DISABILITY IS NOT INABILITY

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Disability Mainstreaming has been embraced internationally as a strategy towards sensitizing staff on disability etiquette. Persons With Disability (PWD) have been treated differently by various religions, societies and cultures and they all express contradictory views of whether the PWDs should be shunned, punished, eradicated or aided. In the traditional African context, traditional myths reveal that PWD are naturally hosts of bad spirits, bad luck or incurable diseases. Such cultural beliefs put PWD at very low self-esteem.

Technical University of Mombasa Disability Mainstreaming Sensitization workshop was held on Tuesday,22nd February 2022.The workshop was facilitated by officials from National Council of Persons With Disabilities (NCPWD)-Mombasa Branch. In attendance were the Vice Chancellor, Professor Laila Abubakar, Disability Mainstreaming Committee members and staff. The goals of this workshop were to realize maximal and sustainable enjoyment of Human Rights by the PWDs, promote inclusion of PWDs, enhance efforts for equalization of opportunities, facilitate removal of barriers that hinder the participation of PWD and check the assessment of their legislation policies and programs in government public and private sectors.

Unjust treatment is rooted in the misconception that disability entails inability and as a result people with disability are often relegated. In many jurisdictions, the interests and rights of PWD are being violated to such an extent that they are regarded as inferior legal subjects because they have essentially been excluded from normal society. They are considered weak and of no help to the society. However, disability is part of human condition and almost everyone will be temporarily or permanently impaired at some point in life.PWD have strength, character and determination to succeed and therefore should be given support in any way possible. One of the council members asked people to change the narrative of saying ‘people living with disability’ to ‘persons with disability’ because people don’t live with disability. She also talked about men who tend to leave their wives when a child with disability is born probably because they fear the responsibilities that come with a disabled child.

 

Other issues handled at the workshop were the inclusive education whereby the institution was encouraged to provide students with disabilities with classes in the school or least restrictive environments in regular classrooms and ensure that they receive specialized instructions delineated by their individualized education programs within the context of curriculum and general class activities regardless of types of severity of disability to the maximum extent possible. Assistive devices and services such as wheelchairs, rails in the toilets, ramps or even orthopedic appliances, were said to be provided for persons with disability for their civil well-being in the institution.