Identification of out-of-school children with disabilities in Wolaita Soddo town of SNNPR and Adama city of Oromia, Ethiopia using the key informant method (KIM).

Game Changers Consulting PLC in Collaboration with Ethiopian National Association of the Blind (ENAB) has been conducting “Identification of out-of-school children with disabilities in Wolaita Soddo town of SNNPR and Adama city of Oromia, Ethiopia using the key informant method (KIM). The overall objective of the assignment is to conduct identification, screening, referral and enrolment of out-of-school children with disabilities in target communities, as well as screening and referral of children in target schools suspected to have disabilities. The Key Informant Method (KIM) has been used and validated by a number of organizations, including International Centre for Evidence in Disability (ICED), to estimate the prevalence of specific impairments and health conditions in children. The identification of children with disabilities has been conducted using Key Informant Method (KIM). KIM is an approach to identifying children with disabilities in the community through trained community volunteers, known as Key Informants (KIs).  16 Key informants were trained in Adama Town. After their training, the KIs were given 2 weeks (Fifteen working days) to identify children with the specific impairments in the target community. All children identified were listed on a standardized registry form/data collection tool.  The identification process was made by means of Home-to-Home visits to families in the target communities. These families were suspected to have children with disabilities not attending school. The KIs were used both the Washington Group Short Set Questions (WGSS) and the Child Functioning Module questions from UNICEF. These are the WGSS adapted to children to identify whether the child probably has a disability, and if so, which disability the child is most likely to have. 

In total, 125 children were listed by KIs as potentially having an impairment/disability from the target communities, of whom 13 children’s (10.4%) are having vision/seeing impairment, 9 children’s (7.2%) are having hearing impairment, 15 children’s (12%) are having walking/mobility impairment, 7 children’s (5.6%) are having remembering/concentrating  impairment, and 81 children’s (64.8%) are having multiple impairments. As can be seen from figure 1; the most children’s identified by KIs are having multiple impairments, followed by walking/mobility and vision/seeing impairments. Almost more than half of identified children with a disability had multiple impairments.

This study is the second use of the KIM in Adama town to identify the prevalence of childhood disability. The KIM enabled the identification of the large number of children with disabilities in Adama town, many of whom have unmet needs for education, health and other services. Increased investment in health, rehabilitation and other services (e.g. inclusive education) are required to support the functioning, well-being and participation of children with disabilities.

Key Recommendations