The influence of culture on the education of students with disabilities in Kenya
Obat, Florence Joanne
AdvisorPatterson, Jean A.
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Despite legislative protections that have made education available to all Kenyan students at no cost, students with disabilities who are now legally entitled to attend school remain significantly under enrolled. Some explanations for the lagging enrollment of students with disabilities are negative views of disability by the rural communities in Kenya, principals denying these children admission because their management is demanding and strains the already scarce resources, and the incoherent application of legislations supporting the implementation of programs and services for persons with disabilities. A qualitative ethnographic study design was used to explore the perceptions of religious leaders, chiefs, assistant chiefs, parents of students with disabilities, head teachers, and teachers of students with disabilities. Thirty-four participants were selected using a combination of purposeful and snowball sampling techniques. Data was collected through observations, individual interviews, focus group discussions, and document/artifact collection. Data was analyzed qualitatively. Research quality was established by employing the methods that assure credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability. Findings indicate that the cultural understanding of disability in Ochwoga village has led to discrimination, and segregation of persons with disabilities in schools, community activities, and social life such as marriage. Conclusions highlight negative attitudes towards disability, the prominence of labels and stigma in Ochwoga Village, challenges in the implementation of an all-inclusive education policy, and disabled persons viewed as having flawed personhoods and bodies. Implications propose creating attitudinal change towards disability, implementation of an all-inclusive education policy, and ensuring a transition of persons with disability to higher education and employment.
Thesis (Ed.D.)-- Wichita State University, College of Education, Dept. of Counseling, Educational Leadership, Educational and School Psychology