Factors influencing performance of income generating activities among persons with physical disabilities in Nakuru County of Kenya
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The most significant developmental milestone in Kenya in regard to initiatives to empower Persons with disabilities to participate in social economic activities and thus minimize poverty levels among them was realized with the enactment of the Disability bill in 2003 gazette for commencement in June 2004. The act established the National Council for Persons with Disabilities to pursue these initiatives. One major area of concern towards this end has been the development of Income generating activities in effort to facilitate self employment for this population. However the development of these Income Generating Activities appeared to be faced with challenges. This study sought to generate a deeper understanding of the factors that influence the performance of Income Generating Activities among Persons with Physical Disabilities in Nakuru County of Kenya and provide insight into the extent to which this performance could be attributed to each of these factors. Thus the objectives of this study were to establish the extent to which education and training, access to business financing, physical and environmental barriers to accessibility of facilities, and discrimination and prejudice by society had influenced the performance .. The study adopted a descriptive survey design involving a sample of 108 respondents including 87 Persons with Physical Disabilities, and 21 service providers within organizations working with the Persons with Physical Disabilities in the county. Non probability sampling was employed where the sample of Persons with Physical Disabilities was arrived at through purposive sampling to identify initial respondents with required characteristics of having been involved in running Income Generating Activities over a period of at least one year. These were used in snowball sampling to identify other respondents until the sample size was realized. Stratified sampling was employed to identify service provider respondents where only those with administrative Units within which Persons With disabilities run Income Generating Activities were included in the study. Both interview schedules and questionnaires were used in this study, An interview schedule was used with Persons with Physical Disabilities while a mail questionnaire was used with the category of service provider respondents. The qualitative data collected was coded to allow for quantitative analysis using descriptive statistics. The findings are presented in tables with frequencies and percentages, Chi square tables generated through SPSS, pie charts and bar charts. Findings indicated that a large majority of PWPDs had not attained adequate education and training to enable them manage their Income Generating Activities effectively which has had adverse influence on their performance. Their level of access to business financing has also been very low leading to most of the businesses being low scaled and unable to realize expansion and thus influence on their poor performance. Many of them were faced with high levels of mobility difficulties due to Physical and environmental barriers in the built environment affecting their choice of business and ability to run them. Most expressed perception of some level of discrimination against them by their community with a feeling of being stigmatized although this has not had adverse influence on the performance. The main recommendations include enhancement of government funding to support their education and training with sound needs assessment to ensure relevance, adopting measures to ease their ability to access business financing including credit, tailoring architectural and infrastructural designs to ease their mobility through the enactment of building laws and greater efforts to ensure their inclusion in social economic and political life to enhance interaction with the community for better market access. Suggestions have been made for further research to gather accurate statistics to capture every person with physical disabilities and to establish how attitudes of the non disabled may influence their interaction within business transactions with PWPDs.