SOCIAL INCLUSION AND ACCESS TO EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMMES FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN GUSAU METROPOLIS, ZAMFARA STATE
Keywords:Discrimination, Disabilities, Empowerment, Stigma, Skills, Social inclusion
Social exclusion, particularly among persons living with disabilities (PLWD), is a significant development concern, particularly in developing nations. It is believed that 9% of adult Nigerians have trouble seeing, hearing, communicating, walking, or caring for themselves. They face more stigma, discrimination, and lack of access to economic opportunities and other essential social services as a result of their physical impairment than the general population. This study argues that, at a time when both the government and the private sector are struggling to address Nigeria's high unemployment rate, more opportunities in the area of skill acquisition should be made available to people with disabilities so that they can become self-sufficient and contribute to the development of the society. The sample size was made up of 30 people living with disabilities. Respondents were chosen using purposeful and snowball sampling procedures. In-depth interview was used as the primary instrument of data collection. Qualitative data generated was analyzed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Findings from the study indicated that PLWD did not have access to empowerment programmes due to lack of access to transportation, education, negative attitude towards PLWD, lack of opportunities and information regarding the availability of empowerment programmes. The study recommends that PLWD should form associations in other to dialogue with the government on their needs. Government and non-governmental organizations should set up skill acquisition centres very close to PLWD for easy access.
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