A STUDY ON EXPERIENCES OF INCLUSIVE VOLUNTEERING ON
INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITY
fulfillment of the requirement for the
OF SOCIAL WORK
SWISS REIN S R
Under the Guidance Of
Dept. Of Social
St. Joseph’s College (Autonomous)
36, Lalbagh Road, Bangalore-560027
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WORK
ST. JOSEPH’S COLLEGE (AUTONOMOUS)
FROM THE CANDIDATE
This is to certify that
I, Swiss Rein S R, have completed MSW dissertation work on the topic, “A Study on
the Experiences of Inclusive Volunteering on Individuals with Disability” under
the guidance of Prof. Simon D’Souza for
the partial fulfillment of the requirement for the Master Of Social Work
Degree, St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore. This is an original piece of work and
I have not submitted it earlier elsewhere.
Place: (Research Scholar)
I, Swiss Rein S R,
Certify that the work embodied in this Master of Social of Social Work Dissertation is my own bonafide work
carried out by me under the supervision of Prof. Simon D’Souza for a period of
9 Months from June 2017 to February 2018 at St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore.
The matter embodied in this Social Work Dissertation has not been submitted
elsewhere for award of any other degree/diploma. I declare that I have faithfully
acknowledged, given credit to and referred to the research workers wherever
their works have been cited in the text and the body of the Dissertation.
Signature of the
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL
MSW Dissertation Clearance Certificate
from the Research Guide
This is to certify that the student Swiss Rein S R
with the Register No. 16MSW65038 has met me on a regular basis and has
submitted to me regularly the 1st and 2nd Draft of the
Dissertation. The Above Mentioned student has met all the requirements with
regards to quality and the order of the Dissertation.
I certify that this Dissertation is bonafide work
carried out by the student under my Guidance.
I hereby request the HOD to issue the Final
Clearance Certificate to the student to enable her/him to submit the Final
Dissertation in partial fulfillment of the Degree of Master of Social Work.
Signature of the Research Guide
Plagiarism Policy Compliance Statement
I Swiss Rein S R (16MSW65038), hereby declare that
the Thesis Titled, “A Study On Experiences On Inclusive Volunteering Among
Individuals With Disability” is my Original Contribution and has not been
plagiarized from any other source or an Individual. It doesn’t contravene on
the rights of others and doesn’t contain any libelous or any unlawful statement
and all references have been duly acknowledged at the appropriate places.
Signature Of The Student
I would first like to thank God for giving me this
wonderful opportunity for studying in this prestigious College, and Thank my
parents and my siblings who was always by my side supporting me in everything
that I did for this Research and Mainly Thank My Research guide Prof.Simon
D’Souza who was a big support in everything I needed for this research, the
doors of Professor was always open for any information or doubts or
clarifications, Professor always motivated me in doing the work in the way I
wanted it but guided me in the right direction. Also a Big Thanks To My
Secondary Guide Ms.Vidushi Jayaswal(Social Worker and Counselling Psychologist)
Whose Primary research I took it up as my Secondary Research to add up to it.
Vidushi Ma’am was helpful in any doubts that I approached her for. I would also
like to thank Professor Akshay D Mandlik, Head of the Department who was
involved in the validation of this research project.
I would like to acknowledge the contribution of
Prof. Allen Godfrey for guiding me with required statistical tools to represent
and analyze data. I would like to thank my class mates Philarisa Andrea and
Lydia Johnson for Helping me in my questionnaire and gathering data collection
from the required volunteers.
I would also like to thank Mr.Karthick (Volunteer
from Smileys) who was a biggest support in finding the volunteers at the same
time and help me gather the information about the volunteers and also helping
me with the data analysis.
Last but not least I would like to thank all the
Volunteers who participated in my research questionnaire and helped me in get a
clear understanding about the experiences of their inclusive volunteering.
TABLE OF CONTENT
(III) List of
(IV) List of
(V) List Of
LIST OF TABLES
LIST OF FIGURES
LIST OF ANNEXURES
is an activity which takes place through not-for-profit and community organizations
and projects or the local community and is undertaken to be of benefit to the
community and the volunteer, of the volunteer’s own free will and without
coercion and for no financial payment. Self-worth, great fun, friendships and
job opportunities can all be part of getting involved with the community.
