Exploring the Social Milieu of Disability: Themes of Poverty, Education, and Labour Participation
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Although many specific aspects of the scope and functioning of disability remain insufficiently explored, it is clear that disability is systematically related to poverty in countries across the economic spectrum. Poverty among persons with disabilities is particularly acute in developing nations; it affects exclusion from schooling and, ultimately, access to the labor market. This paper takes a multi-layered approach to overview the synthesis of disability and poverty, restricted access to education, and constraints to economic participation. It finds that persons with disabilities face inequalities in all areas of life, throughout the life cycle, and that these inequalities lead to exclusion and discrimination and to situations of poverty. The underlying argument holds that disability combined with poverty creates dramatic negative impacts on the social and economic health of individuals. Educating students with disabilities is a good investment and international agencies and national governments must increase efforts to target such persons in education, development programs, and poverty alleviation efforts.
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