Disabled groups unable to access share of DACF in UWR
Several members of disable groups in the Upper West Region are unable to access the two per cent share of the District Assembly Common Fund allocated to them.
This came about due to the inability of some authorities in the district assemblies, who refused to open accounts at the banks for the fund to be paid in for their use.
Mr Ibrahim Saani, Secretary to the Resource Centre in Wa, made this known at a regional interface meeting to discuss the findings of Send-Ghana, a non-governmental organisation working to promote good governance and the equality of women and men in Ghana research report on the District Assembly Common Fund in Wa.
He said apart from the Wa Muncipal and Jirapa District Assembly that had opened accounts for the fund to be paid in, the remaining seven districts were yet to comply.
"Several of our people are seen in the streets begging to raise money to keep body and soul together, yet some money allocated to us to resource ourselves is sitting somewhere because of somebody's lackadaisical behaviour', he said.
He said even though the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development had written to all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to open accounts at the National Investment Bank for the fund to be operative, some authorities were still adamant about the directive.
Mr Saani described the behaviour of the authorities as "very bad" because they were sabotaging the economies and livelihoods of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and called on them to have a second look at the directive.
Send Ghana's main research findings among others centred round: Management and utilisation of DACF for PWDs and Members of Parliament, Awareness and access to information, Community participation and Disbursement and utilisation of DACF".
Mr Eugene Yirbour, a Project Coordinator of Send Ghana, who presented the findings, said access to the two per cent share of the DACF for PWDs from 2003 to 2008 was less than one-third.
Access in the Northern Region was more than 50 per cent but Upper West, Upper East and Greater Accra Regions less than one-third of PWDs successfully accessed the fund in 2009.
He, however, attributed the relative high access in 2009 to the establishment of the National Council for PWDs who contributed to that effort.
About 44 per cent of PWDs, who successfully accessed the two per cent share of the DACF, expended the fund on the celebration of the International Day for the Disabled and attendance of meetings and conferences.
Mr Yirbour said contrary to guidelines, about 55 per cent of MMDAs sampled, did not have the mandated Disability Fund Management Committees in place, which are pre-requisite to accessing the PWDs' share of the DACF.
"About two-thirds of the MMDAs did not have separate bank accounts for the management of the PWDs share of the DACF and in the absence of these banks accounts prevents disbursement of the PWDs share of the DACF", the study revealed.
The report also revealed that 36 per cent of Members of Parliament were in conflict with their respective District Chief Executives over the appropriation of the MPs' fund since 2005, which, they said had adversely affected the implementation of some projects in the constituencies.
Mr Yirbour said out of 29 district assemblies that responded to the study, more than two thirds did not provide their Medium Term Development Plans and supplementary budgets for the period 2005-2009 and none of them could provide information on DACF expenditure returns.
The study also observed that about 50 per cent of community members sampled did not believe that MMDAs had effectively used the DACF to address their development needs. According to them, their limited involvement in DACF projects had made it difficult for the MMDAs to be responsive to their needs.
Send Ghana suggested that the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development should ensure that all MMDAs comply with the guidelines for the disbursement and utilisation of the DACF for the PWDs.
It said the MMDAs should develop innovative measures that would ensure access to formation on DACF by citizens to elicit their support and participation in the implementation of DACF projects.
Senegal's disabled ex-troops demonstrate
AFP - 2011年4月1日
(AFP) - 2 days ago
DAKAR - About 200 disabled Senegalese former soldiers held a two-hour demonstration Friday on a busy Dakar street to call for better pay and health coverage, an AFP correspondent saw.
The soldiers had collected their medication from a military hospital in the Ouakam district and decided afterwards to hold a protest rally, burning a tyre and blocking traffic.
Several dozen paramilitary gendarmes in full riot gear and equipped with tear gas were on the scene, but they did not intervene after the prefect of Dakar, Ibrahima Sakho, brought about an end to the protest.
"I owed it to myself to talk to them to have them clear the public highway," the city official told journalists, adding that "the administration can't accept this situation."
"It was a spontaneous demonstration by handicapped soldiers, who want a reevaluation of their allowance, better social coverage and professional reintegration" into society, the chairman of the National Association of Disabled Former Soldiers, Issa Gueye, told AFP.
"The state has committed itself to settling the problems, but there are delays," he added.
One of the former soldiers present at the demonstration, Libasse Sane, told AFP that his monthly pension was 58,000 CFA francs (88 euros / 125 dollars), which he said was not enough to live decently.
One handicapped former soldier, Bocar Bocoum, burned himself to death in front of the presidential palace on February 20 to demand a reevaluation of army pensions.
Spontaneous demonstrations by unemployed youths, fishermen and other professional groups are frequent in the west African country, where people object to a low standard of living and also protest against frequent and long power cuts that hit economic activity hard.
Zambia: Govt. saddened by society’s neglect of disabled children
Lusaka Times - 2011年4月2日
Government has observed that disabled children have been neglected by society including those very close to them like their immediate families.
Community Development and Social Services Permanent Secretary (PS) Sherry Thole says the children have in most cases been discriminated against yet it is not by choice that they are disabled.
ZANIS reports that Ms. Thole said this in a speech read on her behalf by Ministry of Community Development and Social Services Director of Human Resource and Administration Lameck Kanyuka when Children In Need Network(CHIN) donated six wheelchairs to six disabled children at Bwafwano Community Home Based Care Center in Lusaka’s Chazanga area today.
She said it was gratifying that CHIN had committed its resources to helping children with special needs so that their welfare is also improved.
Meanwhile, CHIN Executive Director Samuel Chakamba said the mission of CHIN was to continue upholding the rights of the disabled children across the country.
Dr. Chakamba said his organization would not relent in rendering support to the children with disabilities across the nation to improve their livelihood.
And Bwafwano Community Home Based Care Center Director, Beatrice Chola commended CHIN for the gesture adding that the wheelchairs would go a long way in assisting the children.
Ms. Chola called upon CHIN to continue offering support to children with disabilities across the country and appealed to other organizations to emulate CHIN’s support to disabled children in the country.
Rwanda: A Disabled Pastor Who Enables Others Spiritually
04月05日 AllAfrica.com -
Godfrey Ntagungira 3 April 2011
Kanisius Gacura is a senior pastor of Nyabugingo worship centre based in Nyamirambo. He describes life as an incredible journey that has taken him up and down the different roads of pain, happiness, growth, interaction, love and fear. But he confesses that he is proud of what he is today.
He went through sweeping currents of life. Born in 1979, in Luwero Uganda, in a family of three, Gacura, in his childhood, went to church sporadically.
One time, he found himself between a rock and hard place when a dangerous snake bit him amidst gunfire during war time in the 1980s.
Gacura was tending cattle when he was bitten by a snake. The leg got swollen and the hospitals were not operational. He sat in his bedroom for almost a week after the snake bite, praying and waiting for a healing miracle.
It took him days to acquire medication. After months, maggots were oozing out of his leg and his father used pesticides to kill the maggots.
His father realized that his health situation was grave so he decided to take him to Bukaragi hospital amidst gunfire.
Gacura, now clad in a dark blue suit and a bright yellow tie, explains that after that tragic event, he was attacked by a deadly polio virus which left him crippled. It turned his life into another nightmare.
"After diagnosis I have tried to help but failed," a doctor told Gacura's father, which drove Gacura in deep thoughts, questioning the presence and love of God. It was painful and as a result he became crippled.
"I had to adapt to a new painful life," he says with a tinge of bitterness. From then he had to start crawling, since his parents couldn't afford to buy a wheelchair and slowly by slowly, he had to overcome and adapt to a new way of moving.
His parents advised him to learn shoe repairing skills, but he didn't want to join that industry. He became miserable and had multiple long sleepless nights. He saw death coming his way every passing second.
He says that he tried to commit suicide three times. On the third time he heard a voice convincing him to become a born again Christian, and after three weeks he had to crawl to church and give his life to Christ.
"By that time I felt that God was loving and strong. My pastor, David Seruwagi, encouraged me to read about the miracles in the bible that God has done. This changed my way of perceiving life. I went back to school in 1993. My father took me to an orphanage center in Nakaseke, in the then Luwero district."
He recalls that his pastor was so good to him at that orphanage. He went through primary school without a wheelchair but fortunately in 1994 he got one which eased his mobility. The passion for a better future was a driving force behind his success.
After his A levels, Gacura joined Yesu Akwagala Bible College in Kampala, with the motive of inspiring hope to the hopeless.
He acquired a degree in theology. He remembers the days he had to climb a hill on his way to the bible school. He had a strong commitment which was unshakable and undefeatable.
Gacura later had to move to Rwanda and embark on the long journey of trying to start a church and start a pastoral life: "Today I can visualize the future.
At times I get humbled when I see myself; a crippled man preaching and I give God the glory."
His comfort and satisfaction are accompanied with a glowing smile. Since he became a born again Christian in 1997. Pastor Gacura says that God has supplied huge deposits of peace and joy in his life.
Today he lives a happy married life and God has blessed him with a beautiful wife and two children. I am happy to say that I am a father.
"Jesus has not only changed me and given me love for others, I am a better father, husband, and worker," he says.
The void left by low self esteem and anger has gone. Now a man with vision is to see people who have lost hope transformed, since he has gone through a lot.
"I have walked different roads of pain, happiness, growth,interaction, love, and fear. So I take myself as someone who can be used by God to positively impact on the lives of people who feel downtrodden because I have been there."
As he moves from ashes to glory, as a senior pastor, he has a vision to start a bible school, primary school, secondary and an orphanage centre.
At the core of his ministry he has a big vision for Rwanda.
He admires President Paul Kagame who always urges Rwandans to preserve their dignity. He professes that when God creates a person he deposits a treasure in everybody and people are required to dig it up.
Pastor Gacura armed with a degree in theology, currently believes he can stand and encourage those who feel downtrodden.
With all the mysterious moments he has gone through, the pastor seems most approachable, most inviting, most available and most human.
South Africa: Govt, business urged to meet disabled employment targets
04月05日 7thSpace Interactive (press release)
Compiled by the Government Communication and Information System
Date: 04 Apr 2011
Pretoria - Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana has threatened to name and shame government departments and private companies which fail to achieve a two percent employment target of people with disabilities.
The minister said the country, in particular government - which was supposed to lead by example - was not doing well in achieving the target.
"Government has achieved 0.6 percent, which is not even [half the target]. The private sector is at 0.9 percent. We will have to talk with the departments to remind them of this target... We are currently working with the Equity Commission and Labour Department, and will use the name and shame barometer to ensure that people remain accountable," Xingwana said.
Addressing representatives from children's rights groups, United Nations agencies and stakeholders to review the implementation of key legislation that has been put in place to protect and promote the rights of children in South Africa, the minister noted that since the implementation of the Child Justice Act in April 2010, there has been a decrease in the number of children channeled through the criminal justice system.
"The average number of remand detainee children in Correctional Services facilities decreased from 500 in April 2010 to less than 300 in December 2010. Most of these 300 children were awaiting trial for serious and violent crimes."
One of the main objectives of the Child Justice Act (Act No 75 of 2008) is to establish a criminal justice system for children who are in conflict with the law or are accused of committing criminal offences. It further ensures that children's cases are managed in a rights-based approach and assists children to turn their lives around and become productive members of society.
The act provides specific procedures to be applicable for children who have allegedly committed crimes. They will not be handled in terms of the normal criminal law. For instance, a preliminary inquiry will be done before the child's first court appearance, and should take place within 48 hours of arrest.
Xingwana also commended the provision on the National Child Protection Register aimed at ensuring better management of child abuse cases, and ensuring that people who harm children are prevented from being able to work with children.
She stressed that there was a need by various spheres of government, including civil society, research institutions and development partners to engage more in order to realise the rights of all children.
"We will do our part to ensure that these engagements take place regularly and they guide our country on issues of the rights of the child," Xingwana said.
The Department's Director General, Nonhlanhla Mkhize, said they were in a process of reviewing policy initiatives, including the National Policy for the Advancement of Children's Rights and the National Plan of Action for children, amongst others.
Reported by: South African Government News Service
KSMH maintains spat over disability cash
04月06日 Capital FM Kenya
BY SIMON NDONG’A Updated : 10 hours and 27 minutes ago
NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 5 - The Kenya Society for the Mentally Handicapped(KSMH) has denied accusations by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights that they advocated for the mistreatment of adults and children with mental disability by exposing them to the public.
The outcry came after a demonstration by the mentally handicapped and their parents who demanded a release by the government of their monthly stipend allocated two years ago.
KSMH Chief Executive Officer Edah Maina said on Tuesday that the demonstrators were asking for their rights and as entrenched in the new constitution.
“They put us together with people who do not see the things (as we see them) because their needs are different. This has led parents of people with mental disability to be seen as if they are not working well with others,” she stated.
She took issue with the way the human rights body handled the issue saying that they should have considered the sufferings of people with mental disabilities.
“The kind of needs that the people with mental disability have is completely different from the needs that the other people have but when they are forced to come together and discuss these issues, there are a lot of conflicting issues and voices come out,” she pointed out.
She stated that during the demonstration, there was no cause for alarm since parents accompanied the children.
“We work with everybody, with all the age groups of people with mental disability. We want to know who they are. There is always this feed back that we always get that these people do not have phones and only come when they want to. How can we continue getting those kinds of explanation?” she posed.
At the same time, she accused the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Services of not doing enough to address the needs of people with mental disability.
Mrs Maina said that the funds set aside to address their needs have not been disbursed and utilised properly leading to the degradation of their condition. She urged the ministry to fully account for the monies and reveal the names of the beneficiaries of the Cash Transfer programme.
“In Kenya, the estimates are 3.6 million people with mental disability. Most of them are not seen because they are hidden, confined and placed in very difficult circumstances because the parents are faced with stigma,” she observed.
She also sought for an explanation should be given on how the fund for severely disabled people is being allocated terming the process as it is now as vague and ambiguous.
“If a person who is deaf or totally blind is given the kind of support a person with mental disability will require, that person might use their skills to progress in life. What is the difference with the one with mental disability?” she posed.
Read more: http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/Kenyanews/KSMH-maintains-spat-over-disability-cash-12310.html#ixzz1IhQGVMFO
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives
Kenya: Disabled in Busia Get Farming Aid
Gilbert Ochieng 6 April 2011
THE Busia branch of the Association of People with Disabilities in Kenya will distribute farm inputs to 300 disabled farmers in the county. Busia branch APDK Micro-finance officer Chrispinus Adome said the association will give fertiliser, maize and sorghum seeds.
Adome said the initiative is aimed at addressing food security for the disabled in the county. Christian Blind Mission, an international NGO, will give the disabled farmers Sh300,000 to enable them undertake income generating activities and become self reliant.
Adome said those who benefit will be expected to refund Sh300 to the disabled association immediately after the harvest as a revolving fund which will be used for the next project.
Adome said the disabled persons will also be given Sh60,000 loan to empower them to undertake farming activities and increase the yield so as to reduce the high poverty level in the county, adding that they will also be trained on entrepreneurial skills.