Volunteering may be an outlet for an individual’s natural talents, a road-test
for a new career, or simply a handy way to meet new friends. Individuals strong
beliefs and values may also inspire them to volunteer. A few goals that
volunteering can help achieve are : a means of building self-esteem or confidence,
a great way to learn or develop skills, a pathway to enhance work experience,
gain improved health and be active, a way to meet new people or broaden an
individual’s social set, make a difference in someone’s life, a way of expressing
gratitude for help a person may have received in the past or ‘giving back’, an
opportunity to support a cause an individual feels strongly about., feeling
needed and valued is satisfying in itself and making a difference within one’s
Inclusive Volunteering refers to volunteering
opportunities that are accessible to people regardless of age, culture, ability
or gender. By having young people with disabilities volunteer with an
organization, it can have the opportunity to welcome a group of people whose
skills are underutilized, benefit from their diverse experiences and
perspectives, engage young people who are likely to be dedicated volunteers as
young people with a disability often face barriers to obtaining paid work and
provide an opportunity for young people to contribute to community, create
networks and develop skills.
Federal laws define a
person with a disability as “Any person
who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more
major life activities; has a record of such impairment; or is regarded as
having such impairment.” In general, a physical or mental impairment includes hearing,
mobility and visual impairments, chronic alcoholism, chronic mental illness,
AIDS, AIDS Related Complex, and mental retardation that substantially limits
one or more major life activities. Major life activities include walking,
talking, and hearing, seeing, breathing, learning, performing manual tasks, and
caring for oneself.
The definition of vision impairment
by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says a visually
impaired person’s eyesight cannot be corrected to a “normal level”. It may be
said that visual impairment is the functional limitation of the eye or eyes or
the vision system. This leads to : Loss of visual acuity and inability of the
person to see objects as clearly as a healthy person, Loss of visual field
meaning inability of an individual to see as wide an area as the average person
without moving the eyes or turning the head, Photophobia – inability to look at
light, Diplopia – double vision, Visual distortion or distortion of images,
Visual perceptual difficulties or difficulties of perception, or any
combination of the above features (Mandal, 2013).
A physical disability is any condition that permanently
prevents normal body movement and/or control. There are many different types of
physical disabilities. Some of the main ones include:
Muscular dystrophies, Acquired
brain and spinal injuries, Spina bifida,
Cerebral palsy and multiple
Sustainability of a
volunteer is defined as the number of months an individual is a volunteer.
Normally a sustainable volunteer is one that volunteers for more than eight
months to one year.
According to the
private consumption model of the economic theories of volunteerism the
contributor derives his utility from giving directly from the act of giving
itself. Beginning with Olson(1965) and Becker (1974), economists have suggested
that “people have a taste for giving: probably they receive status or acclaim,
or they simply experience a warm glow from having done their bit. It is the
process of volunteering and the rewards associated with carrying out this
activity that motivates the individual to give.
A hybrid theory of
volunteering was developed by Susan M Chambre and Christopher J Einolf which
describes three major theoretical perspectives: sociological theories that
stress on the importance of social context, social integration and social
networks; pro-social and value orientations which emphasize the impact of
individuals’ attitudes and beliefs regarding the importance of altruistic
behavior and a sense of social responsibility ; and resource theories that focus
on the human capital and economic factors which both allow individuals to volunteer
in meaningful ways and make them attractive to organizations.
two theories will help to relate to the research as they focus on social
interaction and also talk about the motivation behind volunteering.
A research article on
Inclusive Volunteering named A Winning Recipe for Volunteerism by Suzanne
Stroud,et al.,2006 talks about how
people with disability can be used to give back to society rather than be at
the receiving end. Their gifts can be used to give back to society. The people
with and without disability worked in a garden to maintain it and it was
observed that there was an increase in the level of social skills, abilities to
solve problems and to work together among people with disabilities. With
respect to the people without disability it was seen that their confidence
increased in interacting with their peers with disabilities, they also learned
about the disabilities and looked for strategies to include the people with
disabilities in to their activity. Another research Inclusive Volunteering:
Benefits to participants and communities
by Miller, et.al.,2002 talked about
the benefits of inclusive volunteering on people with and without disabilities.
The benefits to people with disability included pride, skill development and
generalization, empowerment and increase in social interaction and verbal communication.
For people without disability the benefits were positive attitude change,
increased social interaction and professional development. Teaming up for Inclusive Volunteering: A Case Study of a
volunteer program for youth with and without disabilities by Kimberly J Miller
et al., 2004 found out that that teaming up for inclusive volunteering
increased knowledge of volunteerism, increased social interaction and
psychosocial outcomes like increased belief in self and increased sense of
The research article ‘Doing
some positive:Volunteers’ experiences of the well being benefits derived from
practical conservation activities in nature by Liz O’Brian, Mardie Townsend and
Matthew Ebden., 2010 talks about motivation, barriers and benefits of formal
environmental volunteering. They used both quantitative and qualitative data
collection method and the benefits gained were improving fitness, keeping
alert, meeting others and reducing stress levels. Another research article “Social
Inclusion through Volunteering: the legacy potential of the 2012 Olympic Games”
by Geoff Nicholas and Rita Ralston., 2011 talks about volunteering providing social inclusion benefits beyond
employability by enriching volunteers lives and empowering them to make new choices. This article used the
quantitative method of data collection. Survey was taken by sending postal
The research paradigm used is Social
Constructivism. This is because social constructivism talks about individuals
seeking to understand their world which is constructed by their experiences.
This construction takes place by interaction with the society. The research
also focuses on the experiences of individuals without disability which is why
social constructivism is an apt paradigm for the research.
Statement of the Problem
To find out experiences of inclusive volunteering
among individuals without disability. The research also aims to find out the
reasons for sustainability of volunteering. It looks at two disabilities namely
visual impairment and physical disability.
The research focuses on experiences of inclusive
volunteering among individuals without disability. This involves the
experiences of individuals volunteering in an inclusive environment. The
research focuses on the experiences of the people with disability. This is
because the challenges faced by the people with disability in carrying out any
activity are greater than the challenges faced by the people without disability.
The disability taken into consideration is visual impairment and physical
disability. This is because each of the disabilities have their own problems
and it is not possible to tap into all the disabilities due to time restraint.
There will be thw clusters of sample in my research because the research also
focuses on finding out the reasons of sustainability in volunteering. Therefore
there are two aspects to my research.
Significance of the Study
The research will add to the knowledge pool. It
will also have an implication in the counselling field. If inclusive
volunteering has a positive effect on the people with disability then it can
lead to an added area where the people can contribute. It also enhances the
self esteem of people with disability. It can be suggested as a means of
engaging among people with disability. It can also prove as a good motivational
Objectives of the Current Study
The major objective of the current study is to
find out the reasons for volunteering and to find out how the people with
disability feel about volunteering.
The specific objective of the current study is to
find out the experience of first time volunteers; how is that experience
different from the experience of the sustained volunteers; motivation for
volunteering and motivation for being a sustained volunteer.
Data Collection and processing
The participants for the research would be contacted
through two Non Governmental Organizations named Enable India and Smileys. The
participants for the research will be divided into two clusters. Each of the
two clusters will be further divided into two consisting of individuals with
disability. Only Visually Impaired and Physical Disability will be taken for
the research. The first cluster would consist of individuals who are
sustainable volunteers in the sector of Inclusive Volunteering. This cluster
will consist of 4 individuals with disability. The second cluster will look at
individuals who are volunteering for the first time in an inclusive
volunteering setup. This cluster will also consist of 4 individuals with
In total the sample size will be 8 individuals with
disability; 4 of whom being Visually Impaired and the other 4 Physically
Disabled. The method of sampling used will be Convenient sampling. This is
because Enable India and Smileys will be contacted for participants of the
research. The age of the participants will range from 21 – 30 years.
Visual Impairment and Physical Disability.
Disability who have been sustainable volunteers. The sustainability of the
volunteer is measured with respect to their association with inclusive
volunteering for a period of eight months to one year.
having their first experience in inclusive volunteering. This would include
volunteers with disability.
speaking participants shall be included
have been volunteering for a period less
than eight months to one year
associated with volunteering with other sectors apart from inclusive
The method used for data collection will be semi
structured interview. This interview will consist of questions focusing on the
experiences of inclusive volunteering and the reasons for sustainability. Field notes will also be taken during the
interview and if the client gives the consent then audio recording of the
interview will also be used as a method of data collection. Observations will
also be made while conducting the interview. The interview shall be conducted
immediately after the participant volunteers for an event. The interview shall
last for a time period of 45 minutes to 1 hour. There can be follow up
interviews to ensure saturation of information obtained from each participant.
Before conducting the interview the participant will be asked to read and sign
an informed consent form which will ensure that whatever information the client
discloses will not be used anywhere except in the research.
Semi structured interview is used as a method of
data collection because the study focuses on the experiences of inclusive
volunteering and the reasons for sustainability. Through semi structured
interview the various reasons for sustainability can be derived and the since
experiences of each individual is subjective a window will be given to the
participant to speak about their experience in the way they feel. Through semi
structured interview the content for the reasons of volunteering will emerge
which will then be analyzed.
The interview will consist of questions that will
bring out the experience of sustainable volunteers, first time volunteers, the
reasons of sustainability and their reason for choosing inclusive volunteering.
The study will be conducted on the days of events
organized by Enable India and Smileys. The study will be conducted over a
period of four months from August, 2015 to December, 2015. After each event an
interview will be taken to understand the impact of the event as well as their
experience in volunteering in an inclusive environment. Interview of the
volunteers for the event will be taken. About 45 minutes will be spent for each
interview. A brief feedback of the event will be taken from all the volunteers
present and after that an interview of the volunteers concerned will be taken.
There will also be a brief talk with the organizers of the event and the
authorities on their perspective of the event as well as on inclusive
volunteering and reasons for sustainability of the volunteers.