, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 24 – People with disabilities (PWD’s) around the world continue to face appalling levels of stigma, discrimination and abuse and all too often miss out on the opportunities that are the right of every person.
Students living with disability say they are facing challenges in their learning institutions as they lack facilities that are tailor made to meet their needs.
Alice Wairimu, a form three student living with dwarfism explains some of the challenges she goes through in school.
“My biggest challenge includes reaching my desk, carrying my bucket, I cannot engage in cross country games for fear of being stumped on by my classmates,” Wairimu noted.
“The infrastructure is also not tailor made for PWD’s as I have to climb stairs to reach the lecture hall.”
“Also my classmates find difficulties in relating to my condition, of which it can be done through creating awareness.”
The persons with disability hardly access any specialized services in urban and rural areas instead depending on third parties for support.
Those born with disability often find it difficult to use the available services such as transport because the systems have not been made to suit their needs often facing discrimination.
Speaking at the pre summit for the Global Disability Summit at the Kenya Curriculum Development Summit (KCID) Social Protection Permanent Secretary Susan Mochache said they will work towards improving awareness both to the public and legislatures so as to come up with tailor made policies for PWD’s.
“We are working on the various gaps that are hindering full implementation of the right of persons living with disability,” the PS stated.
Nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura alluded to the fact that there lacks resources to make adaptations to schools to have accessible environment for learners with disability among other services.
“Far too long people with disabilities have been excluded from conversation on policies and actions that affect them and in broader national dialogue,” Mwaura Stated.
“More can be done, the level of ambition can be raised, disability must receive the prominence it deserves in the presidents Big Four Agenda and that every Kenyan, whether disabled or able bodied is able to reach full potential.”
PS Mochache stated that the Global Disability summit to be held in London on July 24 will provide a turning point to address the challenges, bring together leaders from the private sector, government, donors agencies and charities.
“To galvanize momentum and commitment tom the highest levels to deliver real and lasting change for the people with disabilities.”
Meanwhile, PWD’s made a number of progressive recommendations which include; the need for authentic and accurate disaggregated data and statistics, disability responsive budgeting and representation in county assemblies.
On data collection, people with disabilities cited the need to find a way of using administrative records from different institutions as a source of data.
“If data for the people with disabilities is not collected, formulation of policies for them is hampered, they said.
The survey conducted in 2009 showed that Kenya has 1.7 million persons living with disabilities.