Experiential narratives of persons with disabilities on Zambia’s electoral processes in Lusaka district.

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Kalimaposo, Kalisto
Kalomba, Merreny
Kaumba, Chivunda
Mulubale, Sanny
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Iconic Research and Engineering Journals
The aim of this research was to explore experiences of persons with disabilities in the electoral processes within Lusaka District. The study focuses on stories around electoral conflicts, accessibility of polling stations, electoral materials and adequacy of laws and policies that promote electoral and political participation of persons with disabilities. This study demonstrates that in Zambia, persons with disabilities experience challenges at an individual level. The study used semi structured interviews to collect data and a narrative approach coupled with some thematic analysis was used in the process of reviewing the responses from participants. Purposive sampling was used in the selection process of participants and a total of 19 individuals living with disabilities were involved in this study. The findings of this study indicate that participation in electoral processes by persons with disabilities are mainly hindered several issues but key among them is: inaccessible infrastructure, inadequate tactile materials for the visually impaired and other assistive devices and long distances to polling stations. This study has also shown that electoral conflicts is also one of the challenges that persons with disabilities face in their quest to participate in the electoral process at various levels as well as negative perceptions that people without disabilities have towards those with disabilities. With regard to policies, the study has demonstrated that although laws and policies that are aimed at promoting and mainstreaming disability issues in all sectors of development are in place, they fall short of addressing many aspects and challenges faced by persons with disabilities. There is also need to provide voter education and information in accessible formats (for example, large print, electronic format for voters that use screen-reading technology, written material, and easy-to-understand language for persons with intellectual disabilities). The study also strongly recommends providing closed captions and sign language interpreters on televised voter information announcements.
People with disabilities--Suffrage. , Disabilities--Electoral processes. , Electoral processes--Zambia. , Communication in politics. , Elections--Sign language. , Voter education.
Kalimaposo, K. Kalomba, M. Kaumba, C. Mulubale, S. (2023) "Experiential Narratives of Persons with Disabilities on Zambia’s Electoral Processes in Lusaka District" Iconic Research And Engineering Journals Volume 6 Issue 12, Page 558-565