EXPERTS OPINION ON DISABILITY BBI The following Memorandum has been authored by experts based on best practises in the globe. We shall demonstrate how to advance the rights of persons with disabilities based on human rights model.

The following Memorandum has been authored by experts based on best practises in the globe.  We shall demonstrate how to advance the rights of persons with disabilities based on human rights model.

This Memorandum Its also informed by the lived experiences and collection of views from persons with disabilities.

We therefore seek to offer our technical expertise.

Paul Mugambi is a public policy diversity Inclusion and sustainability expert while

DR Siyat is an independent disability consultant.

 

To the Joint Secretaries,

 Ambassador Martin Kimani, Mr. Paul Mwangi,

National Steering Committee on Implementation of BBI Taskforce, 

12th Floor, Kenyatta International Conference Centre.                               

 

Dear Sirs, 

RE: RESPONSE TO THE PUBLIC participation in matters of public interest.

 

Background

We believe the BBI final report will reflect the views of persons with disabilities.

Through most of the affirmative solutions suggested Kenyans with disabilities will feel more included than the current situation where Kenyans with disabilities are yet to enjoy the fruits of being Kenyan.

We believe we are enriching the 9-point agendas.

 

 

           recommendations:

  1. The current National Council for Persons with Disabilities whose mandate is to implement on rights, privileges, and protection is limited and we request for the establishment of a robust national disability service commission “NDSC” with the following mandate:
    • Inquiries on disability discrimination and rights violation among persons with disabilities.
    • Regulate and offer policy direction on matters disabilities.
    • Monitor and evaluate disability services.
    • Fund Disability Service Organisations and organizations of disabled persons to deliver disability services and products.
    • Establish a National Disability Advocacy Program under the CS Social Protection/CS Disability portfolio and fund advocacy targeted disability advocacy service organisations that have proper operational governance in the advocacy and linkage programmed “ALP.
    • Formulate policies on national disability service standards and national advocacy standards that provides guide to disability service organisations and disability advocacy organisations to audit their KPIs.
  1. The Government printers should have a unit assigned to produce information in alternative formats electronic braille, hard braille, audio, sign language and easy to read format as envisaged in the UNCRPD and constitution.
  2. All government public forms and information available online to be accessible to people with any disability.
  • Provide text-to-speech functionality to read a site’s content aloud and encourage the use of Assistive technology (AT) products developed with the intention of meeting the needs of people with disabilities.
  • Put in place guidelines to remove common barriers to web accessibility so as not to exclude people with any disability because the internet is used in government, health care, education, finance and other essential areas equally impacting on the lives of persons with disability.
  • The National government, the County Governments, public and private organizations to offer equal access and equal opportunity to people with disabilities, giving them the ability to actively participate in society.
  1. Establishment of braille authority which will regulate reading and writing of braille language certify braille instructors.
  2. At list 4 % of the national budget should be dedicated to the Kenya National Disability Service Commission.
  3. All county governments should have at list 3 % of their budget dedicated to disability services.
  4. All Counties should appoint CS with portfolio on disability.
  5. The national employment authority should establish a disability employment services department with the following mandate:
  • To be in charge of disability employment services of persons with disability to offer technical and vocational training to persons with disability to gain meaningful employment in both formal and informal sectors.
  • The disability employment service should research and recommend both public and private sectors who have met 10 % minimum employment for tax waver to the Kenya revenue authority.
  • Establish a real time database for persons with disabilities who are employed and none employed where employers can easily access and as envisaged in the national employment authority as they do for the youth.
  • Tax exemption should be provided to start-ups by persons with disabilities as a mechanism and strategy of enhancing their capacity for income generation just like the youth.

 

  1. Corruption is rampant and constitutes an existential threat to Kenya and her peoples.

Unfortunately, this does not exclude the disability sector.

In this regard it is undermining prosperity. That it is a bad example to the persons with disabilities. Corruption impacts disproportionally on Persons with disabilities. It diverts resources which would otherwise be used to enrich the wellbeing of Persons with disabilities in the social, political and economic development spheres.

