Examination on costs of inclusion faced by students with disabilities enrolled in public universities: A case of Kenyatta University, Kenya
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Despite the fact that inclusion of SWDs spread over decades, their access and retention to completion in the mainstream higher institutions of learning is very limited. The purpose of this study was to examine the cost of participation in public university incurred by students with disabilities enrolled in public universities with a case of Kenyatta University. This study was based on social model of disability and human capital theory which emphasize on appropriate accommodation including adequate financial support to alleviate financial barriers to access to education for all. To gain a better on these costs, the following questions were considered: (1) What range of special learning needs are provided by students with visual, hearing and physical disabilities for their participation in Kenyatta Universities? (2) How much do students with visual, hearing and physical disabilities enrolled in a public university spend on special learning needs required for their participation per academic year? (3) How much do students with visual, hearing and physical disabilities enrolled spend on regular learning needs required for their participation in a public university per academic year? (4) What sources and level of financial support are available to students with visual, hearing and physical disabilities enrolled in a public university per academic year? The study utilized a mixed method approach of enquiry to obtain both qualitative and quantitative data. Quantitative data was collected using questionnaires while qualitative data was obtained though interview schedule with a total of sixty (60) students with visual, hearing and physical disabilities who were registered with Kenyatta University Students with Disability Office (KUSDO) and were on session when the data was being collected. In order to ensure validity and reliability of research instruments, a pilot study was carried out at University of Nairobi before the actual study. Quantitative and qualitative data were then collected and analyzed to answer the research questions using descriptive statistics with the help of SPSS software and Atlas-ti software respectively. Finally, analyzed data was presented using pie-charts, graphs and tables. The study established that SWDs enrolled in regular programmes spent an average of Ksh.138, 000 per academic year while those enrolled in institutional- based programmes spent an average of Ksh. 168,000 on regular learning needs per academic year. On the other hand, SWDs enrolled in regular and institutional- based programmes spent an average of Ksh. 200,500 and Ksh 300,175 on support provision per academic year respectively. Generally, the study revealed that, SWDs spent an average of Ksh.318, 000 and Ksh.176, 00 for in institutional- based and regular education programmes respectively. The findings also revealed that the amount of financial support available for university education of SWDs does not meet the costs they incur for their effective participation in these institutions of higher learning.