Social Stigmatization Experienced By Handicapped Children In XYZ Community

Project and Seminar Material for Sociology

Social Stigmatization Experienced By Handicapped Children In XYZ Community


Looking at the plight of children with physical disability in Orlu Local government area. The study seeks to unveil the current appalling situation in view of the policy and practice of stigmatisation of handicapped children through improved practice approaches, like early intervention, finances, provision of facilities among others. For instance, the work of educational assessment centres should be spread throughout the state.

E.g. introducing mobile services, the state mainstream teachers should be trained in remedial techniques to equip them with relevant knowledge on how to handle children with physical handicaps among others to help alleviate the plight of children with physical handicaps.

Chapter One


1.1 Background the Study

The essence of stigmatization is to ensure that all persons regardless of their racial economic and physical or any differences are not included in any of the societal activities. This calls for equal opportunities and accessibility to all resources, services and responsibilities.

The full and equal participation of each individual is assured in an inclusive society in which the differences are respected and valued. Discrimination and bias against those who are different in eliminated through appropriate practices and policies.

Inclusion is therefore called for persons with special needs to be fully involved in all aspects of life for example education, employment. consumer services, recreation and social activities community and domestic activities, decision making process and access to information. Uptill their education. Looking at inclusive education, it refers to the philosophy of ensuring that schools, centres of learning and educational systems are open to all children.

This will enable the children to be included in all aspects of school life. It also means identifying reducing or removing barriers within and around the school that hinder learning. For this to happen teachers, schools, parents and community leaders need to modify the physical and social environment so that they can fully accommodate the diversity of needs that handicapped children may have.

Accordingly, society must address the needs of all children with visible and invisible difficulties such as visual, physical or emotional effects of war recognizes and caters for individual differences are seen as challenges, positive learning opportunities with support to children with special needs are planned as an integral part of the ordinary school.

But looking at the situation in Orlu Local government is such conditions, adjustments of environment are not provided in order to include mostly the problems in moving freely in the community handling various learning materials and even walking from home to school. This is why the researcher wants to carry out the investigation in order to assist those who are physically handicapped.

Physically handicaps refer to any physical impairment including motor and health impairments that affect negatively the normal development of the body.

Statistics in Orlu Local government area reveal that those groups of children constitute up to a large percentage of entire population.

The physically handicapped children encounter unique problems in education. These have been partially addressed in special school settings where the environment has been adjusted to suit the mobility of children with disability.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

It has been observed that in the mainstream schools within the orlu local government most children who are physically handicapped undergo a lot of problems when going to school. Because of the poor environment they live in, they are forced to crawl on the strong surface going to the wheel chairs, crutches. and callipers and so they become hurt and may be absent for a long time from school and other social and religious activities. This happens because they are nursing their Injuries.

Those that have severe physical handicaps are hidden by their parents and don’t even attend school because they don’t want to be associated with them.

Those with disabilities affecting their hands get it difficult in writing, putting mainstream have very little to assist due to illiteracy in handling such cases, so the children feel neglected, mocked and therefore find school a hostile environment to live in and therefore hate school and going outside in general cos of these.

The attitudes of the community make the children to feel out of place example. – the teachers label and stigmatize the children with names that are grossly offensive, creating a hopeless situation for the children. The peers also imitate their walking styles, making them avoid participation in class activities and therefore not being included.

The community and school environments in Orlu local government have not been modified to accommodate the physically handicapped children, so they may end up hurting themselves because of poor arrangement of desks in class, sitting positions, absence of handicap parks.

All these problems have prompted the researcher to investigate social stigmatization experienced by handicapped children in Orlu local government Area of Imo State. This is to help to reduce and alter the environment in order to include these children in all aspects of life. It will also help to tap or utilize the talents this children may be having for National development.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to investigate social stigmatization experienced by handicapped children in Orlu local government Area of Imo State

1.4 Scope of the study

The research was conducted in Orlu local government area and focused on all the handicap children in primary schools in the area. The research bothered on social stigmatization experienced by these students attending schools. This is because the area is within the researcher’s area of concern and reach to alleviate the plight of children with physical disability.