  • The National anticorruption enforcing agency to establish an inquiry and investigate on disability related corruption and other malpractices with ultimate purpose to bring individuals and organisations that have fleeced or acquired wealth with disguise supporting persons with disabilities.
  • The assets authority should assist to recover the proceeds of disability corruption and this money recovered can be directed to the social protection programmes.

 

  1. Persons with disabilities should be given a chance to elect their own in parliament, member assembly with a clear legislative on the process.
  2. The 5 % progressive representation in both nominated and appointing authority should be increased to 10 % since even the population of the largest minority has highly increased. Some areas to have mandatory representation. at least one member of the national cabinet and County Executive Committees. At least one principle secretary at the national government, at least one chief county officer at the county level one commissioner in all commissions established in the country.
  3. The national construction authority should be mandated to actualize accessibility standards before authorizing new constructions of both public and private buildings and this should be replicated at all Counties.
  4. All disability peer support groups -The Kenya society for the blind, The Kenya Deaf Association, the Kenya Physical Disability Association etc. should receive direct support for the exchequer in order to ensure smooth running of their rehabilitation and peer support network.
  5. The Kenya National Bureau of statistics is mandated to conduct the National Census.

However, in the National Census exercise, the prevalence of persons with disability is not well captured by the Kenya Bureau of statistics on the state of affairs of persons with disabilities.

The National Census should include specific questions asking respondents whether they have difficulty functioning in their environment or experience activity limitations in the domains of communications, mobility, self-care or psychosocial disability.

This should be replicated in all government assessments/survey tools.

  1. The Kenya National commission on Human Rights should have a specific delegated disability discrimination commissioner as conferred in Article 27 (4) who shall operate under disability rights-based legislations to protect and promote the well-being of people with disability, including the rights to access social services, the right for training and employment and being free from discrimination based on their disability as outlined in articles 7, 21, 43 and 54 of the Kenyan constitution (2010).
  2. Many Kenyans care for someone with disability, an individual or child with medical condition, mental illness or someone who is frail due to age.

Households caring for persons with disabilities are faced with huge costs due to their care duties.

Subsequently, many Caregivers (parents/guardians/carers) are unable to fully engage in income-generating activities because of caring for someone with severe or Profound Disability.

We recommend that the National Government helps carers remain engaged in the community, participate in the workforce and stay healthy while continuing their caring role through the provision of funding to subsidize their efforts and contributions through the social protection net or provide other range of supports to help them manage their daily challenges, reduce stress and plan for their future.

 

  1. Creation of national public authority which will be in charge of public housing based at the ministry of housing transport and urban development.
  • At least 20% of the housing should be allocated to persons with disabilities
  • At least the 20% of housing should have the universal design meeting the international accessibility standards.

 

 

 

 

Why the Blind in Kenya should be categorized as “Severe disabled” 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”

 

 

 

Several studies and literature have given definition of who should be severely disabled.

In the Kenyan context policy makers and stakeholders have arguably claimed that those under 24 hours care are supposedly entitled to this school of thought [Kenyan social protection strategy, cash transfer annual [.

Times have really changed. The current review being spearheaded by the social assistance programme by several development partners and the ministry of social protection should ensure the new social policy becomes more inclusive and in-depth.

 since I would like to make a case for the Blind.

Am not making this debate as a mere fact that myself am a blind person but with several scholarly arguments, observations and reasons base on Bing a public policy scholar and with lived disability experience.

To begin with social protection mechanisms which A Kenya has gradually been adapting have not been in compliant with the UNCRPD 2006, ILO standards, which Kenya adopted Kenya constitution article 27 on matters discrimination.

This is to say social protection is supposed to be inclusive for all.

The co values in chapter 10 need to be respected.

In other words, the new social policy needs to align itself with the current trends of inclusiveness and not living any one behind.

My second argument is based on the premises that most social protection programmed set aside for the defend sectors have not been Blind friendly at all.

