Disability Research and Issues of Access: Insights from the November 2011 AfriNEAD Symposium



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University of Cape Town. OpenUCT

University of Cape Town

People with disabilities, especially within the African context, really do have a raw deal in this life. Not only do we usually have to navigate the medical terrain of our disabilities, but we also have to deal with the physical and social barriers that our society imposes on us. I use the word "we" because I myself am partially-sighted and I unashamedly identify as a person with a disability. This notion of "identifying as disabled" is an interesting one and one that in many ways highlights the complex and fluid nature of disabilities as well as the difficulties associated with trying to have a united disability movement. And perhaps this very notion of identification is exactly why African policy-makers have, until now, stayed significantly far away from addressing disability in a more concerted and integrated fashion. In my capacity as a SCAP researcher, I attended the 2011 African Network for Evidence-to-Action on Disability (AfriNEAD) symposium which was held on 28–30 November at the Elephant Hills Resort hotel, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.