Kenya: Lobby Group Backs Disabled Protest
Chrispinus Wekesa 6 April 2011
The Kenya Society for the Mentally Handicapped yesterday defended last week's protests. KSMH condemned the Kenya National Commision on Human Rights and the Ministry of Gender for describing the protest uncalled for."We wanted to prove to the PS for Gender that we are not pretenders.
It was also a good opportunity for the parents to take their kids to streets instead of hiding them," said Joyce Kiarie a parent. KSMH said that the demonstration was in response to discrimination by ministry officials against Kenyans with disabilities.
The KSMH boss Edah Maina said 75 per cent of all disabled suffer from mental disability, yet no resources are allocated to help them."This is a highly marginalized, isolated and neglected population of Kenyans," she said.
The groups trustee retired Archbishop Bishop Ndingi Mwana Nzeki said that the group should be given money."If there was money given, somebody received it and banked it. If we don't get any answers from the minister, we need answers from the President," said Arch Bishop Ndingi. They also condemned the United Disabled Persons of Kenya saying it is not an umbrella body.
Nigerians with disability storm Abuja, demand presidential assent to bill
Nigerians with disability storm Abuja, demand presidential assent to bill SCORES of Nigerians living with disability stormed Abuja, on Thursday, to ask President Goodluck Jonathan to, without delay, sign into law the harmonised Nigeria Disability Bill passed by both chambers of the National Assembly in 2010.
The aggrieved vulnerable group, who, however, shelved its earlier plan of mass protest on the streets of Abuja, gave the government up till April 16, to ensure that the bill is signed into law or face its wrath.
National chairman of the Coalition of Disability Organisations, Mr David Anyaele, while speaking with newsmen, decried the marginalisation and hostility against the group, which he said the bill sought to address.He said: “It is against this background that we are sending this clarion call to President Goodluck Jonathan to sign this bill into law without further delay. We are marching this demand with all seriousness.
“It is our belief that he will heed to this call by signing the disability bill into law on or before April 16, 2011, failure which we have no other choice than to mobilise all stakeholders from the 36 states of the federation and Abuja for a mass action against this oppression against the most vulnerable of the vulnerable social groups in Nigeria.”
Anyaele expressed sadness that Nigeria had the largest population of persons living with disability in Africa, which he put at more than 19 million citizens, with more than 80 per cent living in the rural areas with minimal access to social infrastructures and total neglect.
“We are here to respectfully call on our President and Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces of the Federation to sign the disability bill into law by his office. Also, we are here to draw the attention of Nigeria masses over this 21st century debasement of Nigerian citizens with disabilities due to absence of legal instrument to protest our citizens from discrimination on the grounds of their disability.”
Anyaele said the over 19 million of people living with disability openly endorsed President Jonathan because of his “passion, love and care for the vulnerable groups, which led to his meeting with some representatives at an Interactive Session with persons with disabilities, women, children, the elderly and other vulnerable groups during our celebration to mark Nigeria’s 50th Independence Anniversary.”
He reminded the President that currently there was no National law exist that prohibits discrimination on the grounds of disability; hence section 42 of the Nigeria constitution is silent on discrimination on the bases of disability. This, according to him, has legitimized discrimination and harmful practices against Nigeria citizens living with different forms of disability.
“Also, that the 2010 electoral act, even as amended made little or no provision for effective participation of Nigerians with disabilities in the electoral process as such INEC and other stakeholder address people with disabilities’ participation in the electoral process as a charity issue instead of core human rights and social issue.
“Acknowledging that virtually all the development programs of the Federal, State and Local governments are designed at the exclusion of Nigerians with disabilities as such access to development programs of the governments such as education, healthcare, decent and sustainable job and other social infrastructures remains inaccessible to the disability community in Nigeria” he said.
The Disabled In The Nigerian Society
THE disabled are individuals who have physical or mental impairments that limit or restrict them from participating in physical or social activities.
The disabilities that affect these individuals are of five types.
The first type of disability is known as physical disability. This has to do with impairments which limit the functions of the limbs.
Sensory disabilities could be classified as a second type of disability. In this case, the individual may have hearing or vision impairments. The blind, deaf or even the dumb that are unable to speak could be classified in this category.
The third type of disability is the olfactory and gustatory impairment which affects the individual’s sense of smell or taste.
An individual may be unable to smell anything or have hyper sensitive sense of smell if he has an olfactory impairment while in the case of gustatory impairment, the individual could either have no sense of taste or have a hyper active sense of taste.
Another type of disability is the somato sensory disability which affects the individual’s sense of stimuli.
Here the individual does not feel pain, heat or cold. This can lead to an untimely death because the individual will be unable to detect internal injuries or even diseases because he does not feel pain.
The last kind of disability is the intellectual disability which has to do with all manner of disorders. Individuals with such disabilities are unable to reason like other individuals of their age.
In Nigeria, the individuals living with these disabilities find life very difficult because some able bodied people discriminate against and make fun of them, while others do not even recognize them as members of the society or even human beings.
It becomes an issue of concern when this discrimination and shabby treatment takes place in the immediate family of the disabled individual. Some parents hide their children with physical or mental disabilities in the house, not allowing them to go out or associate with the other children.
They fear being addressed as “the parent of the crippled, blind, deaf or dumb”. It is sad because the so called “cripple” is an individual with feelings and emotion
It becomes even worse when the individual grows with all these challenges and fails to get a means of sustenance (job).
No private establishment will employ someone with a disability because there are more than a million able bodied and educated individuals in the society who are without jobs.
The high rate of unemployment in Nigeria makes it almost impossible for a handicapped person to secure a means of livelihood.
Most Nigerians Fail to realize that a handicapped person still retains the use of other body parts. For example, a lame person retains the use of his hands and his brain, the deaf still retains the use of all other body parts and can therefore work in any way he wishes.
Over the years, equipments have been developed to enable the disabled function as normally as possible. For instance, the wheel chair was created to enable the lame move around, with or without aid, the hearing aid was made for the deaf to enable them function in the absence of someone with the skill of sign language, the Braille, voice finger keypads, computer soft and hard ware have been developed to help the blind with reading and give them access to computers.
The management of disability requires social action. It is the collective responsibility of the society to ensure that the disabled are recognized as a part of our society.
First of all, the discrimination has to stop. Then, companies and organizations should allow a certain number of slots as job opportunities for them. It would not be a bad idea for the government to provide allowances for its disabled, whether they have lobs or not. This will give the disabled a certain sense of independence and belonging.
Majority of handicaps result from accidents. Special precautions should be taken to prevent road, domestic and industrial accidents.
Parents should be encouraged and counseled when their children have disabilities. They should be taught how to accept their children the way they are and show love to them regardless of their disabilities.
Instead of the parents taking their children with mental disabilities to homes abroad, such homes should be opened here in Nigeria for individuals with disabilities.
lAbove all, the rights of the disabled should be recognized and enforced by the law.
The human rights treaty of the 21st century protects and enhances the rights and opportunities of people with disabilities. It ensures equal rights to education, employment and cultural life, the right to own and inherit property. It also includes the right against discrimination in marriage.
It all boils down to the attitude of Nigerians. Awareness programs should be organized to change their mindset towards the disabled around them and to restore the dignity of the disabled by letting them understand that begging in the street is not the only way to make money.
The government can also organize skills acquisition programs for the disabled so that they can make their own money and live normal lives.
Sithole is top disabled athlete
Sowetan 28 Jun 2011 | Ramatsiyi Moholoa |
WHEELCHAIR tennis ace Lucas Sithole has described winning the disabled sportsman of the year award as a great inspiration for him to qualify for the 2012 London Paralympics
Sithole won the event at the inaugural Gauteng Sport Awards in Johannesburg last week.
"It is such an honour for me to receive this award and it feels so good to be recognised alongside such great athletes," Sithole said.
An inspiring quadriplegic, Sithole is Wheelchair Tennis SA's No1-ranked player and is ranked No16 in the world.
Sithole was involved in a tragic train accident that left him a triple amputee at the tender age of 10.
"I'm working hard to move into the top 10 rankings in the world and this will inspire me for the 2012 Paralympics," Sithole said.
"I want to be part of the team that will contribute to the success of South Africa and the future looks bright for me."
Sithole also commended Gauteng MEC for sport, arts, culture and recreation Lebogang "Young Lion" Maile for introducing the awards.
"It is good to see Maile introducing the awards to recognise the contribution by athletes and administrators to society," he said.
When mentally-challenged found love, tied the knot
Love is magical, that how I feel, it takes you a higher place, and I have not the words, gone are the secrets, expression of passion...These are the some of the words contained in "Speechless", one of the many hit songs of the world acclaimed King of Pop, Micheal Jackson. Many individuals have come up with different theories, trying to define the emotion called love but till date, it is still best defined as an emotion whose expression is peculiar to each individual.
And so, it was another gathering for the celebration of love in Ipetumodu, a town in Osun State, when two mentally-challenged individuals, Deborah Opeyemi Peter and Stephen Adewuyi Adetayo, of St. Mary Rehabilitation and Development Centre, Ipetumodu,decided to tie the knot on Saturday, 25th June, 2011. Their story is a classic case of how intense, passionate and unexplainable love can be.
According to the handlers of the centre, Sister Elizabeth Kehinde and Sister Mary Abodunrin, the bride, Deborah had been brought to them as a child. Deborah, who is intellectually challenged, was said to have been brought up under Sister Mary Abodunrin. She was groomed and taught vocational skills of soap making and trained psycologically by other handlers at the centre.
In a chat with Sister Mary Abodunrin, she revealed that Deborah had always been a special and obedient child.
Said she, "Today is a happy day for us all at the rehabilitation centre. The couple is handicapped from birth. They lack proper intellectual reasoning. Deborah, to me, is a very special child. I trained her and she is a good girl. She was brought here at a young age. A lot of parents who give birth to "special" children, most times, feel disappointed and therefore fail to care for them and nurture them with love. That is why we encourage such parents to bring such children here where they would be given a sense of belonging. Deborah arrived here as a girl who needed acceptance and wanted to feel loved. Today, you can see that our mission has been fufilled because she was nurtured in love and has found love. We have all categories of handicapped people here; from hearing impaired to physically challenged ones. We accept children from infancy and training starts from when they are as young as six years. This enables them to assimilate over the years and be better individuals."
Speaking on how the couple met, she said, “Deborah's husband, Stephen, is also intellectually challenged. He works at the Catholic Hospital here at Ipetumodu as our compound manager. Deborah worked with a Reverend sister who worked at the hospital and that was where the couple met. They met as friends and then fell in love. I am happy that our rehabilitation work is complete. The success of the wedding between Deborah and Stephen today is a call to parents who have disabled children to see that there is ability in disability. I advise parents to accept their children in their uniqueness and give them the needed support. Though the education of handicapped kids might be slow and frustrating, parents or guardians need endurance as the patient dog eats the fattest bone and this is evident today."
In his sermon, the preacher the Apostolic Church, Ipetumodu, Pastor Obajuwon Moses Tuberu, charged the couple to look beyond their disability and challenged them to remain steadfast and to live together in harmony, as ordained by God.
Reverend Obajuwon said that marriage was instituted by God, and that the success of it was the priority for both individuals.
He congratulated the couple, stating that their bold step to tie the knot is an evidence of true love, adding that they should support each other no matter the circumstance.
The staff of the centre thanked the supporters of the centre which is run by the Catholic Mission and support from the public and parents, adding that there were still a good number of children with disabilities who still needed support and goodwill materially and financially. They encouraged as many that could render help, including the government of the state to always remember the plight of the disabled at all times and should not only celebrate the physically fit. The couple, in seperate interviews, expressed profound love for each other, stating that they wanted to start a family immediately.
Government to introduce allowances for disabled people
Lusaka Times, Zambia
Thursday, June 30, 2011, 6:29 pm
Government will soon introduce a monthly allowance for people with disabilities in Zambia.
Ministry of Community Development and Social Services Permanent Secretary Sherry Thole disclosed today that the disability allowances are meant to assist the physically challenged persons.
ZANIS reports that Ms. Thole said the monthly allowance will be given to less privileged disabled persons under the Government programme of financially empowering disabled persons.
She has since called for the provision of accurate information on disability issues which Government can use for planning purposes.
She said lack of such information was hindering implementation of various Government programmes for the disabled people. Ms. Thole said this when she launched the Rehabilitation and Research Resource Centre at the Zambia Agency for Persons with Disability (ZAPD) offices in Lusaka today.
She has further implored ZAPD to use the research data that will be gathered for strategic planning. She said Government wants well tailored plans and budgets that will be responsive to the needs of the targeted beneficiaries.
Ms. Thole has thanked Opportunity Zambia, a Norwegian sponsored disability organisation, for funding rehabilitation of the resource centre.
She also appealed to cooperating partners and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to help fund research projects in order for disabled people to engage in research.
And Opportunity Zambia Programme Advisor, Alick Nyirenda, said his organisation disbursed K3 billion towards the programme of disability in Zambia in the last two years.
Mr. Nyirenda said his organisation, which is being sponsored by an organisation for disabled persons in Norway, has also spent K47 million on refurbishing the resource centre at ZAPD. He has since commended the relationship his organisation is enjoying with organisations for disabled persons and the Government in Zambia.
Speaking earlier, Zambia Agency for Persons with Disability (ZAPD) Director General Charles Mwape said the resource centre will help in planning and mitigating the challenges persons with disabilities are facing.
Zimbabwe: Excellent Performances Mark Disability Artistes Festival
Vhindo Murira 7 April 2011
Disability Arts Festival opened on Tuesday at the University of Zimbabwe's Beit Hall with standout performances by up-and-coming artistes.
The festival for people living with disability is running under the theme "Navigating and Renegotiating Marginality: Cultural and Artistic Dimensions".
The four-day event seeks to shed light on relevant social, political, cultural and economic issues affecting society.
Previously known as "Theatre Arts Week", the festival has attracted different artistes in music, theatre, dance, poetry and visual arts taking part.
The main aim of the event is to address issues and challenges affecting the disabled people not only within the academic or professional set-up but also in the community at large.
Discussions on different topics such as how to overcome discrimination stemming from disability, gender violence, risk management and cultural marginalisation, among others, are also part of the festival.
One play titled "The White Man from Buhera" stole the hearts of many as it focuses on the life of one of the lecturers at the university, Professor John Makumbe, who was once neglected by his father because of his albinism.
Another play, "Imagine Masimba", focuses on the travails that a disabled person called Masimba goes through in his efforts to assert his rights in a society that regards the disabled as misfits in every sphere of life.
He suffers a major setback when he is turned down for a job because of his condition, despite having graduated from college with flying colours.
Hweva Mvura directed the play.
In "The Visionaries", a blind boy from a poor family suffers from low self-esteem because of his state, and this has ripple effects on his social life.
The brainchild of disabled students at the institution, the festival will also see some renowned artistes rubbing shoulders with upcoming artists during performances.
Talented contemporary music outfit Soul Bone, whose members have a variety of disabilities, will entertain the crowd at the festival in an effort to prove to the world that disability is not inability.
