Government involvement is essential to meeting the needs of children with disabilities. Throughout the world, there is widespread discrimination against people with disabilities, poor implementation of policies designed to protect these individuals, and inadequate funding and legislation in support of people with disabilities. Additionally, some government officials in our focus areas still believe that curses, witchcraft, incest and evil spirits cause disabilities. Correcting these misperceptions of disability through meetings and workshops often inspires government leaders to uphold existing legislation and either develop or expand laws to include children with disabilities.
In Kilifi County, each government representative oversees populations of approximately 5,000 to 15,000 residents. Therefore, working with just a few government officials often has a large impact on community beliefs and behavior toward children and families impacted by disabilities.