An investigation into how rural children with disabilities and their families in the Qwaqwa region experience their lives.
Thejane, Teboho Pule Reuben.
MetadataShow full item record
This study investigated how rural children with disabilities and their families in the Qwaqwa Region of the Free State province experience disability. The aim was to examine the various social, cultural, economic, and political factors that impact the lives of the children and their families. It also explored what support systems are available for the children and the families in this rural context. Seventeen children with disabilities and their families were selected through a process of purposive sampling from three areas in the region: Mabolela, Makgalaneng, and Bolata. Nine of the children are currently in primary schools, and eight do not have access to formal schooling. This was a qualitative study. The research method was the semi-structured interview. The main caregiver in each of the families was interviewed. Interviews were conducted in Sesotho and audio-taped. These were transcribed, and then translated into English. The findings in the study reveal that despite the fact that various legislation and policy documents in South Africa make special reference to the protection of the rights of rural children with disabilities, the rights of the children and families in this study continue to be violated. The study revealed the urgent need to address barriers to learning and development that these children are experiencing which are largely located in the system. Some of these are: poverty and underdevelopment; negative attitudes; lack of education and rehabilitation services, lack of access to information; inadequate social and psychological support; lack of community based and accessible support services; lack of access to information about disability; poor access to resources such as health care, and social welfare; lack of coordination between professional services and departments in the province. The study has implications for planning services to address the needs of children with disabilities and their families in this rural context.