Education, employment and barriers for young people with disabilities in southern Africa
06 Nov 2012
This background paper draws from recent and unique research on living conditions among people with and without disabilities in southern Africa. It confirms that disabled youth are far from experiencing equity in education and opportunities in the labor market. The study concludes that understanding the distinction between the general problems in the education system in poor countries on one side, and the particular problems facing disabled youth on the other is critical to improving this situation. Without targeting disabled youth particularly to increase access and improve achievement, there is clearly a danger that broad programs for improving the educational system will fail if disabled youth, a large and most neglected minority group, are not included both through general and specific measures. The study also reveals some of the complexities involved in the relationship between disability, education and participation in society through meaningful employment. In order to achieve the intentions of the UN Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities it is, however, necessary that interventions into the education system to improve the quality and the relevance go hand-in-hand with research that can generate further knowledge on barriers and facilitators for disabled youth to participate fully.