- Disability results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinders their full and effective participation in society on equal basis with others.
- Impairment is the limitation or loss of a function of the body.
- IMPAIRMENT + BARRIERS = DISABILITY
- Barriers excludes persons with disabilities from participating and accessing services.
There are four mechanisms that lead to exclusion of persons with disabilities from accessing formal or informal financial services – Simanowitz (2001):
01Exclusion due to low self-esteem
Exposed to stigma and rejection, persons with disabilities often end up having low self-esteem, leading to self-exclusion from public and private services. Some persons With disabilities prefer charity/hand-outs
02Exclusion by other members
The community has the perception that including persons with disabilities in development initiatives (e.g. self-help groups, co-operatives, and village saving and loan association (VSLA)) may harm the reputation of these initiatives, hence threatening sustainability.
03Exclusion by service providers
Due to society attitudes and prejudice, staff in private institutions and government offices deliberately or unknowingly exclude persons with disabilities by failing to recognize their real abilities.
04Exclusion by design
By design, some norms within MFIs, such as undertaking a credit history, physical attendance of weekly meetings, high loan fees, self-selection in solidarity groups hinder participation of persons with disabilities.