Dealing with Double Diversity: Migrant parents’ experiences in accessing preschool services for their children with disabilities
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Little is known about the inclusion of migrants with disabilities in society and it has been acknowledged that this group is currently at risk of not obtaining the necessary assistance in the receiving country. Considering the relevance of the education system in enhancing inclusion in society, this research addressed this gap by focusing on migrant parents’ access to preschool services for their children with disabilities in Arnhem, the Netherlands. Data are collected by conducting qualitative interviews in 2021 with four parents residing in Arnhem as well as twelve professionals employed in Arnhem in enabling and supporting parents’ access to the concerned services. Based on theoretical exploration, the interviews focused on the factors that expectantly influenced parents’ access to preschool services. Parents appeared to experience several hurdles in accessing the concerned services, on the micro-, meso- and macro-level of influence. This referred to hurdles related to finances as well as language proficiency, limited social networks, cultural disparities and difficulties of navigating new systems. In the interrelatedness of these barriers, limited skills in the receiving country’s language appeared to be the foundation of the difficulties, which seemed to negatively influence parents’ information position and the extent of their social networks. This, in turn, determined in conjunction with the nature of parents’ social networks – the potential possession of negative social capital as well as the educational level of their ties – and norms about addressing disabilities parents’ access to preschool services for their children with disabilities.