How Covid crises became a Siamese to a Miraa vehicle Author Mugambi Paul

 

The views expressed here are for the author and do not represent any agency or organization.

 Mugambi Paul is a public policy,  diversity,  inclusion and sustainability expert.

Australian Chief Minister Award winner

“excellence of making inclusion happen”

 

The COVID-19 crisis has been a challenging time, however, there have been surprising positives. With more employees working from home, companies have been able to tap into diversity in new ways.

Through the pandemic, we’ve seen new attitudes being created towards flexible working. This is an opportunity for businesses to diversify their workforces and will open up jobs for those who aren’t able to adhere to the nine-to-five, or who can’t commute to a major city each day.

With businesses embracing flexibility, one of the changes we can expect is to see more women, in jobs that would previously have required them to be in the office and working traditional hours. For a long time, many women returning to work after maternity leave have been forced to reduce their hours or change roles to balance their new caretaking duties with work – a decision that often impacts career progression. Increased remote working and improved flexibility will see more roles offering these ways of working, in turn, giving mothers more optionality when it comes to managing careers and their families.

Alongside the acceptance of remote working and perhaps a core part of it, is the movement towards managing staff by outcome rather than by input. It’s no longer about working a set number of hours, at a set time – but about what you produce and the outcome you generate. Managing by outcome will also benefit working parents as they will be able to fit their workload around their family commitments – school pick-ups and drops offs. Parents can make use of early mornings or evenings, and capitalise on the saved commute time.

The coronavirus pandemic has also prompted organisations to implement new measures to better support parents. At Skills and Thrills, we’ve introduced bespoke care programs that many corporates have been taking advantage of to keep kids busy and ensure parents can focus on their work. The programs are live-streamed with tutors who run each workshop and interact with the kids at home, and activities are all skills-based and engaging.

This new attitude toward flexibility post-COVID-19 will also increase accessibility for other groups, including those who live in regional rural areas and people with a disability.

Rural and Regional areas are known for a strong sense of community and lower cost of living, however, there are a range of barriers to securing higher-paying stable employment for rural workers, who live outside major cities and towns These include long commutes, lack of jobs in their area of interest and less high paying professional jobs. Remote working effectively increases higher-paying employment opportunities for people living in rural areas. Corporates who historically only employ staff near their city hub, will expand their recruitment searches to include more remote areas.

The post coronavirus workplace also has benefits for people with a disability, who often face challenges in the workplace. The most obvious advantage is the increased acceptance of remote work. Travelling to work can be a stressful process, for those with both physical and mental disabilities. Working from home means the environment is already designed with the needs of the individual, maximising productivity and job satisfaction. This is an empowering experience, as employees are recognised for their skills rather than their disability.

With workplaces increasingly becoming more flexible, the focus is increasingly on skills and the ability to deliver results. As we enter the new normal, let’s hope businesses continue to shift in this direction, opening the door to a wider pool of talent, and creating a future workforce that supports greater diversity.

Why Blind schools should not be in a hurry to reopen Author Mugambi Paul

 

Being blind myself, Covid 2019 has paused barriers.

The barrier        s range from mobility, lack of implementation of the famo         us new norm social distancing and the fear which Corona has create        d.                    

I believe having experienced this,

It is prudent for learners who are blind and low vision are guaranteed

 reasonable accommodation as government plans to reopen.

Will the ministry of education ensure Blind and personally sighted access education?  With the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) accessibility which has become a human rights principle, be adpopted? This is a specific norm that obliges States Parties to take pertinent measures to ensure access to persons with disabilities, on equal terms with others, to the physical environment, transport, information and communications, including information and communication systems and technologies, and other services and facilities open to the public or for public use, both in urban and rural. Areas so that persons with disabilities can live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life.

With the advent of Covid,  a blind and partially sighted learner cannot be grouped with the same requirements of other Special Schools or alternatively with ordinary schools such as the issues of social distancing since touch is a major feature for blind and partially sighted learners. The students are also required to move around the school premises and hostels and are assisted by other learners and staff at these schools.

 LOW VISION PEOPLE AND THE RISK OF CORONAVIRUS.                           Most probably this may not have come to your mind, whether you live with low vision or not. In view of the manner in which Coronavirus is transmitted, it behooves all people living with low vision to be extra cautious during these pivotal moments. When reading, as low vision people, they are forced by the said circumstance to draw the material being read very close to their eyes, thus increasing the risk of inhaling the droplets containing the virus, which may have been left there by an infected individual. When interacting with our phones, tablets, iPads, and any other electronic device, please let’s ensure we sanitize them before use, especially if they may have landed in the hands of individuals who you may not be sure of their health status. You don’t have to buy a sanitizer, but you can get a surgical spirit and apply on your device before use. Surgical spirit is alcohol based thus making it most appropriate alternative for sanitization. Since we cannot sanitize newspapers and other reading materials on paper, we can get someone to read for us or use magnifier if possible.

 

 

 

 

The students also use their fingers for reading braille and using braille writing machines or to feel an object. Therefore, there is a greater need to sanitise equipment and surfaces more regularly.

 

Another major concern is the poor infrastructure at these schools especially with inadequate facilities at the hostel.  The students will not be able to practice social distancing since the hostels are full and, in many instances, there is overcrowding in the hostels. Mealtimes will also pose challenges with students assembling in the dining room for their meals.

The triple tragedy after poverty and disability welcome Covid! Author Mugambi Paul

 

The views expressed here are for the author and do not represent any agency or organization.

 Mugambi Paul is a public policy, diversity, inclusion and sustainability expert.

Australian Chief Minister Award winner

“excellence of making inclusion happen”

 

 

 

In low- and middle-income countries, 1 in every 5 people has a disability. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, households with disabilities spent a third more on healthcare than other households. During the COVID-19 crisis and subsequent strain on existing systems, people with disabilities living in poverty are among the most vulnerable to widened health and economic inequalities that risk deepening already disproportionate poverty.

In other words, While COVIDー19 has impacted us all, it has not impacted us equally. 71 million people, 1 in 5 of whom have disabilities, are set to be pushed back into extreme poverty.

