Everyone is born with a purpose; everyone grows and develops different interests and skills that eventually become a source of their livelihood and their families or equally an inspiration to the rest. This applies for every individual, including persons with disabilities.
Persons with disabilities need to be provided with opportunities early in their childhood including education, sports and art in order to achieve their full potential.
Initiatives set up by the government and other stakeholders to enhance inclusivity in various sectors has seen many persons with disabilities in Kenya fast come out of their comfort zones to claim their stake in the society.
However, there is still more work to be done to achieve total inclusion of PWDs. Through identifying, empowering and nurturing the talents and ideas of youth with disabilities, in order to create a better future for the entire citizenry and also address the issue of stigma in the society.
There has been debate as to whether integrated schools or special centers for learning are best suited for children with disabilities. The debate should rather be more of the quality education system that provides all round knowledge for these minority groups.
Incorporating PWDs in the media industry, theatre and film exposes them to future possibilities not only as part of the crew but as managers and directors of the various sectors. Furthermore, sponsoring and organizing sporting activities for Persons with disabilities is another way of ensuring they are empowered and are cared for by the government.
Empowering PWDs in all perspectives acts as motivation and encouragement for many to come out to explore their skills, showcase their talents to the world and prepares them for future roles in the society.
As a policy organization, the Kenya Institute of Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) is one of the state corporations working and advocating for the creation of an enabling environment for persons with disabilities through policy frameworks.
A virtual conference set to kick off on 28th to 30th July 2020 organized by KIPPRA in partnership with other stakeholders seeks to provide a platforms for open discussions under the theme “Enhancing Inclusivity through Empowering Persons with Disabilities.” With an aim of creating an enabling environment for inclusion of PWDs in the development agenda.
This will be a good start on policy discussions for a future with inclusive development.
By: Linzer Kibebe