‘Welcome to My Life!’ Photovoice: Needs Assessment of, and by, Persons with Physical Disabilities in the Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana


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17 pp

Persons with physical disabilities face many architectural and social barriers to community participation. This research employed the ‘Photovoice’ method. The aim was to gain insight into the daily lives of persons with physical disabilities, and to assess their needs in the Kumasi metropolis. Participants in this study were trained and instructed to photograph their everyday activities, so as to document their struggles and concerns, to promote critical dialogue and to reach policymakers. Results indicated a number of concerns, such as poor accessibility to public toilets, transport and buildings, as well as a need for attitudinal change and equal opportunities. Other needs which were raised by theparticipants included economic empowerment, marketable vocational training, accident prevention, affordable and quality rehabilitation, and the establishment of emergency shelters. It was concluded that the most pressing needs of persons with disabilities were related to overall social, employment and accessibility issues. Finally, the ‘Photovoice’ methodology offered a suitable, structured, and participatory way to assess the needs of persons with disabilities. It gave this marginalised group a voice through photographs, and formed an excellent way of disseminating the findings of this study to the stakeholders involved.

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