1.5 Objective of the Study

  1. To find out the classrooms organization of the classrooms to include physically handicapped in Orlu Local government area.
  2. To find out the number of physically handicapped children with appropriate compensatory devices in Orlu Local government area.
  3. To identify inclusive primary schools with barrier free environment in Orlu Local government area.
  4. To investigate the number of human resources and their role in the learning process to assist the physically handicapped in Orlu Local government area note takers.
  5. To find out environmental adaptation of social and physical barriers that may be an impendent to learning in Orlu Local government area.

1.6 Research Questions

  1. Are the classrooms organized in a manner that they include the physically handicapped?
  2. What and how many compensatory devices have been made or bought to assist the physically handicapped in Orlu Local government area?
  3. How many inclusive primary schools in Orlu Local government area have barrier free environment for children who are physically handicapped?
  4. How many human resources in Orlu Local government area have been put in place to assist the physicallv handicapped?
  5. What environmental adaptations help in the adaptation of social and physical barriers that may impede inclusive primary schools?

1.7 Significance of the study

Mobility chairs will be provided to the children to remove the mobility barrier.Children who are physically handicapped will also have the opportunity to participate in all activities both curriculum and co-curriculum activities fully as the barriers will have been eliminated.

To the parents and the general public, the researcher’s investigation will help in creating awareness to the general public that the physically handicapped children are also capable of getting necessary education services if properly integrated into regular classrooms system. The teachers will become more skilled and knowledgeable on handling children who are physically handicapped. They will also develop positive attitudes towards these children.

The community will have enlightened people and role models to run various activities for example engineers, mechanics etc. in essence the community will have a productive population.

On the other hand the government will tap talents of the physically handicapped e,g. musicians, arts to improve the standards of living of its people.

The researcher on his part will get reliable data review whenever they are carrying out related research. In this case the researcher will be equipped with a lot of information and identity ways of improving the learning situation.

1.8 Limitation of the Study

Lack of finance in carrying out the research in Orlu Local government area money was required to finance traveling provision of basic needs for example food and even paging the needed to write on the necessary research work. With the researchers’ little funds, he did not accomplish it in time. Thus, no funds were allocated for the research.

Poor attitudes from the sample population due to cultural beliefs were limited. This played a big role in the researchers work as most of the parents and teachers were not freely willing to discuss or give the information required.

For any research work to be a success, a lot of time is needed by the researcher. The area chosen for study was not fully catered, as the time frame for the research was only three months. Therefore, the time allocated was not be enough as some areas of the community are for and in the remote interiors of the community.

1.9 Delimitation of Study

Available relevant literature: This eased the researchers work, as he will be equipped with more knowledge to help him in his research thereby convincing the stakeholders.

The language was understandable as the researcher was in his own area. The sample population understood the researcher very well as he may use total communication to get the required information from them.

Security is an added advantage to the researcher. as he will be working up to late hours and is able to complete his research work within the time frame.

1.10 Operational Definition of Terms

Compensatory Devices:

These are devices that enhance the functioning of parts a person body.


This is a compensatory devices used by the physically handicapped to ease movement.


It refers to the surrounding the physically handicapped person operates within.

Note Taker:

This is a human resource in a classroom who take notes on behalf of the learner who is physically handicapped.

Physically Barrier:

Is any physical obstruction that hinders or prevents a person with disability from moving or interacting freely with his or her environment or using its facilities.

Physical Handicapped:

Refers to those with physical or health impairments o Rehabilitation centres — these are centres of learning that are meant to enable an impaired person to reach an optimum mental, social fictional level thus providing him with tools to change his own life.

Vocational Training:

Refers to educational centres where the physically.

Wheel Chair:

It is a compensatory device used by the physically handicapped to compensate the child’s movement.

1.11 Organization of the Study

This study is organized into five chapters. Chapter one included the background of the study, research problem, research objectives and questions as well as limitation of the study. Chapter two contains the literature review. Chapter three includes the methodology and study area. Chapter Four contains the results and discussion of key findings of the study. Chapter Five finally looks at the summary, conclusions, and recommendations based on the findings.

Chapter Five

Summary, Recommendations and Conclusion

5.1 Summary

As the study has revealed, the needs of the physically handicapped children differ from those of normal children and therefore efforts should be made so that they are well catered for. Not forgetting that although these children might have physical disabilities they are perfectly intellectually able.

