This paper draws on empirical findings from Lagos, Nigeria, and applies theoretical perspectives from the social and cultural models of disability to examine the everyday experiences of parents of children with disabilities in relation to inclusive and special needs schools. A phenomenological study was conducted to engage with the lived experiences of parents of children with disabilities. Twelve parents of children with disabilities (10F, 2M) living in Lagos participated in semi-structured interviews. The research findings were analyzed through thematic content analysis to identify perceptions and experiences of parents of children with disabilities. The findings show that, given the limited capacity of the state to deliver inclusive education, parents of children with disabilities express mixed feelings about the policy’s true worth; while some parents applaud the system, others see it as a threat to their children’s social integration and future prospects. The findings also show that there is a perception that certain disabilities are more ‘includable’ within the country’s inclusive learning settings than others, based on a cultural logic that places different bodily impairments on a hierarchy. Furthermore, the findings show that because women are held as responsible when a child is born with a disability, women typically bear the burden of meeting the health and education needs of such a child. This paper seeks to highlight the experiences of parents to shed light into complexities that arise when poor countries with severe resource pressures and weak political will experiment with inclusive education policy, and sociocultural barriers that can hinder implementation.

disability, gender, hierarchy of impairment, Inclusive education, Nigeria, parents’ perceptions
International Journal of Inclusive Education
Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies

Brydges, C. (Colton), & Mkandawire, P. (2018). Perceptions and experiences of inclusive education among parents of children with disabilities in Lagos, Nigeria. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 1–15. doi:10.1080/13603116.2018.1480669