The nature and demographic characteristics of disabled persons' participation in a community-based rehabilitation programme in Tororo District
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The overall objective of study was to examine the nature and demographic characteristics of disabled persons' participation in the Tororo CBR programme. The sample comprised disabled-persons (n=115) selected from the three common categories of physically disabled, blind and deaf persons sampled using the stratified random sampling technique. Inaddition, disabled councillors and officials of disabled people's organisations (n=16) from the sub-counties of Kwapa and Mukuju; and CBR service providers (n=3) were purposively sampled to enable a deeper understanding ofPWDs' experiences. The study employed two research approaches: qualitative and quantitative research approaches. For the qualitative approach the phenomenological paradigm was used to get a deeper understanding of the experiences of PWDs and CBR service providers pertaining to participation of PWDs in the CBR programme activities. The quantitative study, employing a descriptive research design, involved use of descriptive statistics to determine the extent to which the views of PWDs (n=115) generated from the Semistructured Questionnaire for PWDs could be generalised to the relevant population. In addition the approach, using the chi-square statistical analysis, was employed to find out if PWDs' participation in CBR activities is independent of the disabled people's demographics. The findings showed that although PWDs participate in the CBR programme activities, the nature and level of this participation varies. Full participation is associated with PWDs who are educated and employed while the majority of PWDs, lacking such qualities, are passive recipients of service, and at best grassroots implementers of topdown programme decisions and activities. Participation is reported to be promoted by enhancing PWDs' functional abilities, minimising contextual physical, social and economic barriers to participation, and the programme providing a conducive environment for PWDs' participation in CBR activities. On the other hand, participation is undermined by several other factors including attitudinal and communication barriers, and inaccessibility of the physical environment. Finally, the quantitative analysis of the . data yielded results that suggest that the level of participation is not affected by gender, age, disability group and location of PWDs' residences. However there seems to be a link between participation of PWDs and the variables of educational attainment and occupational status. It is recommended that promotion of PWDs' participation should be through building capacity among their representatives in CBR steering committees at various levels; sensitising PWDs on their role in the programme and encouraging them to unite under their disability organisations; and removal of accessibility and communication barriers.