For instance, since the start of the national youth service programme in 2013 no Blind persons has ever been admitted.

Du’a’’s we have Blind youth who can serve the nation?

Should the national youth service curriculum be revised to ensure Blind are recognized?

 

The proponents of this programme will argue that service men and women needed for this programme are supposed to use sight. Then where do the Blind youth go?

This affirms that Blind are more vulnerable and lack opportunities.

Additionally, the cash transfer programme has denied entry of individuals who are blind despite Poverty being a twin sister of blindness [world blind union 2004[.

Thirdly most job advertisements in Kenya have discriminatory practices of saying that people should have a driving license.

moreover, even most agencies both public and non-state actors who claim to thrust the gospel of inclusion also have joined the fray! Where and how does a blind Kenyan get driving license?

I am also eager to get one.

Organizations of persons with disabilties and self-advocates have been silent on this matter!

Fourthly several studies and media reports have confirmed that most beggars are blind persons. Where do you think the blind men and women who never got an opportunity to join higher institutions are?

Other than those who are hidden in their houses, you will obviously meet the blind beggars.

Apparently, The Kenya union of the Blind had a Sacco for this individual. Don’t you think its high time the beggar’s Sacco got a boost from financial partners?

Furthermore, the beggars have families who relight on them.

Academicians and researchers need to put their minds together and unravel the begging angle so us to enable the understanding of its social economic impacts in the society.

Fifthly, the largest group of blind persons are the beggars who have actually not gotten even basics of education, most do not have even access to white canes and most are also denied even to see the sunlight.

 

Never the less, after Citizen’ tv airing of the Begging story mid-year, a debate in the disability circle got underway but never provided a conclusive answer rather the argument centered on why persons with disabilities should not be associated with begging profession.

According to several media reports Nairobi, Mombasa, Meru and other counties have made several attempts to kick out the beggars in the vicinity but this seems to be a thorn in the flesh. Beggars keep on coming back. Some argue most are Tanzanians while others claim they are individuals who have not been served by the community.

Isn’t right time Kenya offering a permanent solution by providing social protection to the unemployed blind persons and recognize them as severely disabled?

The individuals, institutions who are currently tasked to represent the Blind need to rise up and author several policy statements to kick start   the voyage of empowerment of the blind.

All in all, blind persons in Kenya deserve to live in a respectable and dignified manner just like any other human being.

The White cane escapades. Guest author:

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

Dear stranger who passes me on the street,

I

It seems a little strange, addressing a letter to you, even though I haven’t walked alone anywhere in the past six months, but I am an eternal optimist

(a terrible flaw, I know), and hold hope that I will be able to do so someday again. At the outset, I would like to clarify one thing, regardless of whether

you are the-stranger-who-have-actually-passed-me-on-the-street or stranger-who-might-do-so-one-day.

 

Every

 White Cane Day

 till date, I have mostly written articles on the mechanics of using a white cane and how it works, or introspective essays on what the white cane means

to me (short answer: independence). This white cane day, however, I would like to remind you that, in order to have independent and enjoyable travel experience,

it is not enough to have or use a white cane merely.

 

The people I encounter while travelling and their attitudes also determine whether my travel is stress-free. I would like to now turn my attention to micro-aggressions

that are frequently directed toward me as I travel alone as a woman with a disability. Without further ado, here are some dos and don’ts for the passer-by.

 

First of all, let me tell you, it is absolutely inappropriate to stop me in the middle of the street and make comments such as “My sister’s son is blind

too! He is amazing!” or “I pray for people like you every day.” Don’t you realize I’ve got things to do and places to be, just like everyone else? Consider

it your lucky day if I don’t retort with “I meet hundreds of insensitive random strangers like you all the time. Shocking, Isn’t it?”

 

Secondly, it is equally inappropriate to grab me as I walk, without my express permission to guide me. If you really think I need help, the best thing

you can do is to ask me if I do (politely and calmly, now). Grabbing someone who is just walking around, and minding her own business, is completely unjustifiable.

