Designing Coastal Management Strategies for Populations with Distinct Needs: The Case of Learning Disabilities

House, Christopher and Samways, Jack and Williams, Allan (2015) Designing Coastal Management Strategies for Populations with Distinct Needs: The Case of Learning Disabilities. Coastal Management, 43 (6). pp. 589-608. ISSN 0892-0753

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The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA 1995, amended 2005), Equality Act (2010), EU Disability Action Plan (2003–2010) and EU Disability Strategy (2010–2020) were designed to make equal opportunities a ‘reality’. As 16% of the EU population is statutorily disabled, there are considerable implications for beach management. Common research examples given of beach users include swimmers, anglers and water-sport enthusiasts – but rarely people with learning disabilities (LD). This paper assessed the viewpoints of a group of beach users with LD and considered their appreciation of three different coastal classifications in South Wales, UK. Because of the nature of their disabilities, the research applied a participatory photo-interpretation methodology (photovoice) at these three beach locations. The research then compared the LD ranking of beach issues with rankings provided by members of the general public at the same beaches. The results demonstrated some similarities between LD and general public coastal needs, but identified the need for specific considerations to be made by beach managers for LD users. These included informed self-advocacy, use and application of signage, instructive access and a requirement for baseline information gathering. The research proposes an Integrated Coastal Access Model (ICAM) from which Coastal Zone Management (CZM) and gatekeepers can consider the needs of people with LD within coastal strategies. Finally, this research also highlighted the use of photovoice in coastal research projects and the need for innovative methodological considerations when researching certain groups.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Learning disabilities, beach management, photovoice.
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions: Institutes and Academies > Wales Institute for Science & Art (WISA) > Academic Discipline: Architecture & Design
Depositing User: Christopher House
Date Deposited: 03 May 2016 08:19
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2023 14:45

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