Mind the Gap…: Accessibility of Schools for Children with Disabilities in Addis Ababa
This paper is based on results of field research conducted in Addis Ababa where children with disabilities (CWD), parents, teachers, and experts were interviewed in two phases. In Ethiopia, where 7-10 % of the population has a disability (UNICEF 2006), CWD are highly under-represented in schools. Referring to reports like the “World Report on Disability” (WHO 2011) or the report on the “Status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child” (UN 2011) discrimination and unequal chances of CWD have been made visible. The research in Addis Ababa shows that besides societal attitudes and transport problems, the availability of and access to information among parents seems to be one of the biggest barriers for school attendance for CWD. The World Report gives recommendations for improving educational opportunities by supporting participation through integrating family members in decision-making processes. Such processes require adequate exchange of information. Considering the high illiteracy rates among parents in Addis Ababa, verbal communication has to be prioritized. This and further challenges regarding school-access for CWD will be discussed in detail.
Ethiopia/ Addis Ababa