Really, haven’t you heard anything about consent? Or is it that you don’t think it applies equally to a disabled body as a nondisabled one? You might have

good intentions, but how would I know that? You wouldn’t ever dream of grabbing a nondisabled woman in that way, would you?

 

Next, if you do ask me whether I need help, and the answer is no, walk away, even if your instinct urges you to push it. I am the one who decides if, when

and from whom to accept help, not you. Moreover, I am under no obligation to explain to you why I do not want your help. You asked, I answered, you walk

on—end of the story.

 

Now, if there comes a situation where you are going to guide me (regardless of whether you offered help or I asked for it), either offer me your elbow,

as people generally should when a sighted person guides a blind person, or take my non-cane hand. For me, since I am right-handed, my left hand would be

the one you are expected to take. Please, please please, do not hold my cane or lift it up from the ground.

 

The whole point of having a cane with me is that it will sweep the ground in front of me and alert me to obstacles in my way. I need it, whether or not

you are guiding me. Don’t force me to engage in a tug of war with you in the middle of the street, with you on one end of the cane, and me on the other.

It is highly undignified.

 

Next, the brief moments in which you help me from one side of the street to the other, are not exactly the right ones to ask questions about blindness

in general or me in particular. Like I mentioned before, things to do and places to be. General questions such as how I use my phone, how blind people

travel, etc., are best addressed to Google. After all, you Google everything else, so why not this?

 

Answers to specific questions such as how I became blind, whether I was born blind or became blind, etc., are part of my personal story, which I am under

no obligation to share in the middle of the busiest 80 ft Road. Essentially, what I am trying to say, is that I do not live for the express purpose of

teaching you what blind people can do, or how we do things.

 

An offer of help shouldn’t come with an expectation that I will answer your questions in return. I realize that this is perhaps the first time you are

ever meeting or talking to a blind person, but you might not be the first or even fifth person I would have met over the course of that day to ask me these

questions, and it can get old really soon.

 

Next, it is also not your place to make comments such as “people like you should stay at home.” Or, my favorite “Where are your parents?” As I am an adult

travelling by herself, these questions are not necessary, to say the least, and are better kept to yourself. Don’t force me to reply with “none of your

business!”

 

Finally, if you are a person with strong religious beliefs, specifically about a cure, please do not stop me and tell me to pray to so-and-so deity, perform

so-and-so poojas, or read so-and-so portions of the bible. The fact that you think all disabled people need to be cured is in itself highly ableist.

 

Therefore, don’t blame me if I, equally politely, ask you to read up on ableism and the very contentious issue of cure. Same goes for those people who

believe in certain doctors, alternative medicines, or any other cure. I am not a broken doll that needs to be fixed. I am a person who celebrates her blind

body and all that it entails. And of course, it goes without saying that the middle of the street is certainly not the place to be debating these things.

 

The above is not an exhaustive list of the types of micro-aggressions I encounter, but merely the most annoying ones. This White Cane Day, I urge you to

keep these in mind and cooperate with the disabled community, as we try to create less stressful travel experiences for all.

Why 13th October 2020 will be “the Kenyan Disability Historical moment” “Who will be the Disability BOSS?” Author Mugambi Paul

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”

 

 

there is a growing need to ensure those most

vulnerable are not left behind in public participation [2019 constitution, uncrpd 2006 and SDG 2015].

 In particular, the Kenyan census 2019 indicate there are 2.2 % Kenyans who have disabilities.

Never the less, this data is highly disputed by both policy makers and Kenyans with disabilities.

 

For many and varied reasons, Kenyans with disabilities are highly

vulnerable and continue to face multifaceted modes of discrimination.

Additionally, Covid 2019 has even made the situation worse.

for instance, during this pandemic for one, Kenyans with disabilities are more

likely to experience pre-existing health conditions that put them at a higher risk

of illness and death due to COVID-19. They are also more likely to fall in to cracks within the

category of low-income earners, this is affirmed by the deplorable living conditions most have lived to experience.

Most studies have shown that Kenyans with disabilities are often excluded from receiving public services and cannot even afford the basic social services.

