Disability studies in Sri Lanka: priorities for action

Peiris-John, R. J., Attanayake, S., Daskon, L., Wickremasinghe, A. R., & Ameratunga, S. (2014). Disability studies in Sri Lanka: priorities for action. Disability and rehabilitation, 36(20), 1742-1748.

Purpose: To review the published literature relating to disability in Sri Lanka, identify research gaps and inform priorities for action. Methods: A narrative literature review was undertaken and relevant articles extracted using electronic databases such as Medline and PubMed. The available literature was examined in relation to the nine key recommendations of the World Report on Disability.

Results: Over the past 30 years, published disability research in Sri Lanka has primarily focussed on mental health, visual impairment and healthcare delivery. Significant gaps were apparent in evidence relating to the status and services for people with intellectual disability, policies and their impact, provider attitudes, barriers to education and employment, health workforce training and access to healthcare.

Conclusions: While published studies provide insights on several dimensions of disability, there are important research gaps pointing to unmet needs that require attention to support the health and wellbeing of people living with disability in Sri Lanka. To address these gaps, it is imperative that a critical mass of multidisciplinary researchers including people living with disabilities collaborate on a strategic program of research using effective participatory approaches that engage all sectors and communities relevant to uphold the rights of people living with disability.

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