People with disabilities are at immediate increased risk of acquiring infection due to barriers to accessing health information, difficulty maintaining social distance for those who require support for everyday activities or who live in institutions, and the high cost of hygiene products for those experiencing extreme poverty.

 

More broadly, people with disabilities experience disproportionate barriers to secure livelihoods and are more vulnerable to economic shocks. Users of assistive devices or medical services are at risk of having their needs deprioritised due to health system strain. And women with disabilities around the world are beginning to report heightened vulnerability to violence and difficulty meeting basic needs. As a public policy diversity and inclusion expert I believe We have a real opportunity to engage people with disabilities and place them at the center of our response and rebuilding efforts. Through listening to people with disabilities, and considering their specific needs and identified priorities, we can ensure the potential impacts of a global pandemic are reduced and lives are saved. “I look forward to the day when policy commitments will be reflected in the budget making processes and implementation.

The views expressed here are for the author and do not represent any agency or organization.
Mugambi Paul is a public policy, diversity, inclusion and sustainability expert.
Australian Chief Minister Award winner
“excellence of making inclusion happen”

In low- and middle-income countries, 1 in every 5 people has a disability. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, households with disabilities spent a third more on healthcare than other households. During the COVID-19 crisis and subsequent strain on existing systems, people with disabilities living in poverty are among the most vulnerable to widened health and economic inequalities that risk deepening already disproportionate poverty.
In other words, While COVIDー19 has impacted us all, it has not impacted us equally. 71 million people, 1 in 5 of whom have disabilities, are set to be pushed back into extreme poverty.
People with disabilities are at immediate increased risk of acquiring infection due to barriers to accessing health information, difficulty maintaining social distance for those who require support for everyday activities or who live in institutions, and the high cost of hygiene products for those experiencing extreme poverty.

More broadly, people with disabilities experience disproportionate barriers to secure livelihoods and are more vulnerable to economic shocks. Users of assistive devices or medical services are at risk of having their needs deprioritised due to health system strain. And women with disabilities around the world are beginning to report heightened vulnerability to violence and difficulty meeting basic needs. As a public policy diversity and inclusion expert I believe We have a real opportunity to engage people with disabilities and place them at the center of our response and rebuilding efforts. Through listening to people with disabilities, and considering their specific needs and identified priorities, we can ensure the potential impacts of a global pandemic are reduced and lives are saved. “I look forward to the day when policy commitments will be reflected in the budget making processes and implementation.

Things they don’t tell you about being a disability activist GUEST AUTHOR CARLY FINDLAY

 

It’s Disability Pride month right now. To be honest, I’m not feeling it – I am feeling hurt and exhausted. I (and many others) have been the target of bullying within the disability community/sector for some time now.

For the most part, the bullying towards me has been covert, but in recent months – since I received a certain award – it’s amped up – naming me, sharing my photo, and responding nastily to things I’ve written. It’s all public. 

The bullying has had an impact on my work – I’ve experienced fear to write and speak; and also on my mental health – I’ve had panic attacks.

Speaking up has cost me greatly – people disbelieving me, telling me I’m paranoid,reporting my actions back to the bullies. If you support this bullying, we are not friends.

I’m not running any hate campaign. I am simply sharing my experience since 2017, to make it public and share the burden. And I am asking for it to stop. 

I hope to write something more prideful soon.
💔
Things they don’t tell you about being a disability activist:

Lateral violence occurs and it has have a big impact on your experience of disability and your work in disability activism.

That is, some of the most hateful behaviour you’ll encounter is from other disabled people.

There will be gatekeepers and policing about how you can be disabled and do disability activism.

It’s not safe to have individual success or talk about it – you must only have collective success.

You are made to choose between activism and mainstream work.

You can’t possibly have fun and enjoy life – certainly must not make it public that you enjoy life – you must be angry all the time.

Someone will be waiting for you to trip up.

There will be jealousy. Of course they’ll deny it is jealousy, putting it back on to you by saying you’re conceited.

Disability activism is too white.

Some of the bullies hold a lot of internalised ableism. They aren’t happy with themselves, and have to lash out at someone who is. that and they’re terrible people.

You shouldn’t work for free, but you’ll also be torn down if you earn money working in disability advocacy.

You cannot openly show disability pride.

Some people aren’t professional or mature, and will manipulate and twist the truth to suit them.

You are not encouraged to thrive as an activist – you must stay down.

You should not be interested in fashion or taking pride in your appearance.

Bad behaviour is often blamed on disability.

People will use you for your connections.

You’ll either be too inspiring or not inspiring enough – when you just want to be you.

Awards will be deemed as worthless – pitiful platitudes at best, devaluing the whole disability community at worst.

You’ll be accused of not being disabled enough.

Nothing you do will be enough – enough or good enough. They’ll want more.

You will be accused of taking up too much space – even when passing on the mic.

You will also be accused of not speaking out enough. You won’t be able confirm to their ridiculous expectations ever.

You will be relieved that it’s happening so publicly – because others are seeing it too. Phew! (But you’ll be gaslit and disbelieved so much.)

You will tell people quietly about harmful disabled people and you’ll be disbelieved or because “they do good work” or “that bad behaviour is part of their disability”.

Things I know about being a disability activist:

There are plenty of ways to do activism – there’s room for everyone.

Disabled people that you haven’t met will write to you to tell you that your words and work made them braver and prouder.

Parents of disabled children will tell you that you helped them shake their shame.

Doctors will put you in touch with families of newborns with the same medical condition as you, or you’ll meet them in Facebook groups and you’ll be able to share advice and see their little ones grow and thrive.

You will meet amazing people who are fighting for rights and making positive change.

You will do work that makes your heart full (and heart break) – not only benefiting you but many, many people.

You will take comfort in sharing the same social barriers as other disabled people, even though your diagnoses are not the same.

Change is slow, but it’s noticeable.

It’s better working together.

You will grow and learn and change your mind and make mistakes – that’s allowed.

And there will be far, far more wonderful disabled people who don’t behave in the ways you’ve written about above.