This is also disproportionately triggered by the existence of multidimensional factors

Who will spearhead the much-needed transformation?

Who will offer social justice to the 45th Tribe of Kenyans? will Kenya have a disability strategy?

 

 

Historically, 13th October will remain the defining moment in Kenya. Out of 58 applicants for the position of executive director only 8 made to the top after the closure on September 7th 2020.

The Kenyan disability space is highly expectant.

Disability desegregated Data analysis:

According to my data analysis persons with disabilities who made their applications showed 63.5 % out of the 58 were persons with disabilities.

25 were persons with physical disabilities.

7 were person with visual disabilities.

3 were deaf persons

One person had albinism

Out of 88 16 were females.

We were not able to ascertain persons with psychosocial or intellectual impairments

Personal tribute:

I also take this chance to congratulate the youthful Richard, Wanja and Mercy for representing our generation.

You shall live to fight another day.

What do Kenyans with disabilities want?

As a public policy diversity and inclusion expert I have persistently said Kenyan needs to actually adapt simple, simless, and tested strategies which do not actually require much resources but administratively can change lives of Kenyans with disabilities.

For example, ensuring adaptation of the human right model approach on disabilities since I believe Kenyans with disabilities have rights not just needs.

Secondly exterminate the medical model of assessing persons with disability and adapt assessment based on functional capabilities and ensure decentralization of the registration process.

Thirdly, Slacken disability mainstreaming and job placements.

This will be the beginning of real transformation to the lives of Kenyans with disabilities.

Moreover, Being and indigenous rural based think tank I believe this will ensure enhanced access of public services to all persons with disabilities.

I believe the greater engagement with organization of persons with disabilities, self-advocates will be of paramount.

Will the next disability boss reduce the 12 crimes of being disabled in Kenya?

Check out March 18th 2019 blog:

Twelve Crimes of being disabled in Kenya Author: Paul M. Mugambi.

Who will be the 4th NCPWD boss?

 

The 8 persons who made to the date with destiny day are as follows:

 

 

entitPaul Leringato, HSC

  1. Wisdom Kazungu Mwamburi
  2. Joywin Chepkemoi Sang
  3. Peter Sibale Musakhi
  4. Patrick Mumo Muinde
  5. James Kariuki Ndwiga
  6. Harun Maalim Hassan
  7. Simon Nyamola Owawa

 

Conclusion:

All in all, this will be a new chapter for transforming a new Kenyan disability strategy full of aspirations, actualizing dreams of many Kenyans with disabilities and expanding the Kenyan national cake to the largest minority of Kenyans.

Will persons with disabilities start to live their lives based on the individual autonomy and choices they make?

May the best man or woman serve the sector.

 

Why Covid-2019 should not slam doors of disability evolution! “Corona don’t live us behind!” Author Mugambi Paul

he opinions 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 pandemic, in the first half-year of its existence, has impacted the lives of most people on Earth in one way or another. It is the first truly global pandemic in modern times and each of us has been forced to grapple with its effects, both individually and collectively.  persons with disabilities around the world continue to be disproportionately affected and feel the heat.

 With this notwithstanding, the negative societal effects COVID-19 has wrought is written all over the world, in many cases, been even more profound when viewed through the lens of persons with disabilities and these impacts have been aggravated even further in countries dealing with humanitarian crisis.

Furthermore, Persons with disabilities living in humanitarian set ups already deal with increased health challenges, exacerbated threats to their security, and societal marginalization that negatively impacts nearly every facet of their lives. In some cases, that marginalization comes from misconceptions that disability is somehow contagious and should be shunned; more frequently, though, it is the result of the broad assumption that persons with disabilities must be cared for and kept in restrictive environments for their “protection” — robbing them of basic dignity and the fundamental opportunity to explore and realize their personal potential. Though disability inclusion efforts have started to gain global momentum in recent years in several countries in which the international NGOS and local partners work.

 now with the current new trends of the Covid pandemic and its attendant social restrictions — persons with disabilities in these fragile contexts are at risk of being pushed even further to the periphery of their communities, potentially negating any progress that had been made.

