Menik Budiarti

Menik Budiarti


I am a PhD student in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds. I have been working professionaly in disability issues for more than fifteen years in my home country, Indonesia, and have been  volunteering for years in disability sector both in Indonesia and in Australia. 

I had English Literature for my Bachelor Degree in Universitas Negeri Jakarta (State University of Jakarta) in Indonesia. My bachelor thesis was looking at how the book Tuesdays with Morrie is translated into Bahasa Indonesia, which become one of my favorite books when I finished analysing it. This degree helps me a lot in writing and editing, where at this moment is a great support for my professional career, personal pursues, as well as my educational journey. 

After working for five years in disability sector, I decided to pursue a Master Degree in Disability Studies in Flinders University, South Australia under the Australia Awards Scholarship. My Master dissertation was about how men with visual impairment in Indonesia are able to have a decent employment, earn income, and get married to a sighted woman. A qualitative study which aimed at presenting how culture is still one of the greatest barriers for persons with visual impairment to make a choice over their life and live a decent life as their sighted peers. This subject is particularly specific because it does not only look at how structural and environmental create barriers for persons with visual impairment, but also how culture and societal attitude define what a person can do and cannot do. And despite all of that, these men are still capable to overcome those barriers, and live a quality life with their families. 

Nine years after completing my Master degree, unfortunately I still see that persons with visual impairment in Indonesia is not only as the largest group of disability but also as one of the most disadvantaged group of disability. Not only because most of them are from low level social economy background, but also they have very limited access to education and employment. Hence, I applied for a PhD program in University of Leeds under the Scholarship from the Indonesian government. During this phase, I would like to learn about how persons with visual impairment in Indonesia survive the limited situation through establishing micro business which has been emerging in the last couple of years among persons with disability in general, and person with visual impairment in particular.    

Research interests

My research interest is in disability area, but specifically in visual impairment, employment, accessibility, universal design, and economic empowerment.


  • BA English Literature, Universitas Negeri Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Master of Disability Studies, Flinders University, Australia