Disability and citizenship

About Disca

What’s Disca

Millennium Nucleus Studies on Disability and Citizenship (DISCA) is an interdisciplinary research center funded by the National Agency of Research and Development (2023 to 2025).

DISCA (DIScapacidad y CiudadaníA, in Spanish) focuses on studying the processes and mechanisms through which persons with disability become citizens in Chile, using a multi and transdisciplinary approach.

DISCA is led by a person with disability, it has a board of experts by experience, and it is aligned with inclusive and participatory research principles. Its researchers, pioneers in disability research in Chile, use mixed quantitative and qualitative methods, incorporating knowledge from social anthropology, law, health studies, economics, sociology, and psychology, together with the transdisciplinary field of disability studies.

General objective

To critically examine how persons with disability construct and negotiate citizenship in the fields of political participation, sexuality and reproduction, and healthcare in Chile.

Our approach has two pillars. First, the idea that citizenship is a form of social integration based on the equal consideration of all persons. We consider both institutional aspects (civil, political, and social rights) and relational aspects (such as demands for recognition). Second, the social model of disability. This model seeks to supersede the biomedical approach and understands disability as the result of the interaction between a person’s impairments and the existence of social barriers that hamper the full participation of persons with disability.

In the short term, DISCA will:

i) produce transdisciplinary disability research,
ii) create networks of collaboration and dialogue with other disability research centers worldwide,
iii) prepare human capital at different levels, fostering the inclusion of persons with disability in all DISCA’s activities and
iv) inform public policy on disability.

The longer-term aim is to consolidate DISCA as a Latin American center of excellence for disability research, contributing with knowledge from the region to advance disability studies internationally.