Review Article

Barriers to and facilitators of employment of persons with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries: A scoping review

Refilwe E. Morwane, Shakila Dada, Juan Bornman
African Journal of Disability | Vol 10 | a833 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v10i0.833 | © 2021 Refilwe E. Morwane, Shakila Dada, Juan Bornman | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 December 2020 | Published: 22 June 2021

About the author(s)

Refilwe E. Morwane, Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Shakila Dada, Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Juan Bornman, Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Unemployment rates for persons with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are high. This is despite the call to action by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Sustainable Development Goals aimed at improving the economic well-being of the marginalised. To improve the employment outcomes of persons with disabilities in these countries, factors that facilitate and hinder employment should be explored.

Objectives: This study explored barriers to and facilitators of employment for persons with disabilities in LMICs through a scoping review.

Methods: A search strategy included a systematic search of nine databases using specific keywords. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) framework was used as a conceptual framework and barriers and facilitators were reported according to the domains of the ICF. Articles published between 2008 and 2020 were reviewed using a predefined criteria.

Results: Thirty-two studies were identified in the review. Factors were identified in all domains of the ICF: (1) body function and body structure (12; 39%); (2) activities and participation (13; 42%); (3) personal factors (23; 74%); (4) environmental factors (27; 84%).

Conclusion: Factors that hinder and facilitate the participation of persons with disabilities in LMICs were mainly found in the environment, with personal factors also influencing participation. The presence of negative attitudes and lack of services mainly in health and transport were major factors within the environment whilst personals factors included the lack of educational qualifications and skills. These results indicate the importance of consideration of contextual factors when developing intervention strategies aimed at facilitating the employment of persons with disabilities in LMICs.


Keywords

barriers; disability; employment; facilitators; International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF) framework; low- and middle-income countries (LMICs); societal participation

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