1 World Languages and Literatures, Portland State
2 2 College of the Marshall Islands, Majuro,
Republic of the Marshall Islands
Citation: Eleweke J, Soje G. Challenges of empowering people with disabilities in Nigeria for national development. J Spec Educ Rehab 2016; 17(3-4):122-138.
Introduction: This paper reviews issues affecting the empowerment of people with disabilities in Nigeria so they can be productive and contribute to the development of the nation. The questions of concern are: What is known about the extent people with disabilities are empowered to contribute to national development in Nigeria? What challenges do people with disabilities in Nigeria encounter in their attempt to contribute to national development? What are the implications of these challenges regarding strategies that could enhance the empowerment of people with disabilities to facilitate their contribution to national development?
Method: This paper addresses these questions by reviewing available research on issues pertaining to (1) legislative mandates on provision of services to individuals with disabilities in the country, (2) funding for services by the government, (3) accessing education and related services, which can ensure that people with disabilities are able to develop their potential and be able to contribute to national development as workers, administrators or employers of labour.
Findings: Available evidence indicates that people with disabilities in Nigeria encounter challenges in accessing essential services that could enhance their contribution to national development due to factors such as the absence of legislation protecting their rights to receive these services, inadequate funding of services, absence of effective inclusion programmes, and lack of facilities, personnel, and resources.
Suggestions and conclusion: The author recommended some strategies that could produce better outcomes and enhance the opportunities for people with disabilities to be empowered so that they can contribute their quota to national development. These strategies include: enacting and implementing а national disability legislation, utilisation of community-based strategies in the provision of services, and increased advocacy activities by disability organisations.
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