 

 

Which innocuous route is for Kenya? Right, Left or living us behind? Author Mugambi Paul

The views expressed here are for the author and do not represent any agency or organization.

 Mugambi Paul is a public policy,  diversity,  inclusion and sustainability expert.

Australian Chief Minister Award winner

“excellence of making inclusion happen”

 

Since the first case of Covid-2019 in 13th March Kenya has recorded the highest number of recorded cases of Covid-19 in July 2020 among its counterparts in East Africa.

I observe, the numbers will continue to rise.

This is mainly increased due to intra-county movement of people, lack of disability inclusive measures,

poor hygiene and lack of adherence to WHO and government measures.

 

At present, the impact and spread of infections are feared to be exacerbated by the huge number of people living in poverty, lack of social amenities like water supply casing point my own home area where we buy this basic commodity, overcrowding in the slum settlements and weak

health infrastructure.

This has led to poor and access or clean water, sanitation and hygiene to the population.

Moreover, the existence of economic and social inequalities still bite.

What has government done:

dusk-to-dawn curfews.

Establishment of a national response team,

 Limiting access to public places e.g. entertainment joints, schools,

Media campaigns on basic hygiene and social distancing

Introduction of short-term measure on social protection to the vulnerable groups. For instance, Kazi kwa mitaa initiative for six and half month’s cash transfer for 3 months

 

Nevertheless, all these measures are not inclusive.

This is a clear indicator of Persons with disabilities have been left behind.

On the other hand, these precautionary actions continue to have negative economic impacts on businesses and workers. The country has witnessed job cuts across various sectors, and incomes of businesses and available working hours for staff have fallen significantly. As [ILO 2020, HI 2020 UN 2020] 2020 persons with disabilities are worst hit by this pandemic.

Just like other countries in the world the economic consequences of the pandemic are likely to have a far greater impact on the long-term health, wellbeing and poverty levels of the Kenyan population as a whole than the predicted fatalities caused directly by the disease. Sectors worst hit by the virus include the labor force, housing, transport, health, trade and tourism. The supply and demand for goods and services in these sectors have been significantly hampered. Furthermore, the restriction of movement in and out the country has dwindled the revenues from the tourism and aviation sectors, while delays at borders due to testing of truck drivers have resulted in losses of profits to business owners.

additionally, Kenya is facing a three-layered crisis – the coronavirus pandemic, locust infestation and floods. Since the end of December 2019, the country has been facing its worst locust infestation in 70 years,

Unfortunately, Kenya is food insecure.

It imports food from its neighboring countries.

This has directed to Changes in food-purchasing habits by many Kenyans.

. This is particularly the case for households living below the poverty line, who have resorted to purchasing only essential foodstuffs during the pandemic.

A survey conducted by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) in May 2020 indicates that the labor participation rate in the country has fallen significantly as a result of the pandemic.

This is evidenced by Due to curfews and limited movement of people, many roles have become redundant, resulting in job losses or unpaid leave. People living in poverty are finding it difficult to meet their daily expenses and pay bills, including rent, as a result of job losses, pay cuts or unpaid leave. Public transport measures introduced by government of Kenya have rendered persons with disabilities not to move

This is due to reduction of number of passengers in a vehicle and the increase charged by operators

Kenyans, particularly those relying on casual work, persons with disabilities find it difficult to pay rent. Workers who already live in poverty and cannot afford to have precautionary savings consequently face a high risk of falling into poverty and might experience even greater challenges in regaining their livelihoods after the pandemic.

The pandemic has highlighted, more than ever, that neglecting certain sectors make people living in poverty more vulnerable. These are health, social protection, housing and sanitation and hygiene. There needs to be more scrutiny of budget plans, their execution, and performance of these sectors, all of which should support those living in poverty.

Re-opening the economy whilst also taking care of health concerns has been a balancing act for governments across the world, including Kenya. The country has a large population living below or just above the poverty line. It is this category of the population that are most affected by the impact of the pandemic. Reduced earnings from sluggish economic activities and job losses as a result of confinement measures by the government have to be balanced against consideration of the daily needs of those living in poverty, as well as now-looming food insecurity across the country.

Furthermore, the Covid-2019 has seen rise of mental health issues and increase of suicide case in the country.

Many cases have been reported and seems the health and community structures aren’t ready enough to support or accommodate.

While significant advances have been made in Kenya over the past 5 years to address the stigma associated with high prevalence mental disorders

such as depression and anxiety, people living with complex mental illness such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder still report experiencing high levels

of stigma and discrimination.

What can policy makers and stakeholders endorse

  • Revision of budgetary allocations to more critical sectors such as health and social protection during the pandemic. Funds re-allocated to these sectors will support the already burdened health infrastructure in the country and increase the resources available for cash transfers to people living in poverty like persons with disabilities, slum dwellers a homeless, orphans elderly, and vulnerable populations.
  • Ensure representation of persons with disabilities in the national and county response teams.
  • Provide mental health community initiatives support systems
  • Develop disability specific protocols in order to ensure specific measures are in place.
  • Request national debt abolishment from the Chinese government and other lending institutions to cushion people living in poverty against the tax regimes currently being implemented by the government
  • Expansion of internet connectivity and lower costs for users.The private sector needs to priorities investment in connectivity because of the ‘new normal’ of working and learning from home.
  • Cheaper internet bundles are needed to support government measures such as working from home and online learning for students.
  • Provide and connect water and power supply to the unreached places
  • Provision of wage subsidies,particularly to those employers hiring casual laborer’s and daily income earners to support sustainability of employment.

Sustaining local industries (micro, small and medium businesses) that provide jobs to people living in poverty should be prioritized in the short and medium term. This could be through access to cheap loans, waiver of license fees water and power taxes. The government should priorities tender awards to local industries that are able to produce or provide input for the production of protective equipment such as masks and hand sanitizers, and a bailout fund should be launched to keep these industries afloat.

All in all, Throughout Africa, the pandemic is continuing to have an impact and Kenya, like most African countries, faces serious resource constraints, fragile health systems and lack of a clear inclusive strategy to fight the virus. To ensure socioeconomic recovery within a reasonable period, the government should put in place inclusive plans and resources that do not continue to weigh disproportionally on people living in poverty.

