Challenges and opportunities experienced by people with a physical disability in Alexandra, Gauteng

Mthembu, April Yolanda
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Physical disability can interfere significantly with the functional adaptation and emotional wellbeing of people with disability and their families. While adjustment to physical disability varies across people, research has shown that physical disability can contribute to widespread disability and impairment in physical functioning for most people over time. Research evidence indicates that people with a physical disability are frequently exposed to marginalisation and stigmatisation within society. However, limited research focused on both the challenges and opportunities experienced by people with physical disability, especially in disadvantaged communities. The primary aim for this study was to explore the challenges and opportunities encountered by people with a physical disability residing in Alexandra, Gauteng. This study adopted the qualitative research design to gather information or data. The type of qualitative design that was employed in this study was the phenomenological approach where the researcher focused on lived experiences of the participants related to topic being researched. The method used to gather data was face-to-face where the research tool was the semi-structured interviews were employed to collect information from research participants. Findings were analysed using a thematic analysis. Approximately 10 adults with a physical disability were purposively selected from Alexandra Disability Centre, which is sanctioned to render services to people with a physical disability. It is envisaged that the research findings will yield to insights to people with physical disability challenges and recommendations that can assist people who render services to people with physical disability were made regarding how they can be treated and encouraged in communities. Keywords: physical disability, challenges, opportunities, empowerment, employment
School of human and community development, faculty of humanities department of social work, university of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.