arts and crafts), EHESS (School of Higher Social Science Studies), EHESP, Arts et Métiers ParisTech (ParisTech arts and crafts)
- RHEOP, Child disability register and Perinatal observatory, a government recognised association
- The Garches Foundation, a publicly recognised research foundation