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An adolescent girl who is blind in Amhara, Ethiopia. Photo: Nathalie Bertrams/GAGE 2020

‘People consider us devils’: exploring patterns of exclusion facing adolescents with disabilities in Ethiopia

22.03.21 | Bodily integrity and freedom from violence | Ethiopia

Authors

Nicola Jones, Jennifer Muz and Workneh Yadete

The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals’ call to ‘leave no one behind’ has helped to highlight the importance of investing in inclusive services for persons with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Evidence on the experiences of young Ethiopians with disabilities remains weak. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative data from 2017 to 2018, this article explores the educational, bodily integrity and psychosocial outcomes of adolescents with different impairment types (visual, hearing and physical) in rural and urban communities. Our findings indicate that young people with disabilities face intersecting barriers to inclusive education, heightened vulnerability to gender- and age-based violence, and increased psychosocial distress compared to peers without disabilities. Implications of these findings for policy and programming, include: the pressing need for specialised training and mentoring of education and other service providers; investments in support networks for parents of adolescents with disabilities; and strengthening of disability-inclusive social protection and referral mechanisms.

Suggested citation

Jones, N., Muz, J. and Yadete, W. (2021) ‘”People Consider Us Devils”: Exploring Patterns of Exclusion facing Adolescents with Disabilities in Ethiopia”. The European Journal of Development Researchhttps://doi.org/10.1057/s41287-021-00387-z


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