Institutional provisions and practices facilitating disability inclusion: a case study of the University of Nairobi
Disability issues are often absent and not adequately addressed within the education system. Learners with disabilities have not been actively involved in sporting, cultural and recreational activities. Consequently persons with disabilities hardly benefit from the solidarity and team building benefits derived from sports, culture and recreational activities (MDSCSS, 2006). An inclusive system and supportive environment at the University is important for the participation and development of students and staff with disabilities. It will also create an enabling academic environment that promotes recognition of the skills, merits, abilities and contributions of persons with disabilities and allows them live independently and participate fully in various university activities. This was an exploratory study which adopted both qualitative and quantitative approaches to collect data. Data collection methods used included administering questionnaires, key informants interviews, case studies, direct observations and review of secondary data. The study used snowballing sampling techniques as there was no formal system to identify persons with disabilities in the university. The sample of the study consisted of forty students and employees with disabilities and ten key informants who were university administration and other service providers in the university. This study yielded interesting results regarding environmental inaccessibility, communication barrier, negative attitude and lack of learning facilities which limit the participation and potentials of students and staff with disabilities. However, the university has made some attempts to accommodate students and staff with disabilities although they are inadequate in terms of addressing various disability needs due to minimal implementation. The university administration should implement the disability policy, provisions III the students' handbook and adopt full action plan on programs to improve all services and facilities to suit the needs of persons with disabilities.