Intellectual disability in Africa: Implications for research and service development

Judith McKenzie, Roy McConkey, Colleen Adnams

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    59 Citations (Scopus)


    Although intellectual disability (ID) is probably the largest impairment grouping on the African continent, few indigenous research and evaluation studies have been undertaken. This article is an initial attempt to relate service delivery issues to an African research agenda. We critically analysed the available literature, drawing on academic publications and those of nongovernmental agencies. In this process we identified several key issues for further investigation, namely: understanding ID in African contexts, access to education and health care, the provision of appropriate assistance and support, and income generation. We relate our analysis to the recommendations made in the World Report on Disability but with a specific focus on ID in Africa. The need for mainstreaming and prioritising ID in non-disability related and across impairment programmes is highlighted. We note the importance of families and emphasise the need to draw on informal and traditional forms of care and participation. The need for reliable research evidence to support practice is highlighted. We conclude with a call to action by and on behalf of individuals with ID to be included in the development priorities of the continent.
    Original languageEnglish
    VolumeNot as
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Nov 2012


    Dive into the research topics of 'Intellectual disability in Africa: Implications for research and service development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this