In other words, I opine persons with disabilties can’t experience the ne norm since Corona has even worsen the situation.

Despite being a population that is particularly-risk prone to COVID-19, persons with disabilities face even greater inequalities in accessing basic services including healthcare, education, employment and social protection during the pandemic. This could erode all the positive developments that the world has recorded in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

While there are certainly very legitimate Covid-related health concerns specific to persons with disabilities affect the immune system, lung function or other related factors that can put them at higher risk for serious complications.

Additionally, the lack of latest data statistics also contributes to the poor outcomes on planning and service delivery to both development and humanitarian sectors.

More over most of the service delivery tend to focus on one particular disability and thus marginalization of the marginalized.

For instance, most of the time persons with psychosocial and intellectual impaired are not considered in different activities.

In accessing information its also highly pronounced among the Blind, Deaf blind etc.

 – perhaps the bigger, less personally-controllable risks they face are related to the very seclusion from which they have spent so many years trying to break free. Just as they have begun to find the first tiny openings in their ability to access education or gain regular employment or even play sports, the isolation necessitated by the pandemic threatens to slam those doors closed once again. The real danger, though, is that the doors will remain closed even after the pandemic is under control because its imminent threat will have caused societies already reeling from the instability of war and conflict to forget about prioritizing the inclusion of persons with disabilities and building into their culture.

As a public policy diversity and inclusion expert I take note of for persons with disabilities, the ability to achieve economic security and independence has very often been a goal kept out of reach by a variety of societal assumptions about their ability – or inability – to reliably fulfill professional requirements, their perceived increased rate of health-related absences or a host of other preconceptions. Now, just as these misconceptions are starting to be proven wrong by persons with disabilities more often entering the work forces in many countries, the economic impact of the pandemic on the global and local economies could be devastating for their collective progress.

The sustainable development goal theme of not living any one behind might become a mirage if nations don’t take necessary measures to caution men, boys, girls and women with disabilties.

I affirm what is necessary to stop this temporary barrier from becoming a long-term regression is the commitment from all sections of society – governments, employers, educational institutions, healthcare providers, among others – in countries all over the world to continue prioritizing disability inclusion efforts. This is not only essential to create opportunities for persons with disabilities, but it will also benefit societies, economies, business, etc., by bringing the vast potential of a population estimated at over 1 billion people into the fold. Many studies have shown that companies and organizations that prioritize hiring persons with disabilities have a positive impact on profits and better corporate culture. For example, U.S. companies that excel at disability employment and inclusion are four times more likely to deliver higher shareholder returns than their competitors, according to a 2018 study by Accenture.

 

only way real change will happen is if they are supported by the commitment of the broader societies in which they work.

Disability inclusion will survive the coronavirus pandemic only if everyone believes it is a necessary social evolution and acts accordingly to support its growth. If this can happen, not only will people with disabilities transcend the societal impacts of COVID-19, but the communities, businesses, universities and organizations that push for their inclusion will grow and improve as well.

 

Shielding rights of persons with disabilities 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 pandemic has turned our everyday lives upside down. Recently, its impact on persons with disabilities has been felt in almost all spheres of life.

More barriers on inclusion have been identified by different studies by by individuals with disabilities, organizations of persons with disabilities, governments and also other stakeholders.

For many reasons, people with disabilities are among the groups most at risk in this pandemic. Their often compromised health status means they have a high risk of adverse outcomes if they get the virus; their need for personal care and support with everyday living makes it more difficult to take effective precautions such as social distancing; and, the well-documented inability of health systems to respond adequately to people with disabilities means health services will struggle to provide them with quality care during the pandemic.

People with intellectual disabilities in particular will find it difficult to understand what is happening during this time and are very susceptible to isolation and loneliness. For some, the restrictions on visitors to family or group homes, and limited access or support to use online technology, have meant little or no contact with friends and family for months.

