Eight Insights from the People with Disabilities Rapid Survey


អត្ថបទ​នេះមានជាភាសា៖ kmខ្មែរ


By Krisna KEO

Former ICT4D Project Manager
Development Innovations


In mid-2017, the Cambodian Disabled People’s Organization (CDPO) released its latest 2017 findings about a group of members and non-members with disabilities. They survey focused on a better understanding of how their partners communicate, receive information, and interact with technology. This survey was conducted with 100 people with disabilities, who are both members and non-members of CDPO, to get information to design better interventions to effectively reach its target groups living in Cambodia’s 25 provinces and municipality (Phnom Penh). Currently, CDPO has 16,145 members who are people with disabilities living throughout the country.

Learning about how people use information and communication technologies and supporting our partners in their user research is a part of what we do at Development Innovations. CDPO has been working with networks of people with various disabilities – hearing impairment, visual impairment, physical impairment, cognitive impairment, and others. They have run important programs to serve this diverse community, but did not have enough data about how this population engaged with technology. In designing new programs, it was important to learn about how people living with disabilities access information, communicate and use technology. This data is sometimes referred to as design research or user research, and is a low-cost, rapid way to get more information about a certain target group. (Please note it is not for national level statistics.) So when we received the data, I found eight interesting insights to share, in case you do not have enough time to read the full report.

  1. Physical Movement is the Most Common Disability Reported
    Difficulty in spatial movement is the most common type of disability reported. 77.3% of the respondents reported being affected by this issue. 9.3% reported having visual impairment, 7.2% with a hearing impairment, 4% have cognitive difficulties, and very few reported problems with speech.

    Figure 1: Type of disabilities that the respondents face
  2. Despite Disabilities, Many Reach Post-Secondary Education
    Although people with disabilities are considered to be a marginalized group facing difficulties in accessing education, it is very impressive to see that a majority of these respondents, especially CDPO’s members, have reached a good level of education. More than half of them (53.6%) reached university, 12.4% went to high school (grades 10-12), 14.4% reached secondary school (grades 7-9), and about 20% reached primary schools.
  3. Many people with disabilities are not aware of their international rights
    A majority of respondents (63%) did not know anything about the United Nations Convention of Rights of the Persons with Disabilities. Only 14.4% have heard about this convention. However, only a small proportion (3.5%) of respondents knows everything about this convention and do not want to learn more. A majority of the respondents (77.4%) did not know anything and have not heard about this convention, but wanted to know more information about the convention.
  4. Awareness about the Law on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of Cambodia is High
    A majority of respondents (62%) have heard about the national level law, 9.3% knew everything about it and did not need additional information. 22.7% of the respondents did not know about this law at all. Most of the respondents (85%), including those who have and have not heard about this law, wanted to know more information about it.
  5. Television, Radio, and Internet/Mobile Phones are the best way to reach people with disabilities
    Respondents reported that television is the main communication channel they use (87.6%), with radio being the second most accessed medium (72%). It was interesting to learn that access to smart phones with an Internet connection and basic phones among the people with disabilities is relatively high; 61.5% and 61%, respectively. However, a smaller proportion of the respondents (17%) have access to computers.

    Figure 2: Access to or ownership of communication devices
  6. People with disabilities want to know more about their rights
    A majority of the respondents want to get more information related to rights to access to information (86.6%), law of protection and promotion of persons with disabilities (84.6%), rights to health services (84.5%), rights to freedom of speech (83.5%) rights to education (82.5%), right to access buildings (82.4%), and rights to vote (78.4%). Moreover, the respondents want to know more information related to ID cards or family book rights (78.3%) and social packages (76.3%).

    Figure 3: Type of information that the respondents want to know more
  7. No single medium of communication is preferred
    It was intriguing to see the diversity of preferred modes of communication by respondents. Face-to-face communication is the most favored mode of communication that respondents prefer to use for receiving updates about disability information (25.2%) while YouTube is the least preferred with only 3.2% of the respondents prefer to use. Radio (19%) and newspaper (19%) are their second most favored and television (18.2%) and Facebook (15.4%) are also their third and fourth preferred modes of communication used to receive the information updates related to disabilities.

    Figure 4: The respondents’ preferred communication modes
  8. Anytime is the best time for information acquisition
    It was interesting to see that a majority of the respondents (66% to 68%) can be reached at any time through all communication channels. There was no single period of the day that people with disabilities could not be reached.

At Development Innovations, we believe it is important to understand the habits, knowledge and technical gaps of our target audiences and beneficiaries as interventions are designed. The above findings are very useful for CDPO because this data helped them better understand its target groups, and gave them information to design its interventions to address their specific needs and behaviors. If your organization is working with the people with disabilities, this survey can provide a good overall understanding only, and you may want to conduct another deeper insight survey with your specific target people to gain a deeper understanding before designing your interventions to serve them.