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Experiences of women students with Disabilities in Kenyan Universities

Author: Bathseba Opini
ISBN: 978-1-926906-17-1




This work is a systematic analysis of the subject of disability and society as encountered in institutions of higher learning in Kenya. Experiences of women students with disabilities in Kenyan universities demonstrates that marginalization of people with disabilities is an insidious reality in virtually all societies. Across Africa, dialogue on discrimination against individuals with disability has for a long time been silenced resulting into minimal participation and representation of this population in the political, social, cultural, and economic and development initiatives in the continent. Only a few texts have examined the question of disability and the status of people with disabilities in Africa and more so, with reference to gender and higher education. Filing this gap, this book discusses the experiences of women students with disabilities in university education in Kenya. It analyzes the challenges these women face and how they deal with those challenges. There is evidence of ableim in Kenyan higher education institutions and in the society as a whole. Individuals, government and societal institutions should work together to address ableism and promote an inclusive society.

What others say

Disability is not inability. This cutting edge text reveals that although women students with disabilities in Kenyan universities face numerous challenges, they are determined to succeed. The desire to lead a better life is the glue that gives these women the determination to challenge their subjugated positions in society. This book provides important recommendations for policy, practice and research which Kenya and other African nations can learn from to change things for the better. It is an important and timely read to be enjoyed by everyone. – Chris Atuti, Toronto, Canada.

This book brings us in touch with the lives of women, and their struggles, so as to inspire the collective need to address disability in more thought provoking ways. Skilfully, Bathseba depicts the complexity of living with disability through her ethnographic account of twenty women students in Kenyan universities. Through this unique research and analysis, the reader comes to know that every experience of disability needs to be understood as a fully social, political, and historical, not to mention valid, way of being-in-the-world. Bathseba has produced a book that is a must read for anyone interested in exploring education as it is interwoven with the meanings of race, gender, class and disability in and through the Kenyan context – Dr. Tanya Titchkosky Associate Professor, Associate Chair, and Graduate Coordinator, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.

This book is an outstanding sociological exploration of gender, disability and higher education in the African context. The women’s stories come alive in this brilliant and sensitive interpretation of challenges and accomplishments of women students with disabilities in Kenyan universities. By giving voice to those who are rarely heard, Bathseba contributes to a comprehensive understanding of the student experience. – . Sandra Acker, Professor Emeritus, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.

About the Author

Bathseba Opini teaches at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and the African Studies Program, University of Toronto. She is the author of the Children’s Book “Africans Thought of It: Amazing Innovations” (with Richard Lee). Her other published works can be found in the International Journal of Inclusive Education, the Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research and the Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability.

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