Applying the occupational justice framework in disability policy analysis in Namibia
Authors: Chichaya, T.
Journal: South African Journal of Occupational Therapy
Publisher: Occupational Therapy Association of South Africa
Introduction: The purpose of the study was to compare the existing disability policy in Namibia with those of other southern African countries to determine whether the former would require revisions. There were two objectives: to apply the occupational justice framework to analyse the National Policy on Disability of Namibia, to conduct an comparative analysis of the National Policy on Disability of Namibia and selected disability policies and policy environments in Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe taking into consideration the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
Methods: A qualitative analytical approach was used to conduct a document review of the Namibia disability policy and to provide a comparative analysis of the Namibia disability policy with those of selected southern African countries using the disability policy analysis lens. Critical disability theory provided the overarching theoretical framework. Discourse analysis was applied to identify themes.
Findings: Embedded occupational marginalisation and deprivation were evident in the Namibian disability policy. A new type of occupational injustice emerged that can best be described as ‘occupational inconsideration’ among disability policy makers, whereby occupational rights for persons with disabilities are of secondary focus when disability policies are formulated.
Conclusion: Namibia’s disability policy was considered inadequate in terms of addressing occupational rights according to the occupational justice framework. Similarly, Namibia and other southern African countries have not significantly progressed with domesticating the UNCRPD. The findings have implications for disability policy formulation and occupational justice practice in Namibia in particular and in southern Africa in general.