The pandemic has highlighted, more than ever, that neglecting certain sectors make people living in poverty of particular persons with disabilities more vulnerable. These are health, social protection, housing and sanitation and hygiene. There needs to be more scrutiny of budget plans, their execution, and performance of these sectors, all of which should support those living in poverty.

 

 

Which way “Euphemism or the disability sensitive language” Author Mugambi Paul

 

The views expressed here are for the author and do not represent any agency or organization.

 Mugambi Paul is a public policy, diversity, inclusion and sustainability expert.

Australian Chief Minister Award winner

“excellence of making inclusion happen”

 

 

 

 

We know that discrimination has a big impact (negatively) on mental health – and there is a lot of discrimination that people with disabilities face and it’s so engrained in our African culture.

discrimination constitutes any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference or other differential treatment that is directly or indirectly based on the prohibited grounds of discrimination and which has the intention or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of Covenant rights…

Direct discrimination occurs when an individual is treated less favorably than another person in a similar situation for a reason related to a prohibited ground (…) Direct discrimination also includes detrimental acts or omissions on the basis of prohibited grounds where there is no comparable similar situation

 the Due to discrimination and society generally making life hard unless you fit a certain mould – people with disabilities face low self-esteem and confidence, and can find it difficult to maintain employment and a healthy social life.

The impacts of disability can also extend to a person’s family and friends. On the positive side, it can bring a family closer together, but on the negative side, it can place heavy emotional demands on a family and affect their physical and mental health. One of the most crucial things to remember is that whether it be your own, or someone else’s, a person’s disability does not define them and should not stop them from achieving their goals in life

 

 

Words have power, and everyday language influences the way people think and feel about the things that are being talked about. It’s for this reason that it is so important to get language correct when discussing topics involving the disability community.

There are many words and phrases that most people know not to say. Whether using the terms seriously or in a joking manner, the words “challenged” and “handicapped” are just a few of the words that a lot of people realize are patronizing and downright offensive.

However, the phrase differently abled has come into fashion over the last few years as a substitute for the word disabled, which many people avoid because it still has negative connotations attached to it. When talking to or about someone who has a disability, many people use the phrase differently abled because it seems like a harmless term that focuses on what a person can do instead of a person’s disability, and most people who use this term mean well. But just like the more obviously offensive terms like handicapped or challenged, many people find it offensive to be called differently abled.

Why Differently Abled Is Offensive:

The term differently abled is well meaning, and it is not surprising that so many people think it would be preferable to put the attention on the ability rather than the disability. However, it is for this reason that so many people find the term differently abled to be offensive. Pretending that a health condition is just a set of interesting abilities and ignoring the disabling condition isn’t something that many people living with developmental, mental, mobility, seeing, hearing concentration difficulties or other health conditions are able to do; this is why the term comes across as patronizing. Calling someone differently abled wouldn’t be demeaning if the person actually had a set of abilities different from the average human body, such as superhuman strength or the ability to read minds. But there is no normal human body. Everyone is different. And people with disabilities aren’t the only ones who are differently abled. Some people have brown eyes, some have blue eyes and others have hazel eyes. Some people need crutches to walk, some need assistive technology to work, some need a wheelchair and others can walk unaided. No one is the same, and everyone is differently abled.

But when you have a mobility, seeing, concentration, speaking and hearing difficulties   developmental or other impairments condition, it means your body is interfering with many or all daily activities. For most people, these aren’t unusual abilities. They aren’t abilities at all. They are health conditions that are disabling.
Many people with disabilities face higher unemployment rates than able-bodied people due to discrimination and a lack of accommodations. So, referring to a disability as a different ability ignores the struggles that people with disabilities go through on a daily basis, and it is understandably infuriating when someone says, “You’re not disabled. You just have a different ability!” or “The only disability is a bad attitude!” or “See the ability!”

Since the words different ability and differently abled sound like encouraging words, they do seem like the terms that you should use to avoid offense. But focusing on the supposed positive side of things and avoiding the disability only continues to make being disabled a negative thing and something to be ashamed of. The denial of reasonable accommodation should be included in national legislation as a prohibited form of discrimination on the basis of disability. States parties should address discrimination, such as (…) denial of reasonable accommodation in public places such as public health facilities and the workplace, as well as in private places, e.g. as long as spaces are designed and built in ways that make them inaccessible to all.

The CRPD states in Article 5(3) that “[i]n order to promote equality and eliminate discrimination, States Parties shall take all appropriate steps to ensure that reasonable accommodation is provided.” The CRPD defines “reasonable accommodation” in Article 2 as:

[N]necessary and appropriate modification and adjustments not imposing a disproportionate or undue burden, where needed in a particular case, to ensure to persons with disabilities the enjoyment or exercise on an equal basis with others of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

 

Additionally, being from an indigenous community in Kenya some of these disability terminologies do not exist in my culture.

But the words disabled and disability aren’t slurs. They are identifiers, and continuing to tiptoe around these words makes it sound like they are bad. There is nothing wrong with having a disability, having one doesn’t make a person less than someone who isn’t affected by a disability and using the words disabled and disability shows people that there is nothing wrong with being disabled.

If the word disabled continues to be treated like a bad word and being disabled continues to be treated like a disgraceful thing that needs to be overcome, then people with disabilities will never be treated equally. The media and film industry in Africa have for long propagated these ableist attitudes thus denial of real inclusion.

 

“Seeing the ability” and “seeing the different ability” will never lead to equality. What people with disabilities need is for society to acknowledge that being disabled is okay so that accommodations can be made, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities can drop and people with disabilities can have equality?

It’s the Person’s Choice
Many want to encourage people who are dealing with a disability to not define themselves by their disability, and the phrase differently abled seems like a good way to encourage that; however, the word disabled is an identifier, and just because someone uses that to describe their health condition doesn’t mean they are defining themselves by it. They’re just describing it.

