Date of Conferral
In Guyana, a developing country in South America, many parental caregivers of disabled people struggle to understand their children's disability as well as provide, and advocate for, educational resources and medical and psychological care for their children. The researchers have found that the needs of this population have been minimized placing disabled people at risk for neglect, abuse, and death. In 2006, the Convention on the Rights for People with Disabilities created a plan to help developing countries improve the care and advocacy for people with disabilities. The purpose of this evaluative study, which was guided by general systems theory, was to examine and assess whether the Community Based Rehabilitation Program serves caregivers of the disabled population in Guyana effectively, identify the positive and negative aspects of the program, and recommend improvements to the program. Qualitative research methods were used. Surveys and interviews were administered to 73 caregivers of disabled people. Data were analyzed using triangulation strategies for data verification to identify specific themes. The findings of this study indicated that caregivers of people with disabilities are in dire need of educational resources, support groups, and training. They also suggested that when provided relevant information, caregivers tend to feel more empowered to serve as agents of care for their disabled children. Results from the study may spur policy makers to implement relevant training for Guyanese caregivers and provide them with necessary resources, which may lead to improvements in the lives of disabled people in Guyana and the possibility for social justice.