Availability And Utilization Of Information Resources And Services In The Special Education Centre Libraries
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There are persons with physical challenges at all levels in every society. The physically challenged are those who are hindered or prevented from acting or living the way ordinary people do. Lawal-Solarin (2012), defines physical challenge as an inability to perform some or all the task of daily life, or a medically diagnosed condition that makes it difficult to engage in activities of daily life. In the view of Gobalakrishnan (2013) physically challenged could be described as those restricted, hindered or prevented to have equal opportunities with their contemporaries due to physical deformity, he said they include the visual, hearing, mobility, cognitive, language and speech impaired. Physically challenged persons can as well be described as those hindered either by physical or mental defect from receiving a normal education or even from pursuing normal vocation. The total number of people with disabilities in Nigeria according to the 2006 census were 3 253,169 and the percentage is approximately 2.32 percent of the total population of 140,431,790 in that year (Umeh&Adeola, 2013).
The 2006 estimated figure notwithstanding, extent of disabilities in Nigeria has not been ascertained. Evidence of what is claimed to be the figure as given by World Report on Disability in 2011, said about 25 million Nigerians had at least one disability, while 3.6 million of them had very significant difficulties in functioning (http://www.cbm.org/Nigeria-266847.php). Physical challenge has a substantial long-term adverse effect on one’s ability to carry out usual day to day activities. Majority of the physically challenged lives below poverty line due to years of neglect by the society, especially their lack of access to paid employment.
The physically challenged is often misconceived as unwell, unable to work, read and in need of help persons and people that deserve pity. Okoli (2010) lamented that disabled people are living in an environment that is hostile to their yearnings and aspirations. Indeed, concerns about the challenges encountered by physically challenged individuals have been expressed by various authors such as Ejedafiru (2011), Ilayaraja and Manoharan (2012), Momodu (2013) and many others. Of particular interest, is the fact that individuals with disabilities encounter discrimination, isolation and rejection, which can lead to frustration in some cases, and can adversely degenerate to a level that an individual may not be able to actualize his aspirations.
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