This work was supported by a grant from Shalem Fund
The present study examines how Haredi (ultra-Orthodox Jewish) mothers of children with disabilities describe their motherhood experience and how it is affected by perceptions of disability in their society. These issues were examined within the framework of a critical disability studies approach, which draws on social and medical models of disability.
The study was carried out using a qualitative method. 30 Ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) mothers of a child with a disability participated in the study.
The central findings were grouped into three main themes. The first concerns the meaning of disability for these mothers, in the context of the values of Haredi society.The second theme deals with the motherhood experience of ultra-Orthodox mothers to a child with a disability. The third theme deals with the implications of the environment’s reactions to the child with disability.
This research consequently contributes to the enrichment of knowledge about disability in the cultural context and with an emphasis on mothers who belong to the ultra-Orthodox community. It is possible to promote public and political changes concerning the perception of disability in ultra-Orthodox society. These changes include the promotion of Intra-community discourse.
Keywords: mothers, ultra-Orthodox, child with disability, perception of disability, mother’s experience