The Family and Disability in Ghana: Highlighting Gaps in Achieving Social Inclusion

Maxwell Peprah Opoku, Beatrice Atim Alupo, Naomi Gyamfi, Lois Odame, Wisdom Kwadwo Mprah, Eric Lawer Torgbenu, Badu Eric


Purpose: There are social and environmental barriers faced by persons with disabilities which have been reported in literature. In discussing these barriers, attention is yet to be given to the support from families to members with disabilities. This study aimed to examine family support and its impact on the lives of persons with disabilities in Ghana.

Methods: The study participants were 48 persons with disabilities - physical, hearing and visual disabilities - who were members of Disabled Peoples’ Organisations. They were conveniently drawn from 4 districts in the Northern region of Ghana.

Results: The study found that the families of the participants did not give them adequate support to access services that would improve their lives. For instance, limited access to education resulted in inability of participants to secure  jobs.

Conclusion: Without the primary support of the family, persons with disabilities might be unable to break down social barriers due to their inability to access education and other developmentally useful services. The implication of the study for policy-making has been discussed extensively.


Persons with disabilities; family support; poverty; social support

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