Renowned jazz group Talking Guitars are part of the guest performers and so is the Midlands State University Band while students from the UZ's Faculty of Theatre Arts will showcase their plays titled "High Rate, High Risk" and "The Dawn", which they collaborated with the institution's Disability Resource Centre.
There will also be film screenings with the movie "Ithemba" topping the bill.
Some of the keynote speakers and presenters at the festival include renowned author and academic Bridget Chinouriri, Washington Nyamukapa, Ennie Munashe and Professor John Makumbe, among others.
Last year in March, the Theatre Arts Week was exciting in many ways and the organisers are in consultation with various partners on how to strengthen and expand the programme.
Electoral violence Persons with disability risk disenfranchisement?
With records of widespread violence continuing to trail the electoral process across the country, CHRISTIAN OKEKE reports that persons living with disability may, once again, be disenfranchised in the on-going general election.
Generally speaking, a person with disability refers to a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits his or her life activities. Global statistics shows that one out of every six persons, comprising 15. 7 percent of the working age population has a disability challenge.
In fact, it is on record that the number of persons living with disabilities is at least 10 per cent of world population. One out of every four European, in a poll, declared that a member of their family has a disability problem.
According to a 2002 statistics, 18 per cent of Americans suffer from disability while one out of every eight Canadian has a disability.
In Africa, a 2005 statistics has it that Mozambique has a disability figure of 9.9 per cent while Ethiopia has 7.6 per cent. Nigeria’s figure, pathetically, is put at over 7.9 per cent, representing about 24 million disabled persons.
Despite the disability, however, every disabled person is recognized as a legal entity before laws of states as his or her rights are protected under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Convention came into effect owing to the fact of the discovery that the trust conferred on proxies were being abused in countries where it was permissible for persons living with disabilities to vote by proxy.
Specifically, Article 29 of the Convention obliged the states which are signatories to it to protect the right of persons living with disabilities to vote by secret ballot. In Nigeria, Sections 33-43 of the 1999 Constitution attempt to protect their rights also.
In fact, the UN Convention empowered countries which include United States of America, India and Netherlands to make laws that enable disabled persons to participate in electoral process through the use of electronic voting machines. It is on records that Ghana, Canada and the United Kingdom have machineries in place which make it possible for the visually impaired electorate to use ballots in Braille or paper ballot templates.
The countries have advanced to the point of ensuring that polling booths are accessible to the disabled electorates in line with Article 29 of the Convention which seeks compliance to the effect that voting procedures, facilities and materials are appropriate, accessible and easy to understand and use.
It is common to witness politicians and their agents and associates perpetrate violence with impunity, even to the extent of carrying out unwanted killings. The situation, no doubt, creates an unfavourable environment for persons living with disability to cats their votes.
Since the electorate in that class find it extremely impossible to find their way out of trouble spots when caught in the web of crisis, they prefer to steer clear of the polling arena. The situation is so pronounced that not only do persons living with disability fail to take part in the nation’s electoral process, it is uncommon to see a visually impaired person being led to cast his or her vote.
To help put an end to the trend, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recently undertook the measure to produce a definite action plan for integrating persons living with disabilities, among other marginalized groups, into the countries political process in order to deepen the nation’s democracy.
At the one-day national workshop organized for the commission by Tender Dream Communications in Abuja, the Principal of FCT Vocational Rehabilitation Centre and physically-challenged person, Comrade Bala Tsoho Musa lamented the attitude of Nigerians towards persons living with disability. He expressed dismay that while most structures at polling centres are not conducive for the group, there is virtually no protection given them.
Comrade Musa encouraged persons living with disabilities to stand firm and contribute to national growth. He argued that the time has gone when they are relegated to the background in the affairs of the nation.
Also speaking, the president of Global Hope and Justice for the Less Privileged and pro-tem chairman, Abuja Civil Society Organisation Forum, Barrister Paul Ihekwoaba remarked that persons with disability who hitherto have been disenfranchised from exercising their rights now have an opportunity to rewrite their destiny. He called for the creation of a ministry to oversee the affairs of the disabled.
He said, “Now is the time to speak boldly our heart-felt desires. Now is our opportunity to vote in leaders who have the people at heart and not those politicians who during elections will gather persons with disabilities and distribute all kind of souvenirs with media coverage that is more expensive than all the souvenirs put together all because they want to be seen as the benefactors of the less privileged so as to garner vote during the election and not necessarily because they have passion or genuine regard for their welfare.
“No wonder in all their years in government, there have not been any such law made to protect and promote the cause of the physically challenged in Nigeria. Now is the opportunity to get back at them; make no mistake about it,” he added.
While delivering his speech at the event, the national chairman of INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega lamented what he described as the tendency in most climes to exclude some marginalized groups, among which are persons with disabilities from participating in the political process.
Jega, who was represented by the Director in charge of civil society and gender in the commission, Mrs Margaret-Ejeh Ikwunja, lamented that the disenfranchised group of disabled persons remain bona fide citizens whose involvement is necessary to deepen and strengthen the system.The INEC boss reassured that the commission was determined to create a level-playing field for every eligible Nigerian to fully participate in the electoral processes. He said, “That is why this particular forum’s objective of mainstreaming persons with disabilities into Nigeria’s democratic and electoral processes is germane to the thinking and mission of our commission”
According to him, INEC has committed itself to working with political parties towards achieving this goal. He noted that the commission has been working with civil society organizations to integrate vulnerable groups in the democratic and electoral process.
He said, “We are well aware that much more needs to be done, hence the need for this conference. Persons with disabilities have full political rights under our laws and INEC will spare no effort to safeguard those rights and ensure that they are duly exercised”
Despite the assurances, it is sad to note that adequate mechanism was not set in motion in this year’s election to accommodate persons living with disability to freely and safely participate in the ongoing elections. It is time that will certainly tell whether a time will come in the life of the country, soon, when the persons with disability will exercise their franchise without being threatened by violence, killings and crises.
Rivers ACN woos the disabled
The governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Rivers State, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, has assured physically challenged persons that his administration will give them a sense of belonging.
He spoke yesterday at an interactive session with members of the Association of Physically Challenged Persons from the 23 local government at his home in Port Harcourt.
He said it was necessary to discuss with them, since every government has a responsibility towards its citizens.
The ACN’s standard-bearer regretted that handicapped persons were at a disadvantage in the state.
He said: "Because of government’s inaction, many of you are on the road begging; the ACN will do something to ensure that you are treated with respect and dignity. We believe that your life is sacrosanct."
A participant, Opuene Yellowe, who is deaf and dumb, assured Sekibo of their support.
Yellowe, who is also the Vice Chairman of the Deaf Association, pleaded with the candidate to consider the employment of the deaf in the public service.
Another participant, Tekena Allswell, also lamented that they had prepared and sent many memoranda to candidates, but regretted that nothing meaningful had so far come from them.
Allswell said they would vote for ACN.
Ms Wheelchair Oyo State: Rising above disability
To any ardent observer, Abimbola Adedayo, a 30-year-old Olabisi Onabanjo University Law graduate, strikes one as a woman of strong will. Her story is one which shows her resilience to rise above every struggle and predicament. She is Ms. Wheelchair Oyo State and for her, there is no looking back.
Abimbola was born normal, and could walk like every other normal child. She lived a life full of youthful dreams until when she turned 19. On January 8, 1994, her life took a painful turn. She was involved in an automobile accident on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway that affected her legs and confined her to a wheelchair. Her doctors called it compression of the spine but, according to her, she did not allow it to compress her life.
In a chat with the Nigerian Tribune, she said that the accident came as a rude shock, but she didn't allow it to determine her lifestyle.
"I was 19 when the accident occurred. I was unconsious for a number of days after the accident. When I woke up, I discovered that I had some difficulty making use of my legs. The nurses refused to break the news to me until I stole my case-note and saw that I was diagnosed with compression of the spine. I thank God for my family and friends because they helped me through that trying phase of my life. After the accident, I encouraged myself, and with the help of God and the support of my family, I continued my education and bagged a degree in Law at the Olabisi Onabanjo University," she said.
“After my tertiary education, I was saddled with the task of deciding what I intended to do next. After much deliberations, I discovered that I had a passion to help the underprivileged and disabled persons. You see, here in Nigeria, people look down on the disabled and the underprivileged, as if they are under a curse. I sought to change that," she stressed.
Abimbola said that it was this quest that led her to contest for Ms Wheelchair Oyo State, which she won and Ms Wheelchair Nigeria beauty contest organised by the Mobility Aid and Appliances Research and Development Centre (MAARDEC), which she did not win.
When asked what her driving force was during the competition, she smiled and said, “my dreams were always beyond the pageant. It was just a stepping stone, an oppurtunity which I hope to fully utilise.
“Though I did not win the national pageant, I was not deterred in my quest to see to the welfare of the disabled and underprivileged people. I strengthened my resolve to use my office as Ms Wheelchair Oyo State to reach out to many notable individuals, organisations, goverments, and NGOs, to come to our aid,”she added.
Abimbola seeks to, among other things, build a facility for the beggers and homeless people in Oyo State so that they would not constitute a nuisance to the society. The facility, according to her, would include vocational training centres, a hostel, sporting facilities, etc. This, she said, would go a long way in ensuring that disabled and underprivileged people are well catered for and are given the oppurtunity to contribute their quota to the society.
She had, at various times, solicited the help of well meaning Nigerians and organisations to help with her quest.
“I am passionate about this project. I am appealling to Nigerians to come to our aid. I have met the Special Adviser on Physically Challenged Persons in Oyo State, Barrister Ayodele Adekanmbi, and he has promised to support our initiative.
“My motive is to be the spokesperson for the physically challenged, motherless and the underprivileged. I hope to take my campaign to every local government in the state during the course of my tenure canvassing for this unique group of human beings and rallying support for them.”
“My greatest dream, however, would be to see, through practical advocacy, a disabilty bill passed by the Oyo State House of Assembly (OYSHA).”
She stressed that she has embarked on plans to reach out to the wife of the governor and the commissioner for women affairs so that they could help to touch the lives of the disabled and the underprivileged.
Looking radiant and beaming with smiles, she added. “I want to state categorically that disability is not a limit to greatness. It lies in the mind. I want all persons with disabilities to rise above their circumstances and make themselves useful to the society. Take my story, for example, I could have continued to wallow in misery and self pity after my accident, but I decided to forge ahead. That single decision, to the glory of God, has made me who I am today in addition to being a law graduate.
“I intend to use my knowledge in law to pursue the cause of ensuring that disabled and the underprevi-ledged are given fair hearing and equal representation at any level at all times".
This is Zimbabwe
April 11th, 2011
I have met many people with different kinds of disabilities, some as the result of genetics, others from accidents and still more whose lives have been crippled due limited choices and lack of freedom. A community with not much opportunity for the future is as disabled as a community of people who cannot hear or see or walk.
Every time I walk down the streets of my home town, I see people selling tomatoes, bananas or a few small sweets. The dollar or 50 cents per day they earn is for sure a fortune to these people.
But then I ask myself: Is this what all these people wished for?
Are they living their dream lives or are they just victims of their nation’s crisis?
They have been crippled, their visions and plans destroyed by the hopeless streets of Zimbabwe.
Is this where most young Zimbabwean’s dreams will take them? Are they heading anywhere or they are going to end up like most people on the streets, once big dreamers and now crippled? Will they grow older with certificates, degrees and diplomas hanging on the walls of their bedrooms never living the lives they never hoped for?
The thought ever in their minds: “I hate being a school leaver.”
Upgrade Magwero school, Dora told
04月12日 Zambia Daily Mail
>From CHIMWEMWE MWALE in Chipata
MINISTER of Education Dora Siliya has been directed to upgrade Magwero School for the Blind and Deaf in Chipata into a modern school.
And Government will immediately mobilise funds to reconstruct the school.
President Banda made the directive in Chipata on April 10 at the official opening of Spar Supermarket at which Magwero pupils were present and displayed some performances which included a song in sign language.
The pronouncement attracted cheers and jubilation from the crowd that gathered to witness the occasion.
Magwero School for the Blind and Deaf is one of the oldest special education schools in the country.
“We will find the money like we have done for other things. We will find the money to rebuild the oldest school for the blind and deaf in our country. The power you gave us is to do good things for all our people and not to oppress people and I want to take advantage of that power which you gave me in 2008 to direct the Minister of Education Honourable Dora Siliya to go and reconstruct that school into a modern structure,” Mr Banda said.
He commended teachers and members of the community for sustaining the school and helping educate the deaf and blind.
“We are very proud and grateful to the people who sustained this school for a long time. Now, it is time for you to work with your Government to rebuild that school. These are our children and we are supposed to take good care of them,” Mr Banda said.
And Spar chief executive officer Mike Yeatman presented a cheque worth K4 million to the school.
Earlier, MrYeatman had announced that the retail chain store has adopted the school as part of its corporate social responsibility.
Don B smokes from the head in Face to Face
04月14日 Mmegi Online
CHIPPA LEGODIMO CORRESPONDENT
If there is one individual musician who has proved that disability is not inability it is Donald Botshelo(Don B). The silk- voiced disco star is the envy of many a musician.
The man who hails from Pitsane in Borolong chose to ignore those who tried to marginalize him because he was visually impaired and ventured into the tough music world full of "sharks" waiting to pounce on anyone who looked vulnerable but because of his confidence he took that chance and it has worked wonders for him.
His vocal ability and creativity endeared him to thousands of fans around the country even before he joined Dalom Music in South Africa.
But hey, although on the surface he does not seem to care about his disability, being a jolly person that he is Botshelo has a stern warning to those who would try to look down upon him or other people in his predicament.
The dread locked musician has been featured in Mac Dee's Face to Face disco outfit which recently dropped its second album called Ingwe ne Ngonyama(Tiger and Lion). Although he was just excellent in the three song that he did on the album it is in track number 8 Respect Disability that Botshelo would touch any listener's heart.
It starts with the musician announcing in a deep voice that "this message goes to the whole nation, there is ability in disability" and then goes the rhyme, "chesa". In the track Botshelo expresses disappointment at some people who often take advantage of people with disability and warns that anyone could end up disabled although they would have been born just fine.
This song has a touching message but Botshelo would not spend the whole five minutes moaning when he is supposed to be entertaining and the way he changes tones in this track just goes to show that indeed there is ability in disability as the song says.
He has done songs about the Zebras before and his love for the team keeps growing especially after their historic qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations. He has done tracks such as Re bapala le bashanyana in which he waxed lyrical about the late striker Oliver Pikati.
He has done it again in the new album this time showering both coach Stanley Tshosane and the team for their heroics and warning those who had been casting some doubts over the coach and his team that this was only the beginning.
The album also features Linda Sekgoma on the track Hamba, Ludwe Maki who did the track Otla itshola as well as Thabile Mazolwana who like Don B contributed three tracks to the album, Nontobeko, Face to Face and Lotsha.
Interestingly house djs Mac Dee and Dj Mox composed and produced this disco album with ease doing all the instrumentation. Face to Face's first album was a tribute to the late Matshikos lead singer Penwell Kunene who passed away in 2009. He and Mac Dee were good buddies hence the inspiration to release a project in his honour.
Disabled man on defilement charge
Wednesday, 13th April, 2011
A 40-year-old disabled man has been charged with defilement. Godfrey Bashaija of Kaburishokye village in Mbarara district is suspected to have defiled his 12-year-old daughter.
Grade II Magistrate Caleb Rukundo heard that Tumwebaze allegedly defiled the girl when his wife went to visit her relatives. Court also heard that the victim ran away from home and went to her God-mother who treated her.
However, when she experienced pain in her private parts again, the God- mother reported to the Police.
HIV陽性者の南ア憲法裁判所判事Edwin Cameronの"Witness to AIDS"を一緒に読みましょう！斉藤@AJF事務局です。
Zimbabwe: Disabled Sign National Anti-Sanctions Petition
Loveness Makuwaza14 April 2011
THE physically challenged from Harare's western high-density suburbs on Wednesday gathered in Dzivaresekwa to sign the National Anti-Sanctions Petition.
Ms Julie Chiondegwa co-odinator of Tashinga Organisation of the Disabled founded in 2002, said they had been facing a number of challenges since the imposition of illegal economic sanctions on Zimbabwe by the West.
"We have not been able to get funds for our projects since the sanctions were imposed. The International Monetary Fund ceased funding for projects in this nation therefore affecting us as well," she said.
Ms Chiondegwa said there was no form of transport conducive for the disabled and they struggle when they want to travel.
The disabled have of late been unable to access provisions such as wheelchairs and clutches which have to be imported from other countries, because of sanctions.
Medical services that used to be rendered for free by homes for the disabled and hospitals are now being paid for.
Mrs Alice Charima who has a 12-year old disabled son said she had to pay US$15 for half an hour of physiotherapy for her son at St Giles Home.
Mr James Chinhape, a committee member of the organisation expressed deep concern over the effects of the sanctions on the economy, which in turn have greatly affected ordinary citizens.
"The sanctions are heavily affecting the able-bodied people and it's even worse for us the disabled, so we say no to sanctions," he said.
The chairperson of the organisation, Mrs Gladys Munyukwi had this to say: "Pazvinodai pamuti munyoro ko kuzoti wakaoma?"
The anti-sanctions campaign was launched a month ago by President Mugabe in Harare.
The petition seeks to collect at least two million signatures to show Zimbabweans' displeasure over the West's illegal sanctions regime. The signing of the petition by the physically challenged comes in the wake of signing by a number of religious groups that participated in the campaign.
Unity State Education Ministry celebrates the top basic certificate exam results
By Bonifacio Taban Kuich
April 14, 2011 (BENTIU) -Unity State authorities held a ceremony honouring the state’s top scorers in the 2010 primary school examinations. The state gave special recognition to a deaf student who earned high scores. Unity state has the only school for deaf children in South Sudan.
Pupils with ten top scores in basic primary school certificate receive bicycles as gifts from the state ministry of education in Unity state, March 13, 2011 (ST) Hundreds of parents gathered at the state Ministry of Education in Unity state on Wednesday to celebrate the state’s best students. Those boys and girls who scored highest in last year’s examination received gifts and recognition. The state minister of education, Them Kuol Machar read out the breakdown of how the students performed in the examinations.
Machar said, “The number pupils who sat for Sudan basic primary school certificates has increased this year.” He explained that 1744 boys and 306 girls took the exam. Of these 182 boys and five girls failed theexam.115 students did not take the exam.
State minister of education, Them Kuol Machar, with pupils during ceremony in Bentiu town March 13, 2011 (ST) Far more boys attend school than girls in Benitu, in part due to local thinking that women are not fit for education, and that a girl’s only worth is in the cows paid for her hand in marriage. Governor Taban Deng Gai has criticised this mentality, urging parents to send their girls to school. He said an educated girl is worth far more to their families than an uneducated one. State officials speaking at the event praised teachers in the state for their role in educating the children.
State deputy governor William Dawut Riak also congratulated a deaf boy who earned 75% marks in the 2010 examinations. Riak encouraged the boy to continue his education in secondary school as an inspiration to all disabled people in Unity state.
Unity State has opened the first school for deaf children, in all of South Sudan. Over 300 boys and girls attend the school, which has more than 10 teachers. The state ministry of education promised to assist the special school with the necessary resources to teach the deaf children.
Deaf students participate in the BECE Examination in Upper East
Some 16, 340 candidates in the Upper East Region have been presented for this year's Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) of which 8,557 are boys and 7,783 are girls.
The Gbeogo School for the Deaf is participating in the examination for the first time.
In the Bolgatanga Municipality out of the 3,498 candidates, 22 were absent of which 11 boys are and 11 are girls. In the Builsa District out of 986 candidates, two are girls and a boy was absent. In the Kassena Nankana East, out of 1,240 candidates, there were five girls and four boys absent whilst in Kassena West, there were 316 candidates and three of them were absent.
Apart from one death, all the absentee girls were said to be either lactating mothers or pregnant while the boys had migrated to the south to look for jobs.
Mrs Lucy Awuni, Upper East Regional Deputy Minister, who visited the Schools, advised students writing the BECE to take the examinations seriously and not to get into malpractices that would mar the long period of preparation they made to write the examination. Mrs Agnes Atagabe, the Regional Director of Education, said whilst efforts were being made to increase education on adolescent reproductive health in schools, it was necessary that students, the media and all stakeholders support the sector to eliminate absenteeism and teenage pregnancy.
Disabled can cast their votes at home
2011/04/15 | KHANYISILE NKOSI | 6 COMMENTS
DISABLED people who will be unable to go to the polling stations on May 18 can still cast their votes in the comfort of their homes, the Ministry for Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities announced yesterday.
>From today until May 3 people with disabilities or infirmity and the elderly can apply for a special vote that will, if granted, enable them to take part in the coming local government elections, Minister Lulu Xingwana said.
Application forms can be obtained from the municipal electoral offices.
"Details of the application will be recorded and they will receive a receipt confirming whether they qualify for a special vote. It is critical that every South African is able to participate fully in these elections. Inability to travel or stand in a queue to cast your vote on May 18 or any other form of physical infirmity should not hinder people from exercising their hard-earned right to vote," Xingwana said.
She said those whose applications were successful would be visited by voting officials at their homes on May 16 or 17 to help them cast their vote.
The minister also welcomed the announcement by the IEC that ballot papers would be available in Braille.
"For the first time, blind people will be able to exercise their right to vote in secret," said Xingwana.
Disabled persons protest fake impotent men vying for office
Friday, 15th April, 2011
By John Semakula
PEOPLE With Disability (PWDs) have expressed concern over politicians, who are impersonating disabled persons to contest for elective offices in the coming local council elections.
The chairperson of the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda, Francis Kinubi, said on Thursday that politicians who were defeated in the recent local council elections are impersonating disabled persons to contest for their offices.
Local Council elections for the PWDs for the sub-county, municipality, division and district councillors will take place from April 28 to May 2.
The Commission is yet to display the voter registers PWDs.
Kinubi said some of the impersonators present scars on their bodies as signs that they are disabled, while others claim they are impotent and, therefore, disabled.
He said in Mbarara Municipality one of the political parties fronted an impersonator, but was disqualified immediately she was found out.
It s unfortunate that people are impersonating disabled persons to contest in our elections, Kinubi added.
According to the Disability Act, a person qualifies to become disabled if he has a substantial functional restriction, physically or sensory in relation to the environment.
The restrictions must be permanent and should render the disabled person unable to perform daily duties.
Stuart Tamale an Electoral Commission official in charge of the disabled said that an impotent person can only contest in an election for the PWDs if he proves with medical forms from a qualified doctor that he has a permanent damage on his manhood.
China Disabled Arts Group Performs At The National Theatre
A 57-member China Disabled Arts group - UNESCO Artists for Peace, arrive in Ghana on 18th April, 2011 for a 3-day official visit to the country.
The visit to the country is in furtherance of the bilateral cultural agreement signed between the Republic of China and Ghana in the field of Cultural exchange, promotion and development.
As part of their activities to commemorate their visit, the group will put up a two day performance at the National Theatre dubbed “My Dream Charity show” at the National Theatre on April 19th and 20th 2011.
The Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture and the Embassy of the Republic of China are jointly hosting the programme.
The performance by the group is also to motivate and establish friendly relations with Ghana’s Disabled group who will also perform at the show.
In 2010 Ghana and the Republic of China signed the Cultural Implementation Programme on Cultural Cooperation for the period 2010 -2013.
The agreement has since culminated into Cultural exchange programmes between the two countries.
The performance for the 19th is by invitation. However, the show for the 20th is GH?20 (Adults) and GH?10 (Children). Each performance starts at 7:00pm and the general public is encouraged to patronise the event.
For further enquiries you may please contact the Public Relations Unit of the Ministry on 0302662171
ナミビアのKunene river河口に向けて、南アのWorcesterのろう学校の募金のため、単独歩行をするAnette Groblerさん
Tanja Bause18 April 2011
Anette Grobler is attempting to do a solo walk along the Skeleton Coast up to the mouth of the Kunene river to raise money for the National Institute for the Deaf in Worcester, South Africa.
On Tuesday she confirmed via satellite communication that she has passed the halfway mark.
"The past few days the tides of the oceans were not in my favour. there was a huge part when I could not walk on the beach as the tide was too high and I had to walk through the soft desert sand," said Grobler. Her biggest concern in the past few weeks was that she might not be able to cross the rivers which were in flood with the exceptionally good rains the country had received.
"I am very glad that the Hoarusib had only a little water in and that I could cross it without any problems," she added.
Grobler is doing a solo walk along the Skeleton coast in Namibia. She is the first person to attempt to walk the 500km without any motorised or unmotorised form of transportation.
Averaging 18-20 km per day, Grobler needs a minimum of 30 days to complete the solo hike. She started her journey on march 26. A special sled or cart known as the Grobler Rickshaw is used to pull all the equipment needed to survive this never done before adventure.
Disabled are capable - graduate
2011/04/19 | KHULEKANI MAZIBUKO | 18 COMMENTS
BEING totally blind at university can be a huge obstacle. But for Zama Ngwenya it was a challenge that kept her going until her graduation with a Bachelor of Social Science degree in Industrial Relations from the University of KwaZulu-Natal recently.
The journey is long and difficult but it is accomplishable. You need to persevere and be self-driven, you must use what you have and try harder, but you need to have a vision to make it
Ngwenya, 26, who was funded by the Department of Education, started her studies in 2006 through the university's Access Programme.
Ngwenya expressed gratitude to the university's disability unit for helping disadvantaged students like her to walk freely in the university without fearing for their lives.
"The journey is long and difficult but it is accomplishable. You need to persevere and be self-driven, you must use what you have and try harder, but you need to have a vision to make it," she said.
Ngwenya is now pursuing her Honours degree in Industrial Relations and dreams of being an industrial relations specialist for big companies.
As the eldest child in the family, Ngwenya had to provide for her siblings after her mother died.
"I had to make sure that I sent money home for their school uniforms and food, so I used the allowance money I received from the government scholarship to do this," the soft-spoken Ngwenya said.
She described losing her mother as a "difficult period", but said it motivated her to complete her studies.
Mike Bradley, a representative from KZN Disabled, Deaf and Blind, expressed joy over Ngwenya's achievement and encouraged other blind people to also further their studies.
"Visually impaired youths can contribute to building the country, and Zama has set an example. Universities should strive to assist such students because they are also capable like normal students," Bradley said.
Need to treat PWAs fairly
Mr Lawrence Kweku Lartey, Chief Investigator and Greater Accra Regional Director of Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), on Thursday said People with Disability should be treated fairly and made to enjoy their human rights and freedoms.
He said people with disability suffered from discrimination in all sectors of the society thus; families, working environment, employment and had no right to access any public buildings and transport.
Mr Lartey was delivering the keynote address at "Rights of Persons With a Disability in Ghana Forum organised by Projects Abroad Human Rights Office (PAHO) a non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in Accra.
It is an NGO founded to provide human rights protection to the people of Ghana by providing awareness, monitoring and resolution on human rights issues facing Ghana.
Mr Lartey noted that as far as disability rights were concerned, CHRAJ was engaged in different activities in promoting advocacy and public education, which included investigation of specific complaints and state of human rights in Ghana.
He said stated that CHRAJ had also using a working manual to regulate activities during the year for the disability in society.
Mr Lartey said that a tour by CHRAJ to 233 schools revealed that no disability facility was provided to support persons living with disability hence unable to access school facilities.
He asked government and stakeholders to foster collaboration with NGOs that support disability rights such as PAHO, to ensure human right protection for people with disability.
Mr Lartey suggested that people who take disability cases to court must not only be the victims but civil society organisations should assist by taking up such issues in court.
He said laws should be made for the provision of facilities to be accessible to people with disability and recommended that a special day should be set aside for the celebration of disability with participation from the Media.
Mr Andrew Okaikoi, Chairman of National Council on Persons with Disability, said the socio-cultural and superstitious beliefs had created stigma for disabled people.
He said government in 2009 established the Disability Council to access the rights of opportunities for marginalised and vulnerable groups.
"Disability is not an illness but a temporary or a permanent situation,'' he added.
Mr Okaikoi said legislative instruments on disability rights had been completed and would be laid before Parliament soon.
A research report presented by PAHO indicated that although legislation provided equal rights for persons with disability, the reality was not clear due to lack of monitoring and enforcement.
It stated that the challenge for Ghana was to create awareness of their rights into everyday life and for the communities.
The report said there had been slow implementation of the PWA Act, especially the lack of legislative instruments to implement the new law.
It said with regards to attitude towards disabled people, stereotypes and myths about people with disabilities were imbedded in the Ghanaian culture, and that disabilities were often considered as curses and punishments for sins committed either by people with disability, their parents and ancestors associated with witchcraft, sorcery and magic.
The report showed that there was severe gap in resources and facilities to cater for disabled women and that Ghana Federation of Disabled recognises the gender relations and inequalities of women participating less in disability movements.
However, it recommended government to increase education on disabled persons' knowledge of their rights and expand focus of advocacy work to rural areas on sensitisation of persons with disability.
Disabled people’s grants complex
The Swazi Observer
20 April, 2011 11:22:00 By Sibusisiwe Ngozo
IT seems the issue of grants for the disabled will take sometime to be sorted out as a lot needs to be done.
Social Welfare Director Abner Dlamini said the issue of disabled was a rather complex one.
Some of the people living with disabilities under the Mbabane East and West constituencies were disappointed on Saturday as they did not get their grants.
The disabled get a quarterly grant of E240, which is collected together with that of the elderly every three months.
On Saturday when the elderly collected their money, the disabled could not get theirs as it was discovered that there were certain problems that needed to be sorted out. Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku assured them that their plight would be sorted out soon.
Dlamini said they had since discovered that there were lot of issues that needed to be settled before the distribution of the grants could go smoothly.
He said the people were categorised as per their disabilities but promised that the DPM’s office was working round the clock to ensure that the matter was sorted out, so, the disabled could get their quarterly grants. “Next week we will be having a meeting where we will be trying to map away forward on this issue as it was very important that it is settled.
“There is a lot that need to be corrected in the way the issuing of the grants was happening,” he said.
Deaf children get pre-school
Wednesday, 20th April, 2011
Deaf and blind children playing on a slide swing at their new pre-school in Ntinda which was recently launched
By Maria Wamala
DEAF children are to get pre-primary, kindergarten and day care education.
The former head teacher of the Uganda School for the Deaf in Ntinda, Dr. Joyce Nalugya, said unlike children with all their senses, deaf children have been missing out on the fun in kindergartens and day care schools.
Children have been coming straight to Primary One. Thanks to the Uganda Sign Health and that of UK, our deaf and blind children will get pre-school education, she said.
Nalugya was speaking at the launch of a pre-school programme for the deaf and blind children in Ntinda recently.
The children will study, play and have fun in a well-equipped early learning facility like other children in kindergarten, she said.
Nalugya added that since the deaf children s mother tongue is sign language, which they do not learn at home, the programme will ensure that it is taught so that they can easily translate it into English at primary level.
She noted that deaf students were failing Primary Leaving Examinations because they could not translate the sign language into English.
Nalugya appealed to the Uganda National Examinations Board to set deaf-friendly questions.
These people have a short memory yet long questions are set. By the time they finish reading them, they have forgotten the first part of the question, she said.
She urged for shorter questions, use of interpreters and a longer examination period.
The programme manager, Paul Ssenteza, said parents would also have free sign language lessons with their children to eliminate the existing communication gap.
He said the programme also includes a health assessment exercise for each student, aimed at finding out the magnitude of the impairment for proper support.
Ssenteza said the programme would also provide refresher courses for the teachers so that they are able to deliver quality services to the children.
The UK Sign Health representative, Matthew Gilbert, said deaf children deserve to be helped to grow into responsible adults who, with their impairments, can contribute positively to the country s political, social and economic development.
Signs of love: Churches of Christ in Ethiopia serve the hearing-impaired
Christian Chronicle - 2011年4月20日
ERIK TRYGGESTAD | The Christian Chronicle
PHOTO BY ERIK TRYGGESTAD
Language of love - A student at Makanisa School for the Deaf in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, shows the sign for "I love you." About 200 hearing- impaired children receive Christian education at the school.
ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA - Promptly at 5 a.m., the loudspeakers of an Orthodox church crackle to life.
Chanted prayers in Ethiopia’s language, Amharic, rattle across the metal roofs surrounding the massive cathedral, including the Church of Christ compound next door.
The service, commemorating Lent, goes on for 90 minutes. As priests admonish the faithful to honor Christ through prayer, repentance and fasting, workers in the Church of Christ compound sweep floors, light cooking fires and gather lesson plans for a day of service to the hearing-impaired.
As the sun rises, children in red sweaters and purple pants and skirts arrive by twos and threes at the compound, the home of Makanisa School for the Deaf.
Behailu Abebe signs “Good morning” as they enter the chapel for a devotional. About 200 of the school’s 274 students are hearing-impaired.
Nonetheless, they sing hymns in clear, boisterous Amharic - rivaling the volume of the cathedral’s loudspeakers.
For nearly 50 years, Churches of Christ have served the hearing-impaired in this East African nation. Makanisa is one of five church-run schools in Ethiopia.
Helping this underserved group has helped grow congregations here. There are about 900 Churches of Christ in Ethiopia, Abebe says. Even small churches in the countryside offer sign language services.
At Makanisa, girls wearing Muslim head scarves smile as they walk past Abebe into the chapel. The school accepts students of all faiths, he explains.
“They are taught the Word of God every day,” he says.
POUNDING COFFEE AND BREAKING BREAD
In the chapel, Abebe Halemichael reads from the Bible and gives the students a brief message. Musie Alemayehu translates his words into sign language.
When chapel dismisses, teachers dressed in white lab coats line up the students in the school’s courtyard. As a teacher raises Ethiopia’s flag, the students sing and sign the national anthem.
Both Halemichael and Alemayehu grew up at the church compound. When he was a young boy, Alemayhu came here to live after his father, a preacher, died. He was baptized here and now teaches English.
Halemichael started visiting the compound at age 9. At first, he only wanted to play soccer. But the Christians got him involved in youth ministry. He was baptized and now preaches for the 150-member congregation that meets in the compound.
“I think God raised up peaceful people to spread the Gospel,” Halemichael says.
Behailu Abebe describes his home nation as an island of Christianity in a sea of Islam. Unlike many of its predominantly Muslim neighbors - Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea ? more than 60 percent of Ethiopia’s 90.8 million inhabitants claim Christianity as their faith.
Three-fourths of the country’s Christians are Ethiopian Orthodox, a religious group that traces its origin to the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8. The country’s monarchy helped the Orthodox church maintain its traditions for hundreds of years by keeping the nation free from colonial rule ? except for an occupation by Mussolini- controlled Italy from 1936 to 1941.
Missionaries from Churches of Christ, including Carl Thompson and Bob Gowen, arrived in Ethiopia in 1960 with the goal of introducing non- denominational Christianity to East Africa. The Ethiopian government let them work here on one condition - they had to provide a service for the Ethiopian people.
The missionaries looked for an underserved demographic and found large numbers of hearing-impaired children and orphans. They opened homes for children and taught them to sign. Ethiopian converts, including Behailu Abebe and Demere Chernet, joined the work.
The new Christians did more than teach. To help the deaf communicate with the hearing, Chernet and a team of Christians developed unique signs for Amharic ? a language with 299 characters. He used American Sign Language as a guide.
The new language required some modifications to fit an African context, Abebe says. For example, the sign for “coffee” in American Sign Language is a grinding motion.
But Ethiopians don’t grind coffee - they pound it. To demonstrate the Amharic sign for “coffee,” the church leader pounds his fist into his hand. Similarly, the Amharic sign for “bread” involves two hands breaking a loaf rather than slicing it.
SERVING CHILDREN, PARENTS
Across Ethiopia, Churches of Christ enroll more than 800 students in five schools for the deaf and three kindergartens for underprivileged children.
Since opening its doors in 1963, the Makanisa school has graduated 5,543 students, says Mulu Nega, the school’s secretary and a Church of Christ member.
Sixteen instructors teach children from kindergarten to eighth grade, using a combination of sign language and speech. Hearing students learn alongside their deaf siblings so they can communicate at home.
After graduation, most of the students enter government-run schools.
Some receive assistance from translators, and many go on to universities, Nega says.
A few return to Makanisa to teach.
Nebeiyu Mussie, who is deaf, graduated from the school and received additional training in Kenya.
For the past 17 years, he has taught at the deaf school. He serves as the church’s minister for the hearing-impaired.
“I want to do God’s will,” he signs as Behailu Abebe translates. “I love my Lord. I love working here. I want to do this for the rest of my life.”
Despite the school’s success, there remains “a high degree of stigma toward the deaf children” in Ethiopia, says Bethelihem Seyoum, a social worker employed by the Makanisa school. Many Ethiopians believe deafness is the result of a curse.
Seyoum works with the students’ parents to help them understand the nature of hearing loss and how to communicate effectively with their children.
Increasingly, Ethiopia’s leaders see the need to provide services for the hearing-impaired. Makanisa launched an adult education program to teach sign language to the parents of its students.
Now the Ethiopian government sends police, court officials and government workers to the program. A Denmark-based non-governmental organization provides funds for the work.
Mekedes Kebede teaches sign language to the adults. A friend first brought him to the church compound 39 years ago to study the Bible.
“I became a Christian to save my life - to be with God,” he says.
A WAREHOUSE OF HOPE
Churches of Christ in Ethiopia have flourished because of their emphasis on saving lives ? spiritual and physical, Behailu Abebe says. The church ’s ministry to the deaf has allowed them to keep serving, even in hard times.
Ethiopia’s emperor, Haile Selassie, visited the Makanisa campus in 1967 and donated a minivan to transport students to school. Selassie was overthrown in a military coup in 1974. A communist regime came to power, but Churches of Christ were allowed to meet, largely because of their work with the deaf, Abebe says. Seventeen years later, the regime fell.
In the mid-1980s, a drought plunged Ethiopia into despair. The country relies on agriculture, and without rainfall, more than 200,000 people died from starvation.
“I have seen 20 people buried in one hole,” Abebe says. “I don’t want even to think about it.”
U.S. congregations, including the White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ in West Monroe, La., responded. Ethiopian churches also contributed what they could. The congregations set a goal of $1 million for Ethiopia.
“We raised $8 million,” Abebe says. The money came from U.S. churches and 28 congregations around the globe.
Church members received an additional $11 million in trucks and supplies from non-governmental organizations.
The donations saved at least 128,000 lives, Abebe says. Small children, so hungry they couldn’t speak, were brought to church-run feeding centers. A week later, they were playing soccer.
The famine drew international attention when Band Aid, a group of British and Irish rock stars, recorded the song “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” in 1984 to raise money for famine relief.
Workers with Band Aid visited the Church of Christ compound and donated a metal warehouse to store the life-sustaining food purchased with donations.
Now the building is the meeting place of the church - and Makanisa’s chapel.
“I don’t care if I die today,” Abebe says as he glances at the chapel full of children, singing songs of praise. “What God has been able to accomplish here is more than I imagined.”
Namibia: Kamwi Blames Ills On Managers
21 April 2011
Health Minister Richard Kamwi on Monday had to put out fires from fellow Swapo MPs, among others, in the National Assembly about the ills which plague his ministry.
Fellow ruling party member Alexia Manombe-Ncube said she was "disappointed" that there was "little to no mention" in Kamwi's motivation speech on the National Council for Disability which reports to the health ministry.
She charged that she believes "disability issues are not taken seriously... to be given a reasonable budgetary allocation".
Manombe-Ncube, said she expected the council to at least be mentioned "especially because it is one of the successes of the ministry".
Kamwi also came under fire from another Swapo MP Lucia Witbooi because "nothing is mentioned in your report on how to combat mosquitoes and malaria" especially in light of the heavy floods in Northern and North- Eastern Namibia.
The health minister fought back and said Government has won its battle against malaria in the past 21 years. At Independence, Kamwi said some 1 000 people died from malaria annually, while, currently, ten deaths are recorded per year.
Witbooi, furthermore, urged Kamwi to ensure that the number of training facilities for nurses needs to be increased to meet the increasing demand.
Moreover, another Swapo MP Juliet Kavetuna, said "some clinics are even overstaffed with old nurses".
Former health minister Nickey Iyambo also appealed to his colleague to "continue to also consider the training of dentists and also pharmacists" in the country.
Another problem which irks Iyambo is the work ethic - not only in the health ministry but in all Government ministries is going "from bad to worse". Iyambo insisted that the Public Service Act should be amended "so that Government can hire and fire [civil servants]".
Republican Party (RP) MP Clara Gowases asked Kamwi to invest in a programme to assist teen mothers in an attempt to curb baby dumping.
Gowases also criticised Kamwi for devoting too much attention to HIV- AIDS and neglecting other diseases like cancer.
The Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP)'s Agnes Limbo also expressed concern about doctors and nurses who are placed in management positions without any managerial training.
In response, Kamwi placed the blame for most of the challenges on his managers "who don't do their work and there is nothing we can do but shout at them".
The minister said he supports the implementation of a hire and fire policy to get rid of bad apples.
Regarding Manombe-Ncube's concern, Kamwi mentioned that he had "said something last year [about the National Disability Council] that I didn't want to repeat this year".
Chinese Art Troupe Thrills Audience at National Theatre
President John Evans Atta Mills last night joined a large crowd of Chinese and Ghanaians to enjoy a thrilling performance by the China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe at the National Theatre in Accra. He was accompanied by the First Lady Mrs. Ernestina Naadu Mills and some Ministers of State.
The Troupe is in Ghana for a two-day charity performance with the proceeds going to Charity Organisations in the Country. The Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture, Alex Asum Ahinsan, said the visit by the Chinese group is a testimony of the growing Ghana - China relations in the area of culture.
The Chinese Ambassador to Ghana said the visit to Ghana by the Cultural group forms part of a series of activities to further strengthen the relations between China and Ghana.
The China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe has so far visited 60 countries and raised 7.74 Million Yuan and 770,000 dollars to support charity projects at home and abroad.
Some of the songs performed included "We are the World" and E.T. Mensah's "All for You".
Former combatants at world veteran federation assembly
Luanda - An Angolan delegation from Disabled and Former Combatants Association (AMMIGA) will attend a World Veteran Federation’s General Assembly on 26 - 28 May in Ukraine.
The fact was disclosed by the Association's chairman, Domingos Martins Ngola, who noted that the event will discuss legislation on Former Combatant in force in many countries.
The source told Angop that AMMIGA will divulge, during the meeting, the bills in force in Angola, as well as the perspectives of legislation awaiting the approval by concerned organs of the country.
Domingos Ngola also said that apart from the revision underway in Angola of the Law 13, related to Former Combatant, expected to be adapted to the country's Constitution, the National Assembly is also centred on Basic Law on Disabled people.
According to him, the National Assembly is already working toward the Law on disabled persons with a view to protect all disabled citizens, as the organ's goal is that the bill should be approved soon.
Regarding with reintegration of former combatants into job market, Domingos Martins Ngola referred that his association will seize the opportunity to present its social projects in order to attract the fund raised by counterparts from other countries.
Disabled Federation team at leadership seminar in South Africa
AngolaPress - 2011年4月30日
Luanda, - A delegation of the Angolan Federation of Associations of the Disabled (FAPED) is attending a seminar on Administration and Leadership taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from May 2-6.
The information was released to Angop Saturday by FAPED chairman, Silva Lopes Etiambulo, short before leaving for South Africa.
Jointly organised by the Southern African Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD) and the Norway Federation of Organisations of the Disabled (FFO), the event will analyse the national reports on the implementation of recommendations from last year’s meeting in Gaborone, (Botswana).
The event will also discuss matters related to the management of the national organisations of disabled persons, their level of organisation, democratic governance of organisations and other issues.
The meeting will receive addresses from officials from Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Norway.
Libya disabled children school hit in NATO strike
Sun May 1, 2011 11:06am GMT
By Lin Noueihed
TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Shattered glass litters the carpet at the Libyan Down's Syndrome Society, and dust covers pictures of grinning children that adorn the hallway, thrown into darkness by a NATO strike early on Saturday.
It was unclear what the target of the strike was, though Libyan officials said it was Muammar Gaddafi himself, who was giving a live television address at the time.
"They maybe wanted to hit the television. This is a non-military, non- governmental building," said Mohammed al-Mehdi, head of the civil societies council, which licenses and oversees civil groups in Libya.
The missile completely destroyed an adjoining office in the compound that houses the government's commission for children.
The force of the blast blew in windows and doors in the parent-funded school for children with Down's Syndrome and officials said it damaged an orphanage on the floor above.
"I felt sad really. I kept thinking, what are we going to do with these children?" said Ismail Seddigh, who set up the school 17 years ago after his own daughter was born with Down's.
"This is not the place we left on Thursday afternoon."
There were no children at the school when the missiles hit early on Saturday morning, since Friday begins the weekend in Libya. Children had been due to come in on Saturday morning.