The same story is affecting blind and vision impaired persons. Not even many are aware the proper wearing of masks. Most adverts are too visual thus rendering communication barrier.

 

Needless to say, the role of health services in Kenya is by the county governments.

This has seen had failed to quickly recognize and respond to the greater risks of COVID-19 on people with disabilities, leaving this community disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Early emergency plans focused on older people. In Kenya we are yet to see disability specific pans or even outlined measures by both national and county governments on disability corona response.

Additionally, in other jurisdiction we have seen development of disability advisory committees which is quite important in ensuring article 4 of the UNCRPd is implemented.

We hope soon we can have a disability telephone help line dedicated towards addressing the challenges.

Some silver lining has been seen in some nations on the reopening up of economies by provision of disability inclusive plans and actions.

Will African countries follow same way or we shall ensure protection of rights of persons with disabilities ins not achieved?

 

 

 

Why we must dismantle social ableism 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”

 

 

As COVID-19 has drastically changed the way we live and relate to one another, Kenyans with disabilities like me have been living in fear, not just of the virus, but of community attitudes to our lives and existence. The pandemic has brought to the forefront deeply ableist ideas held by our society that see disabled lives as disposable. Our lives are not worth living, and are not worthy of the same care and protection. Our deaths do not carry with them the same grief and sorrow that abled deaths do. We are casualties that must be accepted for the greater good of our economy.

This discourse has dangerously manifested in our hospitals, shaping COVID-19 triaging policies and the way medical professionals treat persons with disabilities– with or without the virus.

Globally, its evidently clear some nations they have   disregard for lives of persons with disabilities.

People with disability have been identified as particularly “vulnerable” to this potentially deadly illness. If only we all had the freedom to decide who, and how many people, we have contact with in our own homes.

.

For instance, president of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed sadness over the death of Nathaniel Julius, a teenager with Down syndrome, during a police operation.

 

I have been continually shocked and angered by triaging guidelines that override shared decision-making processes, fail to acknowledge disproportionate rates of disability amongst already oppressed communities – such as rural and slum dwellers.

I affirm due to the changing times I have had from senior leaders, journalists, business persons who believe we should position life to normalcy.

It’s okay – COVID only really kills old and disabled people. If you’re young, you’re strong and healthy and won’t be at risk. The people who die from COVID don’t really have a quality of life anyway. We really do need to open up the economy for the rest of us. With resources so scarce and hospitals overwhelmed we need to priorities those of us who would actually survive.

 

 

For many persons with disabilities, hospitals are already traumatic places where we are spoken over, invalidated and dehumanized. Frequently they are places that deprive us of care, brutalize our bodies and result in our death. How do we begin to confront the even more explicit violence in our healthcare system COVID has triggered? When I think about the not-so-distant future, and try to imagine how our disability community is coping, I am filled with anguish thinking of the scars these triaging narratives will leave. I think of the trauma being resurfaced for hundreds of thousands of disabled people who have already suffered mistreatment at the hands of healthcare systems, and I think of those persons with disabilities who would’ve survived COVID, had things been different. I vow to remember them and keep working towards a world grounded in disability justice, where no one is disposable and we can receive the care that we need. As Mpofunamba1 articulates in one of the music track attitudinal barriers do exist where women with disabilties are even questioned which animal impregnated you. As f women with disabilities are not supposed to enjoy sex and give birth. Several studies have shown increase of gender-based violence against persons with disabilities.

Based on a biased understanding of appearance, functioning and behavior, many consider disability a misfortune that make life not worth living. To promote the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities, we must dismantle social ableism and embrace disability as a positive aspect of the human experience.

The world’s population is ageing. By 2050, people over the age of 60 are expected to account for 21 per cent of the global population. About half of them will live with a disability, making this the largest community of persons with disabilities—and one of the most stigmatized and neglected.

The deprivation of liberty on the basis of disability is a human rights violation on a massive global scale. As Mpofunamba1 I say it is not a “necessary evil” but a consequence of the failure of States to ensure their obligations towards persons with disabilities.