Margareta Adolfsson is a new Associate Professor in Disability Studies

Margareta Adolfsson's research revolves mainly around how the children and youth version of WHO's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health can be used for various purposes.

“The classification, which is abbreviated ICF-CY, represents a broad and comprehensive perspective. It doesn’t classify the children themselves, but the factors that influence their functioning. In this way it can contribute to an enhanced common understanding of the children’s situation, as well as cooperation across borders. It also provides a structure for how to collect, organize and compare information”, says Margareta Adolfsson.

All aspects of health are important in order to describe how children and youth function in everyday life, or to explain why a child may not have the skills or the social interactions that you would expect. The child's functioning is greatly affected by its context. It is important not only to explain a child's potential shortcomings with individual factors but also with environmental factors. This can apply to playtime, preschool, school, home and free time.

Children and adults with disabilities are not automatically disabled nor handicapped. It depends on what support is available - a disability occurs only if there are tripwires. Participation is the main keyword in the classification. The concept of participation or inclusion can be understood and measured in several ways.

Together with PhD student Ann Simmeborn Fleischer, Margareta Adolfsson has used the ICF to analyze information about how students with Asperger's syndrome perceive their study situation in higher education.

Margareta Adolfsson is affiliated to the research environment CHILD and has worked at the School of Education and Communication since 2007, first as a PhD student and later with the development of the international master program Interventions in Childhood. She held her docent lecture on Thursday 1 September.