Youth with disabilities face multifaceted challenges in terms of equal livelihood, employment and inclusive education, and are often denied of their rights as per the Disability Act 2013, says a recent study of Sightsavers and BRAC James P. Grant School of Public Health.
The findings of the study were disclosed at an event jointly hosted by Sightsavers and BRAC James P. Grant School of Public Health in Dhaka on 16 June, says a press release.
The joint research project, "British Academy Youth Futures Research", captured the experiences of young people with disabilities living in urban and rural settings in Bangladesh and has been led by a group of young peer researchers who have disabilities and will be trained and supported to shape national policy on disability inclusion.
The research tried to understand the experiences, aspirations, and challenges of youths with disability in their livelihood in Bangladesh and, to explore the inclusion of young people with disabilities into policy dialogues around the implementation of SDG8: decent work and economic growth. And enhancing the advocacy capacity of the youth with disabilities (peer researchers) so that they can advocate with the government and relevant stakeholders for their own rights was another key objective of the project.
Speaking as the chief guest, Md. Ashraf Ali Khan Khasru MP said, "Research is an important component for societal development and there is no alternative to research for development." He praised the research as it helped understand aspirations of youth with disabilities in relation to livelihoods and determine barriers in realising those aspirations.
Amrita Rejina Rozario, Sightsavers Bangladesh Country Director said, "By employing young researchers with disabilities, we got an authentic insight, and the research has also empowered them to help shape and contribute to the policy decisions that affect their lives. Sightsavers is committed to advance the rights of persons with disabilities through research and other development initiatives". This study took the form of Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) and employed young people with disabilities from Sirajganj, Gazipur and Narsingdi districts as peer-researchers who worked alongside local and international researchers to gather and analyse data for the study.
"The research has not only made a real difference to understanding the experience of young people with disabilities in Bangladesh but been led by the people who understand these experiences the best", said Prof. Dr. Malabika Sarker from BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health who chaired the event.
Dr. Mrittika Barua and Sayema Akter from BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health of BRAC University presented the key findings of the research. Dr. Sapana Basnet, Senior Research Associate at Sightsavers UK, Khandaker Jahurul Alam, Executive Director of CSID, Zahir Bin Siddique, Country Director of Leonard Cheshire Bangladesh among others spoke on various findings of the research in the event.