A Transect Walk to Establish Opportunities and Challenges for Youth with Disabilities in Winterveldt, South Africa

Theresa Lorenzo, Jane Motau

Abstract


Winterveldt was one of the 9 sites included in a national study to determine the livelihood strategies of youth with disabilities, undertaken by the Occupational Therapy Departments of 6 Universities in South Africa. Community-based rehabilitation (CBR) programmes were initiated in Winterveldt in the 1990s by non-governmental organisations and the Occupational Therapy Department at the University of Limpopo - Medical University of South Africa (MEDUNSA).

Purpose: This paper describes the use of a Transect Walk to identify aspects of context that contribute to the vulnerability of youth with disabilities with regard to their livelihood strategies.

Method: Transect Walk was employed as a participatory rapid-appraisal tool to gather data. Convenience sampling was used to identify 11 participants, including three youth with disabilities. Field notes and observations were analysed deductively for themes related to the 5 categories of livelihood assets.

Results: The findings describe the natural and built environment, the access to health, educational and financial services, and the social attitudes of people in this community towards youth with disabilities. The discussion uses the 5 CBR components as a framework to explore strategies for enhancing the assets of youth with disabilities, namely, empowerment, social, health, education, and livelihood.

Conclusions: There is significant development that could be maximised if youth with disabilities were aware of their rights and were able to access services and resources. The implication for local government is to create an inclusive environment in which youth with disabilities are able to participate in mainstream youth development opportunities.

Keywords


Community-based rehabilitation; livelihood strategies; youth with disabilities; development practice; human rights

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5463/dcid.v25i3.232

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