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Original Research Articles

Towards an Inclusive Society in Cameroon: Understanding the Perceptions of Students in University of Yaounde II about Persons with Disabilities

Authors:

Maxwell Peprah Opoku ,

Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), GH
About Maxwell Peprah

Maxwell Peprah Opoku is a Ghanaian. He has a degree in Political Science and a second degree in Disability, Rehabilitation and Development from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. He worked as Graduate Teaching Assistant at the Centre of Disability Studies, Department of Community Health while pursuing his Masters degree. His areas of specialty are disability, special education, community based rehabilitation, inclusive education, health research, management of natural resources, human rights, social policies and public policy.

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Eric Badu,

Centre for Disability Rehabilitation Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, GH
About Eric

Eric Badu is a Ghanaian, with interest in Disability and Health research, Access to services, Community Based Rehabilitation, Social inclusion and Education, Human rights issues, Capacity building and Statistical data analysis. He has experience in diverse fields including teaching and consulting in disability and health research, field mentoring and supervision’ in research projects as well as other academic works. He holds MSc Disability, Rehabilitation and Development. From 2013 to 2014, he worked as Graduate Assistant, Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies. Currently, he works as Research officer for Sightsavers West Africa Programmes.

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Joash Ntenga Moitui

Pan African University, Institute of Governance, Humanities and Social Science, Yaounde, CM
About Joash Ntenga

 

Joash Ntenga Moitui is a youth champion for good governance, integration and development. His areas of expertise include policy analysis, global policy, leadership and management, research, governance and regional integration, leadership and social change and social and economic policy. He has worked with research think-tanks in advancing research in these fields. He is currently a fellow studying Masters of Science (Msc) in Governance and regional integration at the Pan African University, Governance and Regional Integration Institute based in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

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Abstract

Purpose: Disability cuts across every society and all spheres of life. For an inclusive society, it is important to understand people’s perceptions about persons with disabilities. However, there seems to be limited information, particularly about the perceptions of students who are the generation of future policy-makers. This study examines the perceptions of students in the University of Yaoundé II about persons with disabilities in Cameroon.

Methods: A cross sectional design using quantitative methods was employed with a sample of students at the University of Yaoundé II. A questionnaire was used to gather information from 500 students selected by simple random sampling. The data analysis involved descriptive and inferential statistics at 95% CI.

Results: Among the participants, 51.8% were males, 89.2% were single and the average age was 24.9 years. Findings showed that 69.8% did not know about the actual population of persons with disabilities in Cameroon, though 14.6% had relatives with disabilities. None of the students perceived disability as a contagious condition, and 79.8% agreed that education had influenced their perceptions about persons with disabilities. Gender and education level had significant relationship with changes in perception (OR=1.8; p=0.01 and OR=1.91; p=0.04). However, 13.5% were unwilling to work with a person with disability in the future.

Conclusion: The findings suggest that issues of disability have not been taken into consideration in Cameroon. Therefore, there is the need for education and sensitisation of the general population towards disability. Additionally, policy-makers should factor persons with disabilities into national strategic plans, in order to ensure an inclusive society.

How to Cite: Opoku, M.P., Badu, E. and Moitui, J.N., 2015. Towards an Inclusive Society in Cameroon: Understanding the Perceptions of Students in University of Yaounde II about Persons with Disabilities. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 26(2), pp.92–103. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5463/dcid.v26i2.420
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Published on 22 Jul 2015.

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