However, it’s the person who has the disability who gets to decide how they want to be labelled. If they want to define themselves by their disability, then that’s their choice. Some people who have seeing, mobility, hearing, concentration, communication difficulties developmental or other health conditions like to use the label differently abled because they find that it accurately describes what they’re going through. If someone wants to call themselves a person with a disability, disabled or differently abled, that’s their prerogative.

 

How Government can sponsor discrimination with out lifting a finger: A case of Kenyans who preach water and drink wine Author Mugambi Paul

A social media post by #Fredrick Ouko

Caught my attention.

This led me to further scrutinize the views of Kenyans and how they perceive persons with disabilities in the social media.

 

Kenya we have a  long way to go to achieve real inclusion.

.

#jane says “Waow!! Very sad!! Inclusive employment is a myth! “

 

I hope the organization of persons with disabilities and policy makers can monitor and make pronouncement on this so that youth with disabilities can be counted.

 

Let’s return to #fred and I shall quote:

Can someone explain to me like a 2-year boy, how can a state-sponsored project on youth employment exclusively set out to discriminate against youth with disabilities and no other than PS Kibicho sets out the terms :#KaziMtaani initiative launched yesterday across 47 counties, you MUST be “Abled-Bodied” and aged between 18-35 years to benefit” ow

And now the views of Kenyans which made me in Swahili saying “niliishiwa na nguvu”

 

Kenyans are saying this.

1It’s manual work sir nothing discriminatory it’s just realistic

 

  1. Inua Jamii Initiative is meant for vulnerable and PLWD Who are not able to do manual works.

3Remember kazi mtaani is purely manual work so PLWD may not be able to undertake the task ahead4. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Kibicho’s statement…. it’s you who has stated it negatively and not him.

 

  1. It’s manual work sir nothing discriminatory it’s just realistic

 

5Stop being unnecessarily sensitive mheshimiwa..The government is quite specific on the type of employees it requires for the job. Just the same way it can put a master’s degree requirement etc. There’s a reason why able-bodied is specified.

6 Kazi mtaani needs energy and body movements

7 Anybody who can carry jembe, spades and shovels is able bodied. With all due respect nothing makes anybody who is abled differently from doing a job he/she can ably do. You are the one discriminating the same people you represent

  1. Anyone who can work is able bodied. Why are you feeling like the stt attacks people like you? Kwani hauko able bodied?

9 Abled bodied doesn’t mean discrimination against people living with disabilities, it mean you must be strong not weak to undertake the said activities. You may not be living with disabilities but you are weak hence unable to perform the tusk.

10 Si the disabled and the aged wanapewa pesa zao ?

11 Able bodied includes the albinos and others that have ability to work. Nothing is discriminatory in that statement. You must be having an understanding

12 A person who is lame, or has a disability is still able bodied but abled differently. We nowadays don’t call such disability!!! You should know that already.

13 Remember kazi mtaani is purely manual work so PLWD may not be able to undertake the task ahead

14 The term cannot be avoided since some of the workers can only be executed by able bodies eg security guards. Wait for your time unless you’re seeking publicity.

 

15 Your understanding of queen’s language is disabled.

16 It’s manual work sir nothing discriminatory it’s just realistic

17 This is the reason PWDs need advocacy. Able bodied is a prejudistic term in this case

18 I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Kibicho’s statement…. it’s you who has stated it negatively and not him.

19 He’s right, no descrimanatory..he said “able-bodied”…so if albinism and hear impaired are abled bodied,then he’s captured n the statement

20 Not all jobs you must be included…. Some slots are just for able bodied 🤣🤣🤣

21 I think you dont understand the word able-bodied…

22 Have you ever seen an albino who is a bouncer

23 Stop being unnecessarily sensitive mheshimiwa..The government is quite specific on the type of employees it requires for the job. Just the same way it can put a masters degree requirement etc.. There’s a reason why able-bodied is specified.

24 Very discrimatory even writting needs able body.

25 Si the disabled and the aged wanapewa pesa zao ?

 

 

 

 

Anyway what should the message be to all Kenyans:

With due respect all,  your words “Must be able-bodied” are discriminatory and are in total contravention to our constitution article 54, persons with disabilities act of Parliament of 2003 session paper number 14 and UNCRPD (united Nation convention on the rights of persons with disabilities) which Kenya ratified in 2008.

All in all, as I  normally say if we aren’t in the cake making we can’t be counted. when shall ablism tendency end?

 

The silent Killer in Kenya Guest writer Martin Mukenya.

Signs and symptoms of mental illness can

 vary, depending on the disorder, circumstances and other factors. Mental illness symptoms can affect emotions,

thoughts and behaviors.

Examples of signs and symptoms include:

Feeling sad or down

Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate

Excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt

Extreme mood changes of highs and lows

Withdrawal from friends and activities

Significant tiredness, low energy or problems sleeping

Detachment from reality (delusions), paranoia or hallucinations

Inability to cope with daily problems or stress

Trouble understanding and relating to situations and to people

Problems with alcohol or drug use

Major changes in eating habits

Sex drive changes

Excessive anger, hostility or violence

Suicidal thinking

Sometimes symptoms of a mental health disorder appear as physical problems, such as stomach pain, back pain, headaches, or other unexplained aches and

pains. Risk factors

Certain factors may increase your risk of developing a mental illness, including:

A history of mental illness in a blood relative, such as a parent or sibling

Stressful life situations, such as financial problems, a loved one’s death or a divorce

An ongoing (chronic) medical condition, such as diabetes

Brain damage as a result of a serious injury (traumatic brain injury), such as a violent blow to the head

Traumatic experiences, such as military combat or assault

Use of alcohol or recreational drugs

A childhood history of abuse or neglect

Few friends or few healthy relationships

A previous mental illness What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental health problem that mainly affects your mood. If you have bipolar disorder, you are likely to have times where you experience:

manic or hypomanic episodes (feeling high)

depressive episodes (feeling low)

potentially some psychotic symptoms during manic or depressed episode PARANOID PERSONALITY DISORDER

The thoughts, feelings and experiences associated with paranoia may cause you to:

find it hard to confide in people, even your friends and family

find it very difficult to trust other people, believing they will use you or take advantage of you

have difficulty relaxing

read threats and danger (which others don’t see) into everyday situations, innocent remarks or casual looks from others. We all seem to be victims of Mental

illness, and sadly most people are suffering in silence either unknown to them, maybe shared to someone but it never made sense or society perceptions

for fear of stigma.