A mound of rubble was all that remained of one wing of the main building that adjoined the school, though an antenna of some kind protruded from the ruins.
Both Mehdi and Seddigh said they had assumed that the antenna on the building was there to strengthen mobile phone signals and were not aware of any other use.
In the rubble of the main building, a shredding machine packed with sliced up documents lay on its side. A fax and phone were nearby and shelves of files could be seen.
The Libyan government has repeatedly said that NATO airstrikes have hurt and killed civilians but has not responded to requests by journalists to visit the hospitals, making it tough to verify casualty figures.
NATO has hit inside or near Gaddafi's compound before, or struck military or logisitical sites. Saturday's government-organised visit was the first to bring journalists -- whom government minders watch closely -- to a civilian site.
Inside the school, the power had been knocked out by the strikes, the floor was wet because of a leaking pipe and desks were covered in glass and debris.
Seddigh's school prepared children with Down's Syndrome up to the age of 6 to go to normal schools, giving them speech therapy, handicrafts and sports sessions and teaching them to read and write. It handles 50 to 60 children a day.
Cape Coast BAC training disabled persons to acquire business skills
More than 48 disabled persons in the Cape Coast Metropolis are being trained by the Cape Coast Business Advisory Centre (BAC) of the National Board for Small Scale Enterprises, on business management, to build the capacities of participants, to enable them to improve upon their businesses.
The one-month programme was organised by the Cape Coast BAC and the Department of Co-operatives with financial support from Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO).
Ms. Alison Walker, the Disability Development Advisor of the VSO, told Ghana News Agency in Cape Coast that the voluntary group had released 10,680 Ghana Cedis for the training, to enable the disabled to acquire skills to successful operate profit making enterprises to better their living conditions.
She said the executives and members of disabled groups: the Ghana Blind Union, Ghana Society for Physically Disabled, Services and Advocacy for People with Intellectual Disability and the Ghana National Association of the Deaf would benefit from the programme.
According to Ms. Walker, who is currently attached to the Cape Coast Metropolitan Social Welfare Office, the training programme would focus on group dynamics where members would be encouraged to partner with others to undertake income generating activities.
Other contents include records and book-keeping to expose participants among others to business transaction and record keeping, business and financial management, the culture of saving and the benefits of banking.
Ms. Walker said the training course was important because majority of the disabled in the Metropolis were poor and face obstacles in the area of securing and maintaining livelihoods.
She said it was necessary that their capacities were built for them to run their own businesses and petty trading activities with the required skills.
The Head of the Cape Coast BAC, Ms. Veronica Essien, indicated that Associations of the Disabled were working to develop a collective business venture for the benefit of all its members.
She said numerous assistances both in cash and tools from organizations, to some of the disabled persons have not helped improve their businesses hence the training programme to give them the needed skills to run their economic ventures.
Ms. Essien asked the participants to avail themselves of the opportunity being offered them to secure livelihoods and take care of their families.
Deaf voice out grief against discrimination
The deaf and people with hearing impairment in Ghana on Wednesday voiced out their grief against the fact that their concerns are not being included in national development programmes.
They raised issues with the authorities on the lack of inclusion of issues of accessibility to education, employment and integration of sign language into the health care system.
They said the rather high rate of stigmatisation and prejudice against the deaf and the hearing impaired must stop.
This was contained in a release in Accra on Wednesday signed by Emmanuel Sackey, Director of the Ghana National Association of the Deaf (GNAD).
The Association expressed concern about the effect of ignorance, superstition and negative cultural beliefs on their persons, leading to stigmatisation and discrimination against the deaf and those with hearing impairment.
"In many Ghanaian communities, the deaf is often looked down upon and even called with derogatory names.
"At both the family and community levels, owing to communication barrier, deaf members are not included in the decision making process, neither are they included in socio-political and economic activities thereby leading to their isolation," the release said.
On education, the GNAD said the inclusion of deaf students in mainstream schools must be accompanied by a supportive environment including the provision of sign language interpreters or assistive technology devices that could enhance communication.
Citing the 2007 Ghana Human Development Report, the GNAD observed that the unemployment rate for People With Disabilities was 31 per cent while that of non-disabled persons was 19.8 per cent.
The release also observed that the National Disability Act (Act 715) fell short of an affirmative action although it sought to promote the employment of PWDs.
It suggested a provision in the law that could guarantee a minimum quota of about five per cent of all public sector employment opportunities for qualified persons with disability.
"With such a provision the government could take the lead and set a good example for the private sector," the Association suggested.
Additionally, it would also be imperative for financial institutions to support vocational training and sustainable livelihood projects for the deaf, with micro credit schemes to set up their own business.
The release called for the provision of sign language interpreters within the health care delivery system, and also is a remote/video sign language interpretation services through which interpretation services can be offered by interpreters anywhere without their physical presence.
While calling for the protection of the legal rights of deaf persons, the GNAD stressed the need for the law enforcement agencies to have on hand sign language interpreters and assistive technology to enhance communication with the deaf when they reported cases at the police station and when dealing with the judicial system.
The Association called on the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the district assemblies and the National Commission on Culture to enshrine deaf sports and recreation in the statue books.
Adequate facilities, programmes and incentives should be provided for persons with disability to have access to sports and cultural events.
"GNAD wishes to emphasise that good intensions alone are not enough. The existing policies and laws must be implemented to ensure inclusive society for all. Persons with disability have the same right as other members of society.
"Mainstreaming requires that disability aspects are included in all relevant policy formulation and implementation and not treated separately."
The GNAD entreated the public to change the negative perception about the deaf and desist from discrimination and stigmatisation because disability was a social construction reinforced through barriers created by the society.
Disabled duo out to spread the message
2011/05/03 | ANDREW HLONGWANE
THEY are disabled - but also gifted singers who are keen to break into the South African musical scene.
Phanie "PhanieM" Makamu, 29, and Mikel, aka "Israel" Seisa, 28, say they are not prepared to just sit and rely on disability grants, while they are blessed with great singing talents.
Makamu and Seisa are among the most flexible disabled men one could imagine.
Makamu hails from Nkowankowa township and Seisa from Modjadji outside Tzaneen in Limpopo.
They have dropped a first combined album titled Mopani with eight hot tracks.
Both men say they have been in the music industry for years but were unable to record an album because of financial limitations.
But Makamu was lucky last year when he dropped his first gospel album - Tshika. Thealbum did not do well because he marketed it alone.
This year Makamu met Seisa, who was also struggling to release his reggae album. After putting their heads together, they started a new project with the help of King of kwasa kwasa Stephen "Malo a Botsheba"
Sefofa, and recorded at IRP studio in Tzaneen.
The two say they were infected by polio while they were still young.
It's amazing to watch the two sing and dance on stage despite their condition.
"God has a purpose for us and we believe everyone has a gift from God, whether you are disabled or have a mental disorder. Other disabled people will sit and rely on disability grants, unaware that they have a gift," Makamu says.
They say their new Afro-Pop album, Mopani, is aimed at sending a message to the people.
Songs in the album include Mopani, U thando lika baba and Israel.
The songs contain messages that are relevant to people of all ages.
"Don't take us for granted because we will show you a miracle," Seisa says.
Makamu and Seisa say they were unable to further their education after matric because they came from poor families.
They urged those involved in pirating other people's music to stop because "they are killing the musicians".
They advised people to buy original copies of their latest album instead of the pirated version.
South Africa: no feet no hindrance for cyclist Disability does not hold back young South African who competes in grueling race
Alex Duval SmithMay 5, 2011 06:41
Xolisa Dinga, 16, getting ready to cycle the Cape Argus race in Cape Town.
Photo by: Alex Duval Smith
1 of 6
CAPE TOWN, South Africa - Xolisa Dinga has no feet.
Yet asked what difference there is between him and other cyclists, the 16-year-old is at a loss for words.
’’There is no difference,’’ he eventually says. ’’Where they ride, I can ride. When they go fast, I can go fast.’’
Wearing state-of-the-art carbon fiber prostheses covered by stockings, the teenager put his assertion to the test as a competitor in what is billed as the biggest timed cycling road race in the world: Cape Town's grueling 68-mile Cape Argus.
Barely any of the other 35,000 contestants knew - or could guess - that the beaming teenager on a white racing bike was anything other than an ordinary, able-bodied boy.
“There is no difference. Where they ride, I can ride. When they go fast, I can go fast”
~Xolisa Dinga, 16, disabled cyclist.
But his journey to be part of the peloton that snaked its way from Cape Town, around the tip of Africa and back to the city was anything but ordinary.
’’When we found Xolisa he was mostly dragging himself around on his hands and knees,’’ said Tony Lubner, 53, whose charity, Sabrina Love, raised the money for Xolisa’s ’"legs’’ by entering a team of sponsored riders in last year’s Argus.
South African businessman Lubner and his interior decorator wife Suzy, 47, founded the charity in 2003, in memory of their disabled daughter.
’’Sabrina was an angel. In her seven short years she left an indelible impression on everyone she met. We feel she was sent for a purpose. Suzy and I, being well-off enough to have medical insurance, were able to give Sabrina the best care. We started the charity to help the many familes in our town, Plettenberg Bay, who simply cannot pay the added cost entailed in having a special child,’’ said Lubner, himself a keen cyclist who along with Xolisa and 185 other members of the team, rode the Argus on March 13 dressed in the distinctive pink Sabrina Love shirt.
South Africa has an estimated 2.2 million mentally or physically disabled people (6 percent of the population) and while the country’s modern constitution recognizes their right to equal treatment, activists say the government, while providing social grants, has failed to streamline regulations to elevate their standing.
Figures show that South African households with a disabled person lag behind on every lifestyle benchmark: access to education but also piped water (78 percent compared to 85 percent of the general population), electricity (62 percet compared to 70 percent) and employment (19 percent against 35 percent).
Groups fighting for their rights say that, given United Nations assertions that 80 percent of the world’s 500 million disabled people live in developing countries, South Africa should lead the way in improving conditions for its disabled.
SABC and DeafSA team up
Tue, 10 May 2011 15:37
As per a decision taken by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications on 20 April, the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation(SABC) and DeafSA convened a meeting on 9 May to work together to make programmes, news bulletins and sport shows accessible to the Deaf Community by means of providing subtitles and South African Sign Language interpreters.
Said SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago: “DeafSA and the SABC are partners in addressing the challenges that face the Deaf Community in South Africa. It will be important for both parties to focus on how the SABC can maintain its mandate, to educate, inform and to entertain the public - and that includes the Deaf Community.”
SABC Group Executive: Stakeholder Management Hlaudi Motsoeneng indicated that all the needs will not be addressed overnight but will be implemented in phases with deadlines. He suggested that immediate action should be taken by implementing pilot programmes with subtitles.
National Director of DeafSA Bruno Druchen agreed that as part of the pilot programmes the SABC should make the 7pm and 8.30pm news bulletins accessible, and that all public events should be included to keep the Deaf community informed.
The SABC undertook to request production houses to make their programmes accessible by providing subtitles and DeafSA will proceed by contacting the corporate industry to produce adverts with subtitles.
Government’s deadline for the Digital Terrestrial Terrain (DTT) to be fully functional is 2013, which will address the matter of having subtitles.
The SABC will investigate whether they will broadcast the XVI World Federation of the Deaf Congress to be held from 18 to 24 July 2011. The live coverage will be considered for the opening ceremony that co- incides with the International Nelson Mandela Day.
Prominent disabled activist Phiri dies in Bulawayo
05月12日 Zim Diaspora
WEDNESDAY, 11 MAY 2011 16:52
>From Our Correspondent
Prominent Zimbabwean disabled activist and chairman of the Zimbabwe Federation of the Disabled Alexander Phiri has died. He was 57.
According to Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD) administrative assistant Jairos Patana, Phiri died due to diabetes attack Tuesday morning. At the time of his death Phiri was SAFOD director general.
Patana said the disabled activist died at Bulawayo's Mater Dei Hospital hwhere he was being treated following rising sugar levels at the weekend.
“Phiri was stable at the weekend but was later taken to the intensive care unit where he died. Phiri is said to have succumbed to renal failure,” he said.
Burial arrangements are yet to be released.
SAFOD represents disabled people in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia.
Patana added that when Phiri died, he was busy organizing the African Network for Evidence to Action in Disability symposium that was due in November.
“Phiri’s death is a great loss to the SAFOD and he left many projects uncompleted,” he said.
Phiri was born in Malawi on May 4 1954 but his parents relocated to Zimbabwe in search of work. He attended the Jairos Jiri Primary school before proceeding to the Anglican Boys School outside Bulawayo and Cyrene High School.
In 1974 Phiri completed Ordinary Level and proceeded to do Advanced Level at Mzilikazi High School after which he went to Bulawayo Polytechnic where he joined the School of Art and Building. After three years he graduated with a Diploma in Art and Design.
Phiri once worked for the Ministry of Social Amenities and Housing as a trainee draughtsman and later moved to the private sector. When the Council for the Welfare for the Disabled (GWD) became the National Council of the Disabled Persons of Zimbabwe (NCDPZ), Phiri became its chair from 1985 to 2000.
Phiri remained vocal in disabled issues and he was on the indigenisation sub-group for the disabled. He was also a repertoire during the constitution making process outreach programme.
Bulawayo historian Pathisa Nyathi said: “His departure will have serious ramifications in the region and beyond as he was an international campaigner of rare qualities. The disability activism will never be the same again. “
Mourners are gathered at 16 Winsor Road Khumalo North.
Gambia: YCF Mathematics Teachers' Enrichment Programme Ends
Aji Fatou Faal12 May 2011
The Youth Care Foundation (YCF) The Gambia recently wrapped-up the 2nd edition of the Mathematics Teachers Enrichment Programme (MTEP) held at St. John School for the Deaf in Kanifing. The theme of the programme was 'Problem-Solving Approaches and Techniques'.
Speaking at the ceremony, Abdul Kolapo, the executive director of YCF said that Mathematics network is like any event with positive social impact, and creates and maintains its network of dedicated people. He opined that there is a great need for professional development of Mathematics teachers in the country. He explained that MTEP is an enhancement and development programme for Mathematics teachers in the upper basic and senior schools including the Arabic schools (Madarassas).
"The programme was a short and free training programme and the courses are mostly used in GABECE and WASSCE syllabus. These special topics such as Transformation, Calculus, Probability, Statistics and Constructions were highlighted in the programme," Kolapo added. He stressed that the rebirth of Mathematics in The Gambia hangs in the hands of all and the dedication of people is also needed.
He called on individuals and corporate bodies to make personal and passionate contribution to the subject, adding that their involvement is a great investment in the present and future of any growing company in the country. "The teachers that participated in the programme will be presented with certificates and Mathematics Teachers' Directory.
The directory is to help build relationships to share experiences among Mathematics teachers. There is a great need for social and academic network among mathematics teachers. Teachers' names, schools and telephone numbers are in the directory. This will facilitate a cross- section and crosspollination of idea and problem solving techniques," Kolapo remarked.
The Great Olympiads Mathematics Competition winners will be awarded with Account Passbooks. The winners who are tomorrow's leaders are given the passbook as an art to teach them saving culture. Kolapo finally thanked the host school, St John's School for the Deaf, principals of schools and the course instructors who gave their time and shared their knowledge; as well as teachers who participated in the programme.
Disabled persons called to join cooperatives
05月16日 AngolaPress -
Luanda - The chairman of the National Association of Disabled (ANDA), Silva Lopes Etiambulo, Friday in Luanda, urged people living with impairment to join existing professional cooperatives or invest in professional training.
The official was speaking at the ceremony of launch of the operation “ Alegria” that kick-starts the fourth phase of the “Vem Comigo” (Come along) project.
Silva Lopes Etiambulo added that in order to help its associates, ANDA has been running awareness and assistance programmes for disabled persons who choose to return to their provinces of origin.
He announced that four agricultural cooperatives will be created in some provinces of the country, four of artisan fishing, three of art and business and one for services to accommodate physically disabled people with a degree.
Alegria (Joy) Project whose fourth phase of “Vem Comigo” started on Friday has an 18 month duration and is support by Government fund.
There 16 cooperatives around the country, run by disabled people.
ANDA groups 9,547 members, but a total of 47,752 people with various sorts of impairment
Zimbabwe: the curse of disability
05月17日 New Zimbabwe.com
by Francis Rwodzi
FOR years, the plight of people living with disabilities has not only been neglected but ignored by those in authority to such an extent that such people have rarely, if ever, featured in national planning and the effects have been devastating.
Since the country attained Independence in 1980, there has been no meaningful commitment on the part of the government in addressing issues that affect disabled young people in their daily lives. In most cases, it appears that the government has taken a back seat, leaving a few non- governmental organisations to bear the burden of taking care of the needs of the disabled.
But no matter how hard private players try to address the plight of this vulnerable group, their efforts have always counted to nothing because they are not backed by a serious legislative framework.
The disability arts festival that was held at the University of Zimbabwe during the Theatre Arts Week at the beginning of this month exposed the glaring shortcomings on the part of the government in adequately meeting the demands of young people living with disabilities.
The festival held under the theme, “Navigating and Re-negotiating Marginality: Cultural and Artistic Dimensions, was hosted by the Theatre Arts department’s Disability Resource Centre with support from the Student Solidarity Trust and the Culture Fund.
This year’s event was the second such programme after the inaugural event in March last year and focused on arts, culture and nationhood.
Speaking during the Arts Week, Nicodemus Chivandikwa, the chairman of the UZ’s theatre arts department said that this year’s event resonates well with current debates in gender, development literature and popular culture.
The performances and academic papers that were presented shed light on relevant social, political, cultural and economic issues facing communities and the society at large.
Despite the fact that disabled people constitute about 10 percent of the country’s population, this figure has failed to translate to resource allocation by central government, a situation which has left those living with disabilities scrambling for a few crumbs.
Those in authority do not realise that they could also become disabled at any time, hence the need for a concerted effort among all stakeholders to ensure that the burden of people living with disabilities is lessened.
MP Ndlovu showered with praises
The Swazi Observer
17 May, 2011 11:37:00 By Starsky Mkhonta
MATSANJENI South MP Qedusizi Ndlovu has been praised for his work in parliament.
Former president of the disabled, Musa Makhanya was impressed by the MP who on Wednesday called upon the deputy prime minister to consult with the ministry of finance to have a budget for the disabled. Makhanya said this showed that Ndlovu was a caring legislator.
“I salute Ndlovu for the brave contribution and it is my wish that we have more legislators like him. Disabled people are not considered as human beings. It is people like Ndlovu who can make our lives better,” said Makhanya.
He said disabled people had suffered for a long time and nothing had been done to help them.
“At least now that there is a legislator like Ndlovu whom we consider as the mouthpiece for those not privileged, government is going to spring into action,” said Makhanya.
Ndlovu promised to ensure that concerns affecting the less privileged, including disabled people, were addressed. He said when he moved the motion for disabled people to receive government funding; he had considered the frustration these people go through.
“If there is a cake for a family, let every member have a share. If elderly grants are distributed, let other disadvantaged people benefit as well,” said the MP.
...Feels someone is trying to unseat him
MP Qedusizi Ndlovu has claimed that there are moves made to unseat him.
He said that campaign was led by a resident of the area who had tried on several occasions to have his discredited. He said some of those involved were people he defeated during the 2008 elections. The former radio personality said as a person still in office, the moves by his rivals would not succeed.
“Politics, as they say is a dirty game, and this is what is happening”.
The MP said he would continue doing his work without any problem. He said should he start questioning what these individuals were doing behind his back; he may end up losing focus.
Sewerage ‘dam’ addressed
MP Qedusizi Ndlovu is now a relieved man after the issue of the sewerage across the road near Matsanjeni Health Centre has been addressed.
Livestock had also been drinking from the sewer, which posed a health hazard to them as well human beings.
“I thank the ministry of health for attending to the issue as it exposed everyone to health hazard.”
Case for Inclusive Education
Children with disability deserve equal access to quality education. Experts have suggested that an inclusive education should be encouraged by governments by way of providing infrastructure and other facilities that enhance learning, socialisation and the overall development of children with disability. Chika Mefor reports.
Chioma Aroh, became a pupil of one of the primary schools in Anambra State at the age of six. She was as smart and intelligent and as determined like her many classmates striving for the best, striving to earn praise from both her parents and her teachers. Only that she was crippled, attacked by the deadly polio disease when she was a baby.
But her crippled nature didn't deter her and her parents. Though her parents were at lose on what to do,seeing how little Chioma loved to play with children her age, they decided to enroll her into the primary school where she would meet and interact with the children her age. With her clutches, Chioma moves around and made friends. Later, her parents were able to buy her a wheel chair, which made movement much easier. Then she joined the other children in every activity they did in the school, even in the game including football.
Chioma didn't stop at the primary school level. She went through secondary and university education and bagged a degree in Mass Communication.
In an interview with LEADERSHIP Education, Chioma said that she couldn't achieve all that if her parents had shielded and prevented her from going out with her peers in spite of her physical challenges .
"The school has a kind of environment that should encourage instead of discourage you. It builds your confidence as you tackle one tasks after another . And you know that you can really make it no matter the difficulties."
Though she was physically challenged, Chioma believed that her performance in school stemmed from what she learnt from socialising with other students in her class that were not disabled. That is what an inclusive education can do to a physically challenged child.
Inclusion or inclusive education can be defined as the philosophy and practice for educating students with disabilities in general education settings, according experts. The practice anchors on the notion that every child should be an equally valued member of the school culture. In other words, children with disabilities benefit from learning in a regular classroom, while their peers without disabilities gain from being exposed to children with diverse characteristics, talents and temperaments. The inclusive education model evolved out of the realis ation that all children have the right to receive the kind of education that does not discriminate on the grounds of disability, ethnicity, religion, language, gender, or capabilities.
While Inclusive education allows for students with special educational needs to spend all, or at least more than half, of the school day with students who do not have special educational needs, the practice has been criticised by advocates and some parents of children with special needs because some of these students require instructional methods that differ dramatically from typical classroom methods. Critics assert that it is not possible to deliver effectively two or more very different instructional methods in the same classroom. As a result, the educational progress of students who depend on different instructional methods to learn often fall even further behind their peers.
But the supporters of inclusive education say that it could help children to learn social skills in an environment that approximates to normal conditions of growth and development. Children during their formative years develop language more effectively if they are with children who speak normally and appropriately.
Often, it is gratifying that where school and community environments can be made physically and programmatically accessible, children and youth with physical disabilities can function more effectively than would otherwise be the case. It is also apparent that such modifications to the environment often enable others who do not have disabilities to access their environment even more readily.
Inclusive education has also been seen as the first step of a child to make him adapt to live situation in his environment and not be isolated. It is reasoned that when he is done with school, he still has to face these situations, so there is need for him to start learning at a very tender age.
As Nigeria aligns herself with the whole world to pursue the objectives of Education For All (EFA), with the 2015 deadline, the question boggling the minds of exponents of inclusive education would be: what direction should a low-income country like Nigeria follow in its quest to provide quality inclusive education for special needs learners? Mr. Paul M. Ajuwon of the Missouri State University in his write up, Inclusive Education For Students With Disabilities In Nigeria: Benefits, Challenges And Policy Implications says that Nigeria like many other developed countries should understand that education is a social process that should be concerned with more than the traditional academic domains, and everyone should recognize that education deals with developing in children an increasing sense of independence, personal responsibility and belonging to their diverse community.
Ajuwon opined that, it has never been sufficient for government officials to merely endorse international protocols of special needs education that have not been adequately researched or tested in developing countries which are exactly what the Nigerian government usually do.
It spent huge amount of money to bring in policies gotten from the developed countries only to come finally to realize that the policies couldn't work in the nation thereby wasting power and resources.
For the project to work, Ajuwon said that there was need to change the attitudes that prevent any sort of interaction with children, youth and adults who have disabilities adding that public enlightenment work in schools must begin the process of educating the school and the general community in order to eradicate superstitions about causation of disabilities, and to modify the fears and myths about children with disabilities that create misunderstanding and inhibit normal interaction.
He also said that researchers must determine empirically the educational and social-emotional impacts of inclusion on students with differing characteristics, emphasizing also the need to undertake rigorous research into the needs of the large number of general education students, and to assess how inclusionary practices will impact the general classroom atmosphere.
He also recommended that new buildings constructed under the UBE scheme throughout the 774 local government areas, should be designed in such a way to anticipate the needs of the physically challenged so that changes after construction are unnecessary, thereby creating maximum accessibility for all students, not only those with special needs.
Even of great importance is the training and re-training of special educators and also the need for proper deployment of available trained special educators at primary and secondary school levels. As the argument still ranges whether the inclusion education would achieve the desired effect, the fact remains that there is need to grant education opportunity to every child, whether physically challenged or not.
Can anyone help me trace my relatives?
Bob Odalo | NATION Lillian Wambua, now at the Machakos School for the Deaf, is seeking her relatives. School principal Antony Muthembwa believes the girl was not born deaf and dumb.
By BOB ODALO firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted Saturday, May 21 2011 at 22:00
Although she can neither talk nor hear, teachers believe she was not born with the handicap "I want to trace my parents and relatives so I can live a normal life like I used to.”
This message was delivered through sign language by a 15-year-old girl suspected to have been a victim of the 2007/08 post-election violence in the Rift Valley.
Her plight at her new home has become a cause for concern among her teachers at a school for the deaf in Machakos town.
Lillian Wambua was brought to the Machakos Rescue Centre, formerly the Machakos Approved School, where some of the children displaced during the violence were taken.
But her situation proved delicate for the centre after it was discovered that she was deaf and dumb, prompting the authorities there to transfer her to the Machakos School for the Deaf.
According to school principal Antony Muthembwa, the girl was picked up off the streets of Nakuru town.
“From the look of things, Lillian was not born deaf and dumb. It is a disability she acquired later on after birth. She appears to have been affected to the point of losing memory, which she is recovering though at a slow pace,” Mr Muthembwa said, adding that when she was admitted, she did not know how to communicate in sign language but was able to scribble her name.
“That led us to the conclusion that she must have attended some formal education before becoming deaf and dumb,” he said.
Dorothy Mutinda, a teacher at the school, has had the girl staying at her home during school holidays.
“But of late the girl has been displaying erratic behaviour, and we think she is missing her family. That is why we are appealing for help so we can re-unite her with her relatives if indeed they are alive,” Mr Muthembwa said.
“She has refused to eat for the last five days. At times she is withdrawn and emotional. I have found her speaking to herself several times, and when I enquire she says she is communicating with her mother, ” Ms Mutinda said.
The teachers say they have begun to understand the girl’s plight through her English compositions.
In one such composition entitled My Bad Day, Lillian wrote: “I had a feeling that this would be a tearful day, when I was taking breakfast. I saw my mother did not want to go to work as usual. She told our housegirl to pack her things and take off … My mother was not happy. At lunch time I asked my brother what was going on but he told me nothing.
“Suddenly my mother heard someone knock at the door and she went to open. When she opened one man pushed her against the fridge and others were standing outside the door. My brother took me and we drove to our grandmother. The next day my aunt came to my grandmother’s house and she told her to stay with me at Nakuru for a short time before they know what had happened to my mother.”
In what appears to be an incident highlighting why she was found in Nakuru town, Lillian wrote in the essay: “I was with my aunt at the Nakuru bus station … she told me to wait for her there and that she will come back for me. I waited for her until late in the night but she did not come back. Police saw me and took me to the camp where I stayed with people who I didn’t know. It was in 2007 and I stayed there till 2010”.
Mr Muthembwa says when they were enquiring about the girl’s background she would indicate her home as Ziwani.
“We thought of a place called Ziwani in Makueni County, so when we took her there we realised she was a stranger in the place”.
Lillian continued in her essay: “On month five, Wednesday, Mr Gitonga (Nakuru Children’s Officer) took me to Machakos School for the Deaf and I met Mr Muthembwa and he gave Muthembwa a letter to take me to the Girls Rescue Centre so that they can find my home; people at the rescue centre took me to Ziwani instead of Siwa; then they told me to show them my home ...
But it was her essay My Life in Tent that made her teachers to conclude that they were indeed dealing with a child who was a victim of the post- election violence.
Disability and the Millennium Development Goals
05月23日 Swazi Observer
21 May, 2011 12:04:00 with Buyie Masuku
In 2000, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were born from the Millennium Declaration, which was an unprecedented global consensus to improve the condition of humanity throughout the world. Today the MDG’s are seen as the centerpiece of the development agenda. Notwithstanding the breadth and the scope of the MDGs, persons with disabilities continue to experience inequalities that are closely intertwined to all the development challenges linked to the MDGs. Disability remains as both a cause and consequence of poverty. Reaching the Millennium Development Goals is unlikely to be achieved unless the rights and needs of persons with disabilities are considered in the process of development.
Eradicate Hunger and Poverty
Disability and poverty are intertwined. In fact, the qualitative evident suggests that disabled people are significantly poor in developing countries, and more so than non-disabled counterpart. Many persons with disabilities are denied education or jobs, the disorder may require chronic health care and these in turn drain the scarce household resources. Persons with disabilities make up as much as 1/5 of the world ’s poor. Malnutrition can result in a number of disabilities, such as stunting, blindness, and diabetes.
Achieve Primary Universal Education
40 million of the 115 million children not attending primary school in developing countries have disabilities. Very often, children with disabilities are not recognized, get frustrated with school and drop out.
In the US, it has been found that the majority of children who repeat classes or drop out of school have emotional or intellectual disabilities. This in turn makes it impossible to achieve the goal of Universal Primary Education unless the health aspects are taken into account.
Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women Disabled women are more likely to be victims of sexual abuse. Violence against women causes psychological disabilities, and some disabilities, such as obstetric fistula, are particularly stigmatizing. Women and girls are also responsible for providing care to family members with disabilities. A dearth of community access and services for persons with disabilities may prevent the women and girls from taking advantage of school and work opportunities.
