Education on an Equal Basis: A Comparison of Persons With and Without Disabilities in South Africa

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6 Citations (Scopus)


The South African education crisis is well documented in the literature. While strides have been made to rectify the inequalities in education arising from apartheid era policies, and while South Africa ratified the United Nations Conventions for the Rights of People with Disabilities, these actions have yet to translate into meaningful changes for persons with disabilities. To investigate the status of educational attainment, this article uses South Africa’s National Income Dynamics Study to analyse the disparities in education for adults with and without disabilities. Education is a key mechanism of leverage for functionings. The findings show that persons with disabilities fare worse in educational attainment than persons without disabilities, but that race and geographic location play a larger role in predicting educational attainment than disabilities. In addition, age also contributes to educational disparities. The findings of this study are integral in the call from the Presidency to ‘strengthen the country’s response to the needs of [persons with disabilities] … and to monitor progress’ of educational attainment for persons with disabilities (20-year review, 2014, p. 73).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-293
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Disability, Development and Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2017


  • Capabilities
  • South Africa
  • disability
  • education
  • inequalities
  • poverty
  • race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health (social science)
  • Education
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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