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Original Research Articles

Quality of Life of Persons with Disabilities in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region, Ethiopia


Judith Baart ,

Light for the World, NL
About Judith

Judith Baart is a Research and Documentation Specialist at Light for the World. She holds a M.Sc. degree in International Development from Wageningen University and Research, as well as an Advanced Masters in International Development from Radboud University Nijmegen. She has been working in the disability rights sector since 2013.

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Alice Schippers,

Disability Studies in Nederland, Amsterdam UMC, NL
About Alice

Alice Schippers is the Executive Director of Disability Studies in Netherlands at the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam. Her main research areas are (Family) Quality of Life, (Work) Participation and Inclusion and Co-operative Research. She holds a MSc in Social Sciences from Utrecht University, and a PhD in Social Sciences from Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.

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Mamush Meta

Regional Disability Mainstreaming Programme, Ethiopian Centre for Disability and Development, ET
About Mamush

Mamush Meta is program coordinator for the Regional Disability Mainstreaming Program in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR), Ethiopia. He has received his BA in Economics from Dilla University, and has been managing community development programmes since 2006.

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Purpose: There is very little demographic or prevalence data regarding persons with disabilities in Ethiopia, let alone data on more in-depth factors such as access to services or quality of life. This study aimed to find out about the current quality of life of persons with disabilities in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR), Ethiopia.

Method: The WHO CBR Indicator Survey was used to measure quality of life, and the Washington Group Short Set was included to allow disaggregation of the data by different types of functional limitations. Interviews were conducted with 966 persons with disabilities in 10 towns in SNNPR. The majority of data collectors were persons with disabilities themselves.

Results: People with disabilities who were surveyed generally regarded their health as good (65.9%). Very few had significant levels of education (16.5% were completing higher education). Only 6.7% were working for wages and 45.2% were reportedly working on their own account. Hardly any of them (2.9%) stated that their money was sufficient for their needs. Only a small group (38%) felt valued in their community, just over half of the respondents (56.6%) were members of a Disabled Persons’ Organisation (DPO) or any other self-representing group.

Conclusion: Persons with disabilities scored relatively or extremely low in all areas of life measured with the CBR Indicator Survey (health, education, livelihood, social and empowerment). The survey will be repeated after a few years in the same communities to measure changes over time, and persons without disabilities will be included in order to draw comparisons.

Implications: Public and private organisations in SNNPR need to become more accessible and inclusive of persons with disabilities so as to improve their quality of life.

How to Cite: Baart, J., Schippers, A. and Meta, M., 2020. Quality of Life of Persons with Disabilities in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region, Ethiopia. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 30(3), pp.5–18. DOI:
Published on 27 Jan 2020.


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