Reduce Child Mortality
Children with disabilities at higher risk of dying because of medical conditions, but also because of lack of access to public services, and intense stigma ? even within their own homes. Early detection, treatment and education may increase survival rates and minimize the consequences of disability later in life.
Improve Maternal Health
Disabled women have less access to public health information and they are often at higher risk of violence and sexual assault, placing them at greater risk of unwanted pregnancies and HIV/AIDS. Women with disabilities may have a greater risk of forced sterilization. Pregnancy, especially in girls and young women may result in disabling conditions.
Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases AIDS and other contagious diseases can, in and of themselves, be disabling. However, most significantly, efforts to halt these epidemics frequently do not encompass disabled people, putting disabled people at higher risk of contracting these diseases.
Ensure Environmental Sustainability
Environmental dangers can lead to the onset of many types of disabilities. For instance, some pollutants can lead to a number of disabilities. Road design can have a tremendous impact on the safety of pedestrians, potentially preventing road crashes that can lead to disabilities and protecting persons with disabilities from being involved in accidents. Inaccessible environments prevent persons with disabilities from taking part in economic and social activities. The cost to retrofit environments is higher and the outcome less satisfactory, than when environments are designed, constructed and maintained for all users. Consideration of environmental factors and disability are particularly important when addressing urban design and in rapidly aging societies.
Develop a Global Partnership for Development A partnership implies inclusion, which means everyone.
Health ministry working to deal with information gap - Madzorera
The Standard (Zimbabwe)
Saturday, 21 May 2011 22:51
Disability HIV and Aids Trust (DHAT), head of operations Hamida Mauto said HIV-positive people with disabilities faced many challenges when trying to access health services.
“Information on HIV and Aids that includes testing, counselling and dispensing of medication which is available in the country only suits those people who are able-bodied,” she said.
“Therefore deaf and blind people face a huge challenge as they remain in the dark. Confidentiality is being compromised as one will have to go with a translator as many health care-givers do not know sign language and health institutions do not have Braille, which is meant for blind people.”
Mauto said fear of stigma and discrimination also prevented some people with disabilities from being tested or to seek more information on HIV and Aids.
She said there was also a wrong perception that people with disabilities were not at risk of contracting HIV and Aids.
Addressing a regional HIV/Aids workshop last week in Harare, Health and Child Welfare minister Henry Madzorera said the government was working to ensure the accessibility of HIV information to people with disabilities.
He said health workers at all levels had been trained on disability issues, deaf awareness and sign language to improve communication.
But Madzorera admitted that a lot still had to be done to improve access to information on HIV and Aids, as many programmes have not been taking people with disabilities into consideration.
It also emerged at the workshop that the sharp decline in the HIV prevalence rate of 13,1% did not take into consideration people with disabilities.
The country does not have statistics on people with disabilities who are HIV-positive, therefore it becomes difficult for donors who may be willing to support them.
The workshop was hosted by DHAT and was attended by health representatives from Botswana, Malawi and Zambia.
Gambia: Youth With Disability Need New Beginning
Musa Barrow 24 May 2011
Mr. Marcel Mendy, the executive secretary of National Youth Council, called for a fresh start for young persons with disability. He argued that the syndrome of dependency should give way to an era where youth with disability are not just given gainful employment, but they can become employers themselves.
Foroyaa: What does the National Youth Policy 2009 to 2018 say about youth with disability?
Mendy: Am so much proud to say that we have come to realise as a council that previous youth policies did not do much to capture some things that relate to the plight of young people with disability. We have come to the realisation that there is a need to capture issues dealing with young persons with disability. We must bear in mind that these young persons are part of us. Indeed, it is worth saying that disability does not mean inability. As such it is paramount that they are included in the youth policy. Their inclusion will inform decision makers as to the interest of such persons. This is why am happy to inform you that in this youth policy 2009 to 2018, we have incorporated something that has to do with youth with disability.
Foroyaa: What is that thing which you have incorporated?
Mendy: Well, we started by giving some information about young people with disability in this country. The number of young people with disability in this country is steadily increasing. This rise is due to different reasons.
Foroyaa: Do you know the number of young people with disability in this country?
Mendy: Unfortunately, we have not got statistics as far as that is concerned. Although there is no exact statistics, it is widely believed that the number of young persons with disability in this country is on the rise. Because of different reasons, young persons with disability do not participate in the society and are mostly relegated to the private space. Reaching them can be difficult and those who are seen in public survive on begging. We don't want this to continue. Instead, we want these young people to be engaged in activities that are productive. What youths with disability need is opportunity in their society. This can be accomplished through giving them access to education, health care, counseling service etc. We are aware that if these young persons with disability are given the opportunity that their counterparts with no disability are given, perhaps they could even do better. In addition, this current youth policy goes further to suggest some ways forward.
Foroyaa: What are some of those recommendations suggesting the way forward?
Mendy: The policy recommends that there is a need to pay attention to youth with disability and facilitate their participation in all youth activities. In other words, youth with disability should not be segregated. Even though, youth with disability may not necessarily participate in some sport activities, they can be involved in the planning and organisation. It is almost difficult for an athlete with disability to play with athletes without disability, but who says the athlete with disability cannot help in the planning. They could have something to offer that would not be known.
Another recommendation by the policy is to ensure that there is equal sharing of resources. This means that young persons with disability should have their fair share of whatever is to be distributed among young people. The policy further recommends that there is a need to mainstream issues of youth with disability in youth programmes and ensure their effective participation in all youth activities. It also recommends that there is a need to develop programmes aimed at instilling in youth with disability a sense of confidence and self reliance through skills training and other support services. We need to graduate from dependency syndrome where young persons with disability depend on relatives completely. We need a new beginning where these young persons with disability have to rely on themselves to earn something. The only way we can make sure that young persons with disability earn something without having to depend on others, is to train them on relevant skills and knowledge. If these young persons with disability are equipped, they may not only be employed to earn a living, but they could turn to be employers themselves.
Foroyaa: Do you feel that young persons with disability in this country have the right environment which enables them to reach their full potential? Earlier you talked about training, but the question is, do you have training institutions in this country that have the required expertise to properly train young persons with disability in order for them to realise their dreams?
Mendy: I strongly believe that the environment is conducive. This is because am not aware of any institution that discriminates against persons with disability. The fact that the issue of persons with disability is captured by the policy shows how we are concerned about the plight of persons with disability. The youth policy being the Quran and Bible of young persons in this country can always be used to set things right. This policy is binding as it was approved by both cabinet and president. We as a council are not aware of any institution discriminating against young persons with disability. As soon as we are aware of discrimination against young persons with disability, we will take the appropriate action.
Foroyaa: The question is not about institutions discriminating against persons with disability. The question is, how does a blind young person study in an institution where there is no Braille facility which is key to his study?
Mendy: That is a good question, but I may not be in good position to answer that because I don't know the equipment needed by a blind person to do his studies. As a result I don't know whether the facilities in question are available in the learning institutions or not. If the facilities needed by persons are not available in the tertiary institutions, then it is the responsibility of all to make them available because the young people, who need them, belong to us.
Foroyaa: Again, how does youth with disability participate in sport activities when the infrastructure required is limited?
Mendy: The issue of disability was not given much prominence before, but now we are seeing something that is being done for disabled persons. It is worth saying that Rome was not built overnight. It took a gradual process. There are facilities that we have today that were not available some years back. We hope that we get more facilities for young persons with disability in the years to come. I'm sure that Government will not relent to provide young persons with disability the required facilities to enable them to realise their dreams. It is worth pointing out that some of the facilities in question here are expensive. As far as am concerned, the responsibility of providing these facilities does not lie with the Government alone. Every body has to play a role in meeting these demands. Remember the young persons belong to the society. It is fundamental that we all do what we can to improve the lives of young persons with disability.
Foroyaa: Are youth with disability represented in the National Youth Council?
Mendy: Youth with disability are represented in the council. The National Union of Disabled Youth is registered with the council. Whenever NUDY calls for help from the council, it was always ready to come to its aid. Just like any other youth organisation, we will give them the attention they deserve. More often we give NUDY special attention.
Foroyaa: Does your council have direct link with ordinary youth with disability?
Mendy: It is impossible for the council to have a direct contact with every youth. This is why we have structures. It is through these structures that we reach out to young people. The council has a link with ordinary youth through various organisations. In the case of young persons with disability, they are being represented by NUDY.
Foroyaa: How would you compare the current National Youth Policy to the previous ones?
Mendy: None of the previous youth policies was bad; the reality is that all of them reflect the issues that are of great importance of the time. One beauty of this policy is that it is subjected to review to capture the burning issues of the day.
Foroyaa: Were young persons with disability consulted during drafting of the policy to know what their needs are?
Mendy: Young persons with disability were consulted because we knew their issues were going to be part of the policy. They also took part in the validation.
Kenya: CNN Wins Award On Country's Disabled
Solomon Kirimi 25 May 2011
A story on Kenya's neglect of its mentally handicapped people has won CNN the Amnesty International Media award in the 'International Television and Radio' category.
The half hour documentary titled 'World's Untold Stories: Locked Up and Forgotten' done by Nairobi-based CNN correspondent David McKenzie, highlights the suffering of mentally handicapped Kenyans, who are usually hidden away from the public and medical care.
It indicates Kenya has 3 million mentally handicapped people, most of them locked away in their communities by their own families.
Elderlies and disabled people to get residences
5/25/11 11:41 AM
Luanda - The director of Luanda for re-housing programme, Bento Soyto, said on Tuesday here that elderlies and disabled people will benefit from the residences concluded in Zango ward in Viana district.
Speaking to the press, Bento Soyto said that from total of 193 houses, the concluded residences will be handed over to elderlies and handicapped people, having into account that they do not have possibilities to participate in the conclusion of their residences.
Over 100 families get residences in Zango ward
5/25/11 9:10 AM
Luanda - More than 100 families, who were living in tents in Zango ward in Viana district benefited on Tuesday from houses built in the ambit of the re-housing programme for disadvatanged people in Luanda, Angop has learnt.
The hand-over ceremony was chaired by the provincial governor of Luanda, Jos? Maria Ferraz dos Santos.
According to the governor, the beneficiaries are elderlies and disabled people that were victims of rains, fires, floods and other calamities that hit Luanda.
In addition, the official said until the end of this year it will be possible to hand over 10,000 residences, aimed at lessening the population’s situation , mainly the elderlies and other vulnerable families.
Why is Nema deaf to other noise polluters?
Daily monitor, Uganda
8 June 2011
By Andrew Nkurunziza
Posted Friday, May 27 2011 at 00:00
Activists for Change (A4C), a group behind the walk-to-work campaign, has decided to change its strategy of highlighting the high cost of living and escalating fuel and food prices from walking to work to hooting and making noise for five minutes every day starting 5pm.
This has been met with criticism, especially from the environment regulatory body, Nema citing the negative side effects associated with such noise. But to understand the concerns of Nema better, one has to understand what noise pollution really is and what dangers it entails to understand that those opposed to the noise are not just running a witch-hunt against the A4C.
Noise pollution is the displeasing human or machine-created sound that disrupts the activity or happiness of human life. It’s that sound that is discomforting and irritating to one’s ears and if excessive, it can be harmful to health. Sound is measured in decibels and sound beyond 80 decibels is considered potentially very dangerous. The Drive and Hoot campaign takes place for five minutes; additionally, the activists suggest that people should shout loudly, bang on something like empty tins or containers that can produce noise.
In that regard, this campaign which kicked off on Monday, comes with the dangers associated with excessive noise and are not limited to particular areas. Since this is campaign is meant to run daily, one of the dangers is that it may cause noise-induced hearing loss. This could affect both the noise makers and those in the vicinity where the noise is being made.
Noise pollution, according to medical experts, also contributes to cardiovascular effects and also leads to statistical rise in blood pressure of five to 10 points and an increase in stress as well as increased incidence of coronary artery disease.
Since this campaign is bound to be sustained and not limited to only urban areas, it is bound to have an impact on animal life. Though this is in extreme cases, it’s worth noting that noise causes stress in animals, increasing the risk of mortality and interfering with their use of sounds in communication.
In the end, there is a lot at stake if this campaign continues but in all fairness, it’s not the only aspect of noise pollution that is making life or is likely to make life unbearable. There are several other culprits whom the authorities seem to have turned a blind eye to. For instance, trucks and lorries with big speakers advertising shows or selling merchandise have become a nuisance all over the city. This is dangerous and can result in health complication like a ruptured ear drum or even heart attack!
But it’s not only these lorries that are culprits, even those loud entertainment places like bars within residential areas should be regulated.
The Drive and Hoot campaign is for a good cause but it has far more negative consequences than the walk-to-work campaign. The more critical question, however, is: why is Nema waking up just now and targeting only one group yet noise polluters are all around us.
At the end of the day, high fuel and food prices affect all of us but how we show our discontent also matters. If a wrong approach is used; the side effects and consequences are immense. The Activists for Change need to go back to the drawing board and devise a safer way to highlight their discontent.
Mr Nkurunziza is an urban planner
Foundation uplifts people with special needs
The atmosphere was electric. The deaf and dumb were excited, finding different ways other than speech, to express their happiness. People living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), widows, the aged and AIDS orphans found reason to smile again.
It was the day a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Bina Foundation reached out to different categories of people with special needs in Anambra State.
At Saint Andrews Anglican Church in Nnewi, joy spread among the deaf and dumb.
At Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Ihiala, the situation was the same with people living with HIV/AIDS, the aged, widows and orphans, especially AIDS orphans.
Bina Foundation lifted the spirits of this special segment of the society with cherry words and food items, drugs, beddings, among other things.
Lady Ifeoma Atuegwu who heads the organisation spoke with Newsextra on why the foundation took up such a task. She said that the foundation seeks to enhance the lot of people with special needs by discouraging discrimination, marginalisation and neglect suffered by them.
She said her organisation also caters for the physically and mentally challenged and there less privileged people in the society.
Though privately funded, the foundation said it welcomes volunteers and donors who share its vision of providing help and charity services to those challenged by special situations. Newsextra also found out that the organisation is equally willing to partner the government, churches and other NGOs in those target areas.
Before now, the foundation had visited Nike Centre for the disabled located in Enugu State, and two leprosy centres, one in Amichi near Nnewi which is called Father Damian’s Memorial Tuberculosis and Leprosy Centre, the other in Okija.
The people AT St Andrews, Nnewi who benefited from Bina Foundation’s philanthropy included 50 deaf and dumb pupils, 50 AIDS orphans and over 100 physically challenged and PLWHAs.
Some of the items given by the foundation included six bags of rice, over 10 rolls of toilet paper, uncountable number of exercise books, packets of soap and assorted drugs, among other things.
The major beneficiary of this gesture by the group was Diocesan Special Education Centre which accommodates 51 pupils with special needs including children with Down Syndrome and those with other challenges. It is the only such special school in Nnewi and its environs. Reverend Canon Ugochukwu Okoli is in charge of the Anglican Diocese of Nnewi Health and Community Development Centre Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Project.
This school, according to Canon Okoli, needs about N4 million to meet its needs, including building of a hostel for the special children and completing its classroom blocks.
He noted that they are facing serious challenges in handling such special children. The school is