Disability, development and the arts : a case study of the normative designs of a developmental organisation (Very Special Arts-Kwazulu Natal) in comparison with its practice.
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Could the contribution of the voluntary sector to development be more fully realized given greater current emphasis on participatory development? This research addresses this question within the context of a voluntary sector organization in KwaZulu-Natal. Thus, the site of this study is the non-governmental, non-profit, voluntary organisation: Very Special Arts - KwaZulu-Natal, which focuses on the development of people with disabilities within the framework of the arts. Disability scholars are beginning to decode the discriminatory practices against people with disabilities which indicates that disability as a development category is relatively new. Therefore it was deemed necessary that the analysis of disability in this research be preceded by a consideration of various discourses on disability which is followed by a contextualisation of disability in KwaZulu-Natal. Development paradigms and paradigms within the arts were investigated and formed the framework against which Very Special Arts - KwaZulu-Natal is analyzed. A single project that the organisation engaged in was utilised as a case study to signify the overall and general workings of the organisation. Through the case-study method the development practices Very Special Arts - KwaZulu-Natal have been investigated and critiqued. The result found that the organizational practice was tangential to its normative design. It was recommended that a convergence of participatory paradigms of development and development paradigms within the arts should transpire. These were then offered as possible pragmatic solutions that Very Special Arts - KwaZulu-Natal could engage in to maximize their efficiency and capacity.'