The extent of involvement of persons with disabilities in community development in the Amansie West District: a case study of PWDS of the Manso Atwere Zone

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Persons with disabilities (PWDs) despite being disproportionate users of support services in health, social care and education settings, continue to face significant barriers and challenges to participate in decision making and programmes in the community. The current study, therefore, seeks to investigate the extent of PWDs participation in community development in the Amansie West District. The study predominantly adopted a descriptive field survey to collect principally primary data from PWDs, Chiefs and other opinion leaders in the Amansie West District. These 100 respondents were sampled through a multistage sampling procedure. The selection methods involved both simple random and non-probabilistic purposive sampling. From the study, only a limited number of PWDs are involved in development initiatives in the Manso Atwere zone of the Amansie West District. The low level of involvement could probably be attributed to the absence of mechanism for including PWDs in decision making. The level of PWDs participation in the community development activities in the district is challenged by their low level of education, health, unemployment and social exclusion. The predominant form of participation by the PWDs in the communities is in the form of group. The nature of PWDs involvement in community development is largely managerial participation. The male gender dominates in all aspects of PWDs participation in community development in the studied district. The major factors found to influence PWDs involvement in development activities in the district were personal health or impairment, level of literacy or education, economic well-being or livelihood and socio-cultural factors. On this basis, the current study recommends to community members and stakeholders the need to increase PWDs participation in community development, provide mechanism for PWDs inclusion in decision making, and gender equality in PWDs involvement.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Community Health College of Health Sciences in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of MSc. Disability and Rehabilitation Studies,