Physically handicapped children can be easily educated in the mainstream schools. However, various factors hinder them from acquiring education in those schools depending on the degree of the handicap of each individual child.

This may affect the children’ mobility in the environment not forgetting learning in classroom. Therefore, to help alleviate these problems the school environment, attitude, teacher personnel, finance and facilities should be looked into help to improve on their education while in the inclusive setting.

From this study, it has been revealed that there are gaps in efforts towards achieving amicable educational standards among the children with physical handicaps. Despite the efforts made by the various stakeholders in the field, there are still eminent levels of lack of commitments among individuals in ensuring that children with physical handicaps have access to quality education.

Bearing in mind that the study dealt with identifying loopholes in service delivery systems serving children with physical handicaps, it is imperative to suggest amicable solutions to the impediments. By practically implementing the recommendations, it is the only way of making the study useful.

5.2 Recommendations

For an effective implementation of a plan of action to take place, the following recommendations have been stipulated by the study as a result of the study findings.

One of the recommendations is that the government should do data collection to establish the prevalence of physically handicaps in the state and the level of access to education. It is important to carry out comprehensive survey that will give out the total number of the prevalence of physically handicaps, which will in essence steer the policy formulation and implementation. Those numbers are relevant in the planning of provisions of staffing, equipment supply and individual establishment.

There is also need for an appropriate curriculum content to cater for the children with physical handicaps. The current educational curriculum overlooks the aspect of environment maximally. There should be efforts towards improving access to education by children with physical handicaps so that the curricula cater for their abilities.

The work of the educational assessment and reserve centers should be spread throughout the state. For example, introducing mobile services within the state is often out of reach to most parents who want to attend constitutions with professionals. It is only through this that there will be appropriate referrals as the parent with children who have phvsical handicaps and in need of educational intervention will have adequate advice and also by bringing, service closer to the people more numbers will be attended to.

With the introduction of inclusive education as an approach to children with physical handicaps, there has been an evident low level of expertise among mainstream teachers on ways to handle children with physical handicaps. To counter this problem, the study recommends that the mainstream teachers be trained in Remedial techniques to equip them with relevant knowledge on how to handle children with physical handicaps.

The study revealed that most facilities and equipment in the mainstream or integrated institutions in the community were inappropriate. It therefore recommends that there be a provision of adequate facilities and equipment for integrated schools so as to improve service delivery to the children with physical handicaps attending the institutions.

Early interventions is often an important aspect in handling children with disabilities. This is no exception in handling children with physical handicaps.

The study noted that with more isolation of children with physical handicaps tend to lead to low esteem and retards their development. There should therefore be social integration programmes initiated where they do not exist and enhanced where they do exist in a bid to accelerate development of -children Oiiif physical’ handicaps. These Learners should therefore be encouraged to interact with other children without physical handicaps.

Finance of funding has always been an issue in education and this has been compounded by the little economic resources that the community is endowed with as most of the residents live below the poverty line. There are however alternative ways that can be employed to lead resources; where by the teacher can be mobilized and trained on how to utilize locally available materials not forgetting also the children’ parents.

To solve the problem of low levels of staffing of support services including physiotherapist and occupational therapist who are important in the education of children with physical handicaps, the study recommends that the government introduces service delivery approaches thus by initiating the service of a peripatetic physiotherapist bearing in mind the unavailability of the staff. Thus will ensure maximum utilization of resources.

The study also noted that higher service delivery models have corresponding higher awareness creation levels. It is therefore for this reason that the study recornmends awareness campaigns be initiated in the community to increase awareness levels among the community. This will ensure that they tend to bring more enrolments and reduce the stigma among children with handicaps, as the community will be more highlighted about their plight.

There is still barrier environment in the schools where by the physically handicapped cannot access it fully as a result of the lack of sloping ramps make the movement of wheel chairs easier.

In order to increase accessibility by children with physical handicaps to education, it is imperative for the schools to create a barrier-free environment.

This will involve the restructuring of the environment including, the creation of ramps, accessible toilets, play grounds, classrooms etc

There should be stricter government policy as it regards the admission of children with physical handicaps. Head teachers should therefore be made not to vet the admission of these children as it is perceived that such children pull down the standards or overall mean grades of the school by their below average performance in national examination.

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