IPA’s goal is to investigate and eradicate barriers to FACILITATE INCLUSION.

Disability in Africa

Africa is a vibrant, rapidly developing youthful continent and home to 300 million Persons with Disability. The burden of disease in Africa due to HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, chronic lifestyle conditions such as stroke, diabetes and cancer, and the impacts of poverty, violence and injury has contributed to the increasing numbers of people who are disabled. Africa’s growth has been constrained by the pervasive and enduring impact of colonisation and global capitalism which has not only affected most people on the continent, but has had a particularly negative, disadvantaging impact on persons with disability who struggle on an ongoing basis with poor living conditions and inequities in service delivery systems. At IPA, we believe that all people should have access to quality education, healthy living conditions, dignifying work, and active social lives.

Inclusive Practices Africa (IPA)’s primary objective is therefore, to reduce social inequity caused by disability. IPA is a vibrant, dynamic group of researchers and academic staff at the University of Cape Town, who promote advocacy, conduct training and research, for improved practical outcomes for inclusion. We prioritise activities and practices for the inclusion of the most marginalised communities / groups with a particular focus on persons with disabilities. We achieve social change, through research-informed, engaged methodologies.  IPA co-develops and implements innovative practice by interacting with marginalised individuals, people living with disabilities, multisectoral organisations, service providers and interested community members. This   informs how we influence attitudes and thinking to change mindsets to understanding disability inclusion.

Understanding Disability Inclusion

A person’s functioning may be affected by a variety of factors including sensory (vision, hearing) physical, communication impairments, mental illness and intellectual impairment.  While people with impairments have functional limitations, they become disabled when their CAPABILITIES /STRENGTHS are not recognised. In a society structured to mainly provide opportunities for able-bodied people Persons with Disability may encounter many barriers which precludes /prevents their full participation and inclusion in all aspects of life. These barriers negatively impact people’s lives because they exclude a large percentage of the population. IPA’s goal is to understand, investigate and eradicate these barriers:

Barriers such as:

Prejudicial and negative attitudes, cultural barriers (PWD remaining invisible and hidden),

Limited and timely access to services in education and training (early, childhood development school, university) and health care facilities,

Physical barriers - buildings not designed to include PWD

Economic barriers - limited skills development and work opportunities.

Result in EXCLUSION of Persons with Disability with negative consequences for ALL of society.