The stigma of mental illness in Kenya and by extension in Africa has caused many people to suffer in silence. In Africa mental issues are attributed to

either witchcraft or spiritual problems.

Lack of understanding also contributes as sited in this article

https://www.mugambipaul.com/tag/mental-illness/

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle

stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Over the course of your life, if you experience mental health problems, you’re thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected. Many factors contribute to

mental health problems, including:

Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry

Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse

Family history of mental health problems

Mental illness can make it difficult for someone to cope with work, relationships and other demands. The relationship between stress and mental illness

is complex, but it is known that stress can worsen an episode of mental illness. Most people can manage their mental illness with medication, counselling

or both.

Recently, the government launched the Kenya Mental Health Policy 2015-2030. The Policy states that 1 in every 4 Kenyans suffers from mental ill health

in their lifetime. That translates to 12 m Kenyans who will need medical attention.

Kenya has 88 consultant psychiatrists and about 500 psychiatric nurses serving a population of over 45 million people.

Our big obligation is to ensure that the right patients get the right care and treatment, at the right time, and in the right setting.

http://publications.universalhealth2030.org/uploads/Kenya-Mental-Health-Policy.pdf

 I know many can’t gather courage to discuss stress, depression, emotional health, mental health issues but please during this corona virus moment because

of the negative economic effects keep your yourself, family friends and members of this platform on check.

Mind is communication.

 

All in all, Kenyans are suffering silently. It’s a ticking set bomb. Many have committed suicide while men and women with disabilities have often an increase of mental health concerns.

 

 

 

The views expressed here are for the author and do not represent any agency or organization.

 

Martin Mukenya is a social change maker,

Entrepreneur. Mentor and one of the young leading strategic thinkers.

Why 2020 decided to put its foot in our behinds. Author Mugambi Paul

According to the world blind union, it is estimated 285 million people are Blind and vision impaired. worldwide with about 90% of them living in low-income countries.  Of all the school-age children with visual impairment, less than half were receiving education. 

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that has now enveloped the whole world, most governments took drastic measures of shutting down institutions of learning.

I affirm as a Blind fellow in the low-income country it is worse to be Blind at this Corona period.

This is because of the educational inequalities ranging from attitudinal, institutional and existence of the environmental barriers.

To put matters differently Blind and vision impaired persons are experiencing quadruple worries:

Lack of inclusive education Corona policies

Lack of skills and lack of   assistive technology,

lack of devices needed for reading and writing

Lack of available of even traditional modes of technology while at home e.g. Brail books, adaptive graphics.

Psycosocial distress.

Inaccessible built environments

Increase of discrimination

Additionally, all these issues have rendered individuals with blindness to suffer. Evidently in most countries they have provided alternative learning through the 4th revolution uptake of digital learning but not having the blind and vision impaired in mind.

Am very sad to say the list since the approaches and techniques adapted by most ministry of education has ensured Blind, visually impaired and Deafblind have been left behind.

Notably, over 80% of all incidental learning and the performance of activities of daily living are dependent on sight.  

The SDG slogan “don’t live us behind”” is unwanted ringtone to many blind and vision impaired.

The barriers experienced by many blind and vision impaired persons range from usage of non-visual chats, inaccessible contents, non-inclusive plans,

Lack of affordability of the radios and television among blind and vision impaired persons since poverty and disability are twin brothers.

Inaccessible modes of learning and channels of media.

Someone should educate me how braille will be examined virtually!

Someone should tell me how the adapted sciences will be examined virtually.

To be a student in the corona era seems to be a torture chamber by itself.

Its not that blind and vision impaired were not facing these challenges before but Covid 2019 has excarnificated the experiences.

Another instance is the experiences of girls and women who are blind and vision impaired are at higher risk of gender-based violence and it’s on record with the self-isolation guidelines many will be taken advantage.

I won’t be surprised to know the pregnancy rates have increased.

Human rights reports in several countries have shown how persons with disabilities are stuffing in the hands of close relatives and family members.

 

Lastly, the real, refugee set ups and internally displaced individuals who are blind and vision impaired are worse hit since they aren’t able to access the alternative mode of learning and support mechanisms are not in place.

The voice of the Blind and vision impaired seemed to have been stung led by the lack of alternative formats of Corona and then ensured to instigate the burial ceremony by many state and non-state actors.

Moreover, most governments do not have inclusive emergency plans in place thus persons with disabilities come as a second thought.

Is this fair for many students who are blind and vision impaired?

UnCRPD, many constitutions expressly advocate for right to education.

All in all, even under normal circumstances, persons who are blind and vision impaired are less likely to access health care, education, employment and to participate in the community. They are more likely to live in poverty, experience higher rates of violence, neglect and abuse, and are among the most marginalized in any crisis-affected community. COVID-19 has further compounded this situation, disproportionately impacting persons who are blind and vision impaired both directly and indirectly.

An integrated approach is required to ensure that persons with disabilities are not left behind in COVID-19 education response and recovery. It calls for placing them at the centre of the response, participating as agents of planning and implementation. All COVID-19 related action must prohibit any form of discrimination based on blindness and take into consideration the intersections of gender and age, among other factors. This is necessary effectively and efficiently to address and prevent barriers inclusion will result in a COVID19 response and recovery that better serves everyone, more fully suppressing the virus, as well as building back better. It will provide for more agile systems capable of responding to complex situations, reaching the furthest behind first.

 

governments need to put measures in place to ensure many blind and vision impaired persons do not fall in to the cracks.

I would like to see inclusive strategies adapted to ensure that no one is left behind.

 

The views expressed here are for the author and do not represent any agency or organization.

 Mugambi Paul is a public policy, diversity, inclusion and sustainability expert.

