Original Research

Monitoring disability inclusion: Setting a baseline for South Africa

Helen Suich, Marguerite Schneider
African Journal of Disability | Vol 11 | a1020 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v11i0.1020 | © 2022 Helen Suich, Marguerite Schneider | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 February 2022 | Published: 27 May 2022

About the author(s)

Helen Suich, Independent Researcher, Canberra, Australia
Marguerite Schneider, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Alan J Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa


Background: The progressive realisation of disability inclusion requires political will and commitment, and comprehensive monitoring is necessary to give a clear understanding of what needs to be addressed and to highlight the gaps and barriers to the achievement of social inclusion of people with disabilities.

Objectives: This article uses an existing dataset to present a baseline assessment of inclusion for men and women with no, mild or moderate disability severity and with no or moderate affect difficulties in South Africa.

Methods: An existing dataset, capturing individual-level data for 8499 individuals, collected in 2019 across South Africa was analysed. Variables were utilised to represent aspects of nine domains of disability inclusion, and outcomes were compared using chi-squared tests (with Bonferroni adjustments) for groups categorised by disability severity and gender, and for affect severity and gender.

Results: Overall, inclusion levels declined with increasing disability severity, and there were fewer differences in inclusion levels between those with and without affect difficulties than for those with functioning difficulties (as measured using the Washington Group on Disability Statistics’ Short Set of six questions on functioning).

Conclusions: The article concludes by discussing several approaches to using the data to design policy responses, each of which results in a different range of domains that may initially be prioritised and targeted.


disability inclusion; South Africa; disability severity; psychosocial disability; monitoring; progressive realisation


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