Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Global Inclusion and Social Development

First Advisor

Dolly Daftary

Second Advisor

Dimity J. Peter

Third Advisor

Angi Stone-MacDonald


This dissertation explores the lived mobility experiences of children with disabilities accessing and participating in primary schools. It investigates: (1) the role of societal beliefs, attitudes, and interests in shaping mobility experiences for children with disabilities; (2) the strategies caregivers undertake to navigate mobility barriers; and (3) how infrastructural, institutional, and attitudinal factors support or exclude children with disabilities.

The study is based on a qualitative study in Kibera, the largest informal settlement in Kenya. It combines in-depth interviews, focus groups, and participant and field observations with government officials, educators, caregivers of children with disabilities attending schools, and caregivers of children with disabilities not attending schools.

The findings uncovered that disability in Kibera does not exist independently. It is a social construct propagated by societal barriers and intersects many factors, including gender, class, poverty, and stigma. These factors negatively affect the experiences of children with disabilities and their caregivers. Most children with disabilities are not accessing schools, and the few attending schools are not fully participating in educational activities similar to their peers.

This study contributes to three areas: (1) the role of caregivers, educators, policymakers, and the community concerning mobility inclusion of children with disabilities in primary schools; (2) understanding the impacts of cultural biases and social constructs of disability in general and those directed at mobility in the community, institutional and societal contexts; and (3) understanding the systemic and societal barriers to inclusive education. Additionally, it recommends strategies to support mobility for inclusive education for children with disabilities from a global and comparative perspective.


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