The Impact of Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) on Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities in Plateau State, Nigeria
This study assessed the impact of Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) on empowerment of persons with disabilities (PWDs) in Plateau State, Nigeria. It is hinged on Kirkpatrick (1959) evaluation model with descriptive statistics used as of evaluation. The data collected from the main study revealed that persons with disabilities who are receiving intervention in the CBR programme are not the same. Results indicated that five categories of persons with disabilities are receiving intervention in the CBR programme in Plateau State. They are those with hearing impairment, visual impairment, intellectual and physical disabilities as well as those with leprosy. It was further found that rehabilitation efforts are being provided in Plateau State where the main study took place. Findings further revealed that the CBR programme contributed to the empowerment of persons with disabilities in the study areas. The CBR programme provided training and sensitization programme for persons with disabilities, provided self-help groups, social mobilization of their rights, political participation, right to vote and be voted for and encouraged community advocacy. It was found that many persons with disabilities experience disempowerment both in the family and the society, some are over-protected where family members do must things for them and others are rejected and excluded from the community and other social activities because of stigma. It was also found that many PWDs were jobless. Consequently, this study recommends that the employment for persons with disabilities should be a top priority for government at all levels as well as the private sector. Stakeholders must ensure that empowerment must be about helping persons with disabilities to become people in the full sense of the word, with equal opportunities, rights and responsibilities living a life that is fulfilling and satisfying and contributing towards happiness, quality of life and community development. Finally, the empowerment component should focus on the importance of encouraging persons with disabilities, their family members and communities to facilitate the mainstreaming of disability across each sector and to ensure that everybody is able to access their rights and entitlement.
Keywords: Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), Empowerment, Persons With Disabilities (PWDs), Plateau State.