Australian Chief Minister Award winner

“excellence of making inclusion happen”

 

Corona the twin Brother of Indigenous disabled Kenyans author Mugabi Paul

The experiences of indigenous Kenyans with disabilities are a key area of concern since they haven’t been recognized or no one is aware about them. the Kenya bureau of statistics of 2019 doesn’t address or mention this group.

Hence no Data to show the    disproportionate impact and number of indigenous persons with disabilities. some form of long-term health condition.[i]

It’s a known fact that indigos disable Kenyans with disability may face particular challenges in their day to day lives, including accessing education and healthcare and shelter and livelihood. These challenges can be further compounded by 6multiple layers of discrimination, particularly in relation to tribe and disability

 In the Corona era they are most likely to be denied services as other marginalized groups get involved.

Their voices aren’t visible, some say they are backward lot but I affirm they are left behind not just by the structural and systemic influences but also the assertion of any development indicators.

 

 

The views expressed here are for the author and do not represent any agency or organization.

 Mugambi Paul is a public policy,  diversity,  inclusion and sustainability expert.

Australian Chief Minister Award winner

“excellence of making inclusion happen”

Award winner,

How to stop “Discrimination” in the Corona era! a call by Public policy scholars.

Addressing discrimination and inequality in the global response to COVID-19

In the short time since the start of this new decade, life has changed dramatically across the world. COVID-19 has now spread to more than 185 countries. The number of recorded cases has surpassed 3.5 million. Families and friends across the globe are mourning the loss of more than 240,000 people. With the stated intention of controlling the spread of the virus and protecting lives, States are implementing unprecedented restrictions on movement both within and between countries (“lockdowns”), with significant and wide-ranging impacts on societies and economies.  

As these measures have taken effect, it has become clear that, while the virus is indiscriminate, the impacts of state responses are not. In late April, launching a new report, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres stated that the pandemic is a public health emergency “that is fast becoming a human rights crisis”. As that UN report highlights, there is clear and growing evidence that state responses in delivery of healthcare, in the implementation of lockdown measures and in policies designed to mitigate economic impacts are having disproportionate and discriminatory impacts. These effects are being experienced by all groups exposed to discrimination, including, but not limited to, older persons, children, persons with disabilities, women, ethnic and religious minorities and indigenous peoples, persons, persons living with HIV and AIDS, and migrants, refugees and stateless persons. They are impacting upon the enjoyment of rights ranging from freedom of movement to access to education and from access to information to an adequate standard of living, together, of course, with the rights to life and to health. 

These discriminatory impacts are occurring despite the fact that almost every State in the world has accepted international legal obligations to ensure the equal enjoyment of human rights, without discrimination. At a bare minimum, these obligations require that the State – whether through law, policy or practice – does not discriminate in its actions. They also create a duty to provide effective protection from all forms of discrimination by private actors and to make reasonable accommodation when required. These obligations apply to all: citizen and non-citizen, irrespective of their identity, status or beliefs. They are “immediate and cross-cutting”. They apply in respect of all civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. Crucially, while international law recognises that in states of emergency, States can limit the enjoyment of certain human rights, their obligations to ensure nondiscrimination remain – emergency measures must not discriminate either in their purpose or their effects.

As this unprecedented global crisis unfolds, it is clear that States are failing to meet their nondiscrimination obligations. Their responses – largely driven by a stated intention to protect lives – are having a wide range of discriminatory impacts. While many of these effects may be unintended, the lack of intent does not limit States’ obligations. Moreover, with new evidence emerging each week, it is clear that we cannot yet foresee the full range of discriminatory impacts which this crisis will engender. 

State obligations to assess and address equality impacts

We call on all States to incorporate equality impact assessment as an integral element of their ongoing public health, economic and social policy responses to the crisis. It is only through assessing the equality impacts of their policy responses that States can ensure that their actions comply with their binding non-discrimination obligations under international law. Equality impact assessment is the only way that States can anticipate and eliminate the discriminatory effects of their policy responses, including those which are unintended or unforeseen.

Equality impact assessments must be aimed at identifying and eliminating the actual or potential discriminatory effects of State policies. They should also ensure that policies and programmes respond to and accommodate the different needs of diverse groups with due consideration to intersectionality and that they do not create or exacerbate inequality. 

In order to ensure that States comply with their international legal obligations, equality impact assessments should be pre-emptive, coming before new policy measures are adopted and before any changes are made to policies which are already in force. Where measures have already been adopted, equality impact assessment should be undertaken as an urgent priority. Where discriminatory impacts are identified, measures to eliminate any discrimination or inequality of impact should be taken with immediate effect. States must ensure that they involve and consult all groups at risk of discrimination and experiencing inequality in conducting equality impact assessment. States must ensure that equality impact assessment is an essential element of their monitoring and review of policy responses to the pandemic and of their on the ground effects. Both initial assessments and ongoing monitoring must be informed by the collection of data on the experiences and outcomes of groups exposed to discrimination

All policy responses to the crisis must be subject to assessment, including those relating to the management of healthcare and other resources, the restriction of civil liberties, closure of businesses and educational establishments, adaptation of support services, economic and social protection programmes, immigration and border control and the use of new information technologies. The actual or potential equality impacts of actions by both state and private actors must be assessed.  

A renewed commitment to the creation of an equal world

Furthermore, we call on all States to emerge from the current crisis with a renewed commitment to the elimination of all forms of discrimination and the creation of a world in which all are “free and equal in dignity and rights”. The wide range of unintended discriminatory consequences of state responses to the crisis – ranging from the increased exposure to the virus amongst ethnic minority populations to the rise in domestic violence – only serve to underline the deep inequalities within our societies and the failure to address the systemic discrimination which feeds them. 

This crisis has shone a harsh and unforgiving light on these existing inequalities. We must emerge from it ready to forge a world in which all can participate equally. Arundhati Roy has described this pandemic as a portal, “a gateway between one world and the next”. We call on States to ensure that we walk through this portal leaving no one behind, and with a shared determination to create an equal world.

Hope beyond COVID-19 Author Mugambi Paul

Africans with disabilities are largely left out of the African governments. coronavirus response despite being uniquely affected by the disease, as discussed by the international disability alliance, several disability experts and Views expressed in different social media platforms.

