Training and Research to Improve the Quality of Life of Disabled People in Africa

International School of Disability Studies (ISDS) is a research and training centre in Nigeria that conducts professional training and research activities in the disability sector, including but not limited to intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and mental health conditions. The centre was founded in 2014 by Dr Precious Nonye Sango to act as a research and learning centre for students, researchers, policy makers, health and social care professionals, as well as people with disabilities (PWDs). 

People with Disabilities in Nigeria.

Nigeria is estimated to have a population of over 200 million. Whilst no reliable official statistics of the number of people with intellectual disabilities (ID) in Nigeria exist, In 2018, the World Health Organization estimated that 29 million people in Nigeria were living with a disability. These disabilities include physical, intellectual and developmental conditions. According to the American Psychiatric Association people with intellectual disabilities (ID) have cognitive impairment and scoring more than two standard deviations below the population mean on an intelligence test. Such conditions are diagnosed before age 18. Developmental disability (DD) broadly includes lifelong conditions that can be intellectual, neurological, or physical, for example, autism spectrum condition (ASC), cerebral palsy, and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD).

Living with Disability in Africa.

Despite a large number of people with disabilities in Nigeria, little support is provided. These individuals are often excluded from social, economic and political affairs in society. The most common avenue of social aid for people with disabilities is usually through families, non-governmental organisations and religious communities. Although charities and families take on the responsibility for the social support of people with IDD, these support systems are limited or non-existent due to the stigma attached to disability within the society. Individuals with IDD are often seen as a disgrace to their families by neighbours and relatives. As a result people with disabilities are subject to neglect and isolation. In extreme cases, these individuals are abandoned to become homeless, living on the streets and begging or family members keep them indoors away from public view.

Improving the Quality of Life of Disabled People.

Although a few non-governmental organisations are working to support disabled people, there need to be more programmes that raise awareness about the causes and symptoms of neurological and physical disabilities in order to improve the care and attitudes of people towards the disabled in Nigeria and Africa. As such, the International School of Disability Studies was established as the first specialised centre in Nigeria for IDD research, teaching and learning. We deliver quality education and training to anyone (students, academics, researchers, families of people with disabilities, carers, health workers and service providers) interested in disabilities, including but not limited to IDD. We aim to improve care standards and public attitudes towards disabled people, reducing stigma and enhancing their quality of life. You are welcome to study or partner with ISDS.

Our Team

The ISDS team consists of the Management Team, Faculty Consultants, Research Assistants and the Research Advisory Group. Together, we deliver training, research and consultancy to students, carers, healthcare professionals, social workers and organisations to improve the quality of life and quality of care for people with disabilities.

Dr Precious Nonye Sango

School Director
BSc, MA, PhD, PGCHE, Senior Fellow (HEA), ADOS-2 & ADI-R Certified.

Mrs Liatu Omoyiola

Finance and HR
BSc, MSc.

Prof Rachel Forrester-Jones

Faculty Consultant
Professor of Social Policy.

Mr Roy Deveau

Faculty Consultant
Care Management Professional.

Dr Chidiebere Uwadoka MD

Faculty Consultant
Consultant Psychiatrist.

Dr Eziafakaku Nwokolo

Faculty Consultant
Board Certified Behaviour Analyst.
BCBA, ADOS-2 & ADI-R Certified, MSc, PhD

Dr Esther Oyefeso

Faculty Consultant
Lecturer in Disability Studies.
BEd, MEd, PhD

Ms Julia Biermann

Faculty Consultant
Lecturer in Disability Studies.
Dipl.-Soz., Dipl.-Päd.