Development of a 'communication disability model' and its application to service delivery in less developed countries
This study began as an investigation into models of service delivery for people with communication disorders in less developed countries. To compensate for the limited data on this client group, exploration of national and international literature, together with perspectives on disability in general, were supplemented by a situation analysis of the services offered to this group of people in Oyo State, Nigeria. These revealed impairment-led activities with low coverage levels and terminology so diverse and inconsistent, that meaningful comparison among limited data available were difficult to achieve. Three groups of theoretical questions relating to people with communication disorders were developed from the review and analysis. The questions concerned disability, needs and attitudes. The explorations of these form the basis of this research. Complementary use of qualitative and quantitative methodologies enabled collection of data relevant to the questions posed, through surveys, interviews and focus group discussions, with professionals, parents and community members. Each phase of the data collection was modified to take account of the findings of the previous phase and a process of triangulation was used to validate the data. The data establishes `people with communication disorders' as part of the population of disabled people and develops a `communication disability model' as a means of understanding and developing appropriate service delivery structures. This includes adoption of the term 'people with communication disabilities' as one that expresses and encompasses the author's perception of the target population.