 

Palpably, The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many aspects of our daily lives, but its impacts are especially acute for disabled persons, who may

struggle with challenges like finding reliable and safe in-home care or physically adapting to enhanced hand-washing guidance.

But the coronavirus outbreak has also created opportunities for more equitable inclusion after the pandemic ends.

How might the pandemic disturb those who have disabilities?

For disabled persons, all the general challenges that come with the pandemic certainly apply, but there are additional barriers. The first is communication—getting

information can be more difficult for people with vision, hearing, and even cognitive disabilities, as popular news sources may not be accessible, especially

when information is changing quickly. I’m Blind and can attest to that. Keeping all of us informed is key to the COVID-19 public health response,

but information is not always accessible to the disability community, for instance data visual charts are not understood.

The second barrier involves adopting recommended public health strategies, such as social distancing and washing hands. For example, frequent hand-washing

is not always feasible for people with certain types of physical disabilities. As a public scholar I know the value of these strategies, but public health

policies often do not consider people with disabilities, leaving a gap in guidance. Those who have personal aides like sighted guides for Deaf blind and Blind individuals, and caregivers also need to be considered,

as they cannot participate in social distancing in the same way that others are.

The third, equitable access to health care, is a long-standing barrier worsened by COVID-19. This ranges from getting a coronavirus test to being seen

in an emergency room. For instance, drive-up testing may be impossible if you rely on state mobility services. There are also existing barriers in health

care settings that are exacerbated as the industry aims to meet the surge of COVID-19 cases. For example, the use of personal protective equipment, including

masks, can make communication more difficult for patients with hearing loss.

Additionally, the allocation of medical resources is a concern. There’s fear that medical resource allocation, including ventilators, may be discriminatory

against patients with disabilities. In Europe and united states of America some organization of persons with disabilities and human rights bodies have filed complains about these rationing policies. This issue echoes an underlying misconception

that people with disabilities can’t have a high quality of life and therefore the lives of disabled people may not be prioritized.

What lessons can African government learn from inclusion in Corona response for disabled persons?

in some countries, there has been a shift toward telehealth for nonurgent medical visits. That has provided challenges but also future

opportunities for the disability sector. We must ensure that telehealth visits are accessible to patients with vision or hearing loss or other disabilities

in order to maintain equity in health care delivery. If accessibility is prioritized as we make this change, a transition to telehealth could open the

door to a more accessible health care system.

Several studies have underpinned, THE ISSUES OF PRE-PANDEMIC CARE DELIVERY ONLY BECOME MORE URGENT IN A TIME OF CRISIS BECAUSE PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES HAVE OFTEN NOT BEEN CONSIDERED IN

A DISASTER OR PANDEMIC PLANNING.

While there’s a lot of pressure and certainly a high demand to meet the COVID-19 surge, it is still crucial to make sure that the organizations of persons with disabilities and disability experts

is being considered. It’s truly a remarkable and challenging moment for African health system, but the needs of the disability community can’t fall through

the cracks. The issues of pre-pandemic care delivery only become more urgent in a time of crisis because people with disabilities have often not been considered

in a disaster or pandemic planning. We need to learn from this crisis and ensure disability is part of future pandemic planning.

For those in the disability community who require in-home care or essential services when away from home, what steps can be taken to minimize the risk

of spreading the coronavirus while still receiving necessary care and assistance?

People who use in-home support care need to make sure that they have contingency plans for their care needs in case a caregiver becomes ill. Caregivers and community

organizations should also consider changing their staffing to the best of their ability in order to minimize spread. For instance, instead of three rotating

caregivers being assigned to an individual, assign one for a longer period of time. For people with a primary caregiver in the home, more flexibility in

paid time off or sick leave can minimize exposure while also meeting the care needs of the individual. What’s really important is to engage the individual

and the disability community at the policy level.

Furthermore, MANY disabled persons ARE AT HIGH RISK OF COVID-19, BUT THEIR PERSPECTIVE IS NOT BEING INCLUDED IN THE EFFORTS TO ADDRESS INEQUITIES IN THE RESPONSE.

For instance, most Kenyan policy directives are not disability inclusive.

 

In a moment when many providers have had to alter their operations due to the pandemic, what are ways to advocate for essential services and treatment

for the disability community?

The best approach is to ensure that whenever we’re talking about inequity or differences in the COVID-19 response, disability is part of the discussion.

Many people with disabilities are at high risk of COVID-19, but their perspective is not being included in the efforts to address inequities in the response.

This includes understanding the unique challenges of this community during this crisis.

We also need disability data. There is currently no systematic reporting of COVID-19 testing, infection, mortality, or outcomes by disability status.

This is evident by the daily media updates from different countries.

For example, in east Africa important differences in this data by age, geographic location, underlying health condition, estate location and race have emerged. These data have been

critical for allocating resources and directing policies, as well as highlighting underlying disparities and elevating discussions around these health

gaps. But for people with disabilities, an often-ignored health disparity population, we don’t even get counted. And this is not just the case for COVID-19.

Disability data is infrequently collected in this type of public health and medical surveillance, which limits opportunities to address disability inequities.

As a public policy scholar and expert on diversity and inclusion I affirm and recommend the data being reported should be 15 % or more are persons with disabilities “WHO 2011”

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, what impact and legacy do you think it will have for those living with disabilities?

I’m an optimistic person, and though it can be hard to think positively right now, there is an opportunity to change how we include people with disabilities

in this moment. COVID-19 has elevated that conversation, and the legacy should be a continued focus on disability disparities and constant efforts to address

disability inequities.

As we all make substantial changes in our daily lives, such as working from home and adjusting how we connect to others, look to people with disabilities

for guidance, as we have always used alternative strategies. We are the vanguards of resilience. My hope is that COVID-19 will bring more understanding,

inclusion, and opportunity to the African disability community.

 

The views expressed here are for the author and do not represent any agency or organization.

 Mugambi Paul is a public policy, diversity, inclusion and sustainability expert.

Australian Chief Minister Award winner

“excellence of making inclusion happen”