From a rights perspective, disabled citizens should have access to education, health, employment and information services similar to all other citizens. Besides governments, civil society organizations have an important role to play. The aim of the current research paper is to explore the role of Egyptian non-governmental organizations in integrating the 'differently abled' citizens in society. After reviewing the range of theoretical models used in studying disability, whether the individualistic/medical model, the social model or the biopsychosocial model, a case study approach, adopting the most different design, is used to study the work of four non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working with the disabled in Egypt. Findings revealed that the implicit disability model adopted by the different NGOs influenced their activities, their perception of challenges faced, and their recommendations for improved effectiveness. While the traditional NGOs followed the individualistic/medical model of disability, the other relatively newer NGOs leaned more towards the social model.
Laila El Baradei
Professor of Public Administration, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP)