Article : Societal Creation Of Disability And Its Effects On Disabled People’s Social Relationships; Qualitative Exploration Of The Experience Of Disabled People In The Kumasi Metro Of Ghana

Title

Societal Creation Of Disability And Its Effects On Disabled People’s Social Relationships; Qualitative Exploration Of The Experience Of Disabled People In The Kumasi Metro Of Ghana

Author

Acheampong Enoch, Anthony Kweku Edusei, Kofi Akohene Mensah

Disabled people are often perceived as ‘objects of pity’, incapable of doing things for themselves, sick, and needing ‘help’. From childhood, most of them grow to be disempowered adults, denied the power and authority to make and to take decisions, solve problems or take the initiative. This study investigated into traditional and cultural explanations of disability and how they affect disabled people’s social relationships. The study collected data from disabled people and their leaders in the Kumasi Metro who were registered with the Department of Social Welfare. A qualitative study was conducted in which Interview and Focus Group Discussions were employed to collect data from respondents.  Purposive sampling technique was adopted to select 35 respondents for the study. After each data collection activity the recorded audio tapes and field notes taken during the interview were translated into English and later word processed. Major themes that emerged have been presented in the analysis. Responses have been paraphrased and quoted in the findings. Various beliefs about disability were identified: curse from God, Punishment for sins committed by family members. It is also believed that there is a spiritual type of Disability, which comes from the devil, witchcraft or evil forces.  As a result of the unscientific interpretation of the cause of disability, disabled people experienced social distance, divorce, and also find it difficult to get life partner. It is recommended that there should be enactment and implementation of anti-discriminatory laws in Ghana to protect the right of disabled people. 

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