NSPD (2008), 3.6% of youth ages 15-24 have disabilities, 4% of 25-34 yrs
YWD facing marginalization in all life spheres
This paper – examination of transitions – 2ndry data, studies, empirical validation
Perplexity of definitions
youth as anyone aged between 15 and 30 years ( NYP 2007 )
Child – anyone under 18 years
Childhood and youthhood: boundary?
Consensus – youth as transition from childhood to adulthood. Unclear are markers of this transition
Youth with disability and policy
Limited documentation of youth status in the colonial era
Post independence: deliberate focus on youth
1966 - ‘Education, Employment and Rural Development’ conference
1974-78 3 rd National Development Plan - youth unemployment
1992, a the Sessional Paper No. 2-Small Scale and Jua Kali Enterprises
1997-2001 Development Plan and the National Poverty Eradication Plan 1999-2015
Economic Recovery Strategy for Wealth and Employment Creation (2003-2007).
2005-Ministry of youth affairs,
2007-National Youth Policy, and strategic plan 2007-2012
Though mention of YWD, no clear strategies targeting this sub-category
Children Act – mention of disability -no clear commitment
PWD Act (2003) – disability issues – no recognition of youth as distinct demographic category
Conceptualizing youth transitions
“ Getting it right today can have huge pay offs, as the next generation of household heads and parents, will have profound impacts on their children” (World Bank, 2006)
Transition - not mere biological and/or administrative, rather accompanied by ‘changes in status, both in how we see ourselves as well as how others see us’ (Dee, 2006: 8).
Transition subject to cultural contexts ( Leone & Edgar 1990).
Dee (2006) - 3 complimentary perspectives to examine transition:
(1) phase-related model - transition as a stage
(2) agency-related model a degree of agency or control
(3) time-related model -development is more than getting older
Our conceptualization: 5 youth transitions (World Bank, 2006).
transitions that the young undergo in learning, work, health, family and citizenship.
Singal & Jeffery – triad – education, work, social participation
Transition to higher levels of education
General constrained transitions, primary-secondary (ca. 50%), secondary to public university (ca.7.5%)
more than 90% of children with disabilities not enrolled in any learning program(1999)
Immense gains in recent past
However, only 10% of those in primary could transit to secondary, and less than 1% into university
Example: THB – transition rate of 0.7%. Must be worse for schools for the deaf
Not attaining minimum entry marks, blamed to unsuitable curricula, teacher competence etc
Inability to afford fees for secondary and university
Low value attached to education in disability
Youth with disability and transitions to job markets
Economic independence acknowledged as a basic entitlement for persons with disabilities
NSPD (2008) – 22% of YWD worked for pay. - Survey did not reveal what sectors they worked in, and desegregation in terms of disability categories
Limitations in choice of trades
Non-preparation to employment by training preparations
Perceptions of PWD as unable to work
PWDA - private employer who engages a person with disabilities with required skills or qualifications will be entitled to apply for a deduction from his taxable income equivalent to 25 per cent of the total amount paid as salary and wages to such an employee
… employer who improves or modifies physical facilities for the benefit of employees with disabilities will be entitled to an additional deduction from his net taxable income.
Youth with disabilities and social transitions
Right of YWD to enjoy adult responsibilities promised in many policies
Reality looks different:
“ Men may not consider marrying a lady who is blind as beneficial as they cannot do house hold work like washing clothes or cooking. The very few blind ladies who are married are married to fellow blind men, while most men who are blind are married to ladies who are not blind”
Through numerous stereotypes, YWD denied opportunity to social participation
Falling through the cracks?
Despite growing numbers and striking needs, adolescents with disability have historically fallen through the cracks (Groce 2004)
policy crack - youth are an amorphous demographic category in policy
education system crack - certain hidden discrimination evident in the Kenyan education system
employability crack - evident that youth with disabilities lack the competitive edge to access job markets.
gender crack - general talk is held about youth and youth with disabilities, with little differentiation between girls and boys, women and men. Girls and women mostly on the losing end
Policy focus – need for differentiation, policy talks generally about youth, while PWDA has no implementation schedule
Strengthening affirmative action – university entry, job markets (especially public sector) e.g. by awarding YWD C+ JAB entry, the 0.7% transition at Thika could have improved to 28%
Curricular adaptations – even the affirmative action may not benefit some categories, like the blind and the deaf. Need to adapt curricula and assessment
Focus on the especially neglected categories – LD, GT, EBD, CD, Autism
Knowledge economies – insisting on dissemination and publishing of findings, sharing forums etc. A lot of research is going on, yet no one knows what’s happening.
How can we promote academic dialogue in special education in Kenya?
How can the policy makers and practictioners benefit more from our findings?