Author's Name: Anisa Proda
Subject Area: Social Science and Humanities
Subject Other
Section Research Paper


Persons with Disabilities, Social Capital, Political Participation, Albania


Persons with disabilities and their families do still belong to the most marginalized part of the Albanian society. They are poor and feel isolated in a society which still has to destroy several architectural and social barriers. Studies on the opinion of the public with disabilities highlight a lot of aspects of the social behavior and attitudes that make persons with disabilities invisible. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the social capital and social inclusion as two factors that influence the participation of persons with disabilities in the political and social life. The methodology used to explore this multiple relationship between the social capital, social inclusion, self-determination and political participation of persons with disabilities, is deep investigation in literature. Empirical research demonstrate that social capital and social inclusion have been considered recently as two meaningful concepts for the personal and social well-being of persons with disabilities. Their relationship has not been explored sufficiently, although it has been accepted in the academic literature. From our findings it results that extending social relationships of persons with disabilities and connecting them to important social structures increase their chances to make choices and decisions that influence their quality of life. Social capital gives them the support to have a more self-determined life. Women with disabilities in Albania are less involved in policy-making process regarding disabilities, but they have more information about the laws and political initiatives of the government because they spend more time inside the house and follow media channels. Study results show a lower participation in policy-making of the persons with disabilities that live in rural areas . Persons with disabilities and the family members who represent them and are actors in the process, may have a static and expecting position, or may take the leading role and take initiatives for a certain policy based on the ecology of the social environment where they live and based on the characteristics of their communitys social status. Research shows also the low level of Albanian citizens involvement as volunteers or members of organizations, which also shows their indifference of involvement in general, and also of the civil society in particular. Individuals and organizations should become aware of the importance of being heard when policies that affect your life are made, but should also educate and enforce the capacities towards working with participation.

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