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Perceptions of participation and inclusion among adolescents with disabilities: experiences from South India

Kembhavi, G.; (2009) Perceptions of participation and inclusion among adolescents with disabilities: experiences from South India. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Disability is an issue of human rights and equal opportunity and is no longer focused on impairment and medical intervention. Adolescents with disabilities (AWD) are marginalised throughout the world (UNICEF, 2005), particularly in low- and middle-income countries where they are affected by poor access to resources, and by stigma and local taboos. Poverty has been shown to accentuate the impact of disability. The cycle of poverty and disability is marked by poor access to education, vocational training, and employment. The need of AWD for inclusion and participation in education, health and social life are the same as their non-disabled peers. For many AWD, these needs continue to go unmet (Groce, 2004). The research question was: ‘How do adolescents with physical disabilities perceive the factors that determine their participation and inclusion in their communities in South India?’ Quantitative and qualitative techniques were used. Thirty-seven AWD, 25 parents of AWD, and 24 non-disabled adolescent peers participated in the study in Bangalore, India. A background information questionnaire and two measures of quality of life (QOL) were conducted with all participants. Qualitative data was gathered with each participant group using interviews and focus group discussions (FGD). Photography was used with the AWD to facilitate discussions. Analysis of QOL data revealed no differences between AWD and parent-proxy scores. Differences exist in QOL scores between AWD and their peers. Analysis of interview and FGD data revealed three key themes that influence the perception of Participation and Inclusion among AWD. These are: 1) Personal Factors; 2) Interpersonal Relationships; and 3) External Factors. Belief in themselves and parental support were two key facilitators of participation. Negative attitudes of others, physical barriers, and poorly implemented legislation were significant barriers to participation. Recommendations are suggested to enhance the participation and inclusion of AWD and to facilitate success in adulthood.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Perceptions of participation and inclusion among adolescents with disabilities: experiences from South India
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Child Health > Department of Population Health Sciences > ICH - Centre for International Health and Development

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