Development planners continue to use mainstreaming as a way to include marginalized groups in the international development agenda. However, grassroots programs are gaining increasing attention as they are proving to be more effective than top-down measures. Furthermore, participatory programs allow individuals and communities to actively participate in their own development. This paper analyzes how one particular community of people with disabilities in Uganda are actively playing a role in their own development, both through participatory programs and collective efforts. This paper chronicles the implementation of participatory forms of development by people with disabilities (PWDs) in the Iganga district of Uganda. The paper could potentially lay the foundations for further research on the ability of local actors to create social change, or “development,” through their own actions. Participatory programs/models like these could be included in the international development agenda to allow people to become active in their own development.
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