Counting the invisible: understanding the lives of young people with disabilities in Pakistan.
Purpose: To understand the lives of young people with disabilities in Pakistan using a household survey.
Method: Data were collected by administering the survey to 1094 urban and rural households randomly selected from nine districts in two provinces. The survey had a roster, which captured basic demographic, anthropometric, education and labour market status information on all resident household members in the sampled households (around 9000 individuals). In addition, detailed individual-level questionnaires were administered only to those aged between 15 and 60 years. While the survey did not have an exclusive focus on issues of disability, the questions used were informative and innovative.
Results: The findings of this survey emphasise the continued marginalisation of young people with disabilities in the areas of education, employment and marriage prospects. Additionally, reflections on the research process highlight the many challenges entailed in undertaking research on disability issues.
Conclusions: Considering the high numbers of people reporting difficulties, many of them mild but which have a considerable impact on their functioning, there is a need for better health care planning and outreach. Given the lack of knowledge about people with disabilities - their incidence and status - there is a need for more rigorous research to help develop effective interventions.
Singal, N.; Bhatti, F.; Malik, R. Counting the invisible: understanding the lives of young people with disabilities in Pakistan. Disability and Rehabilitation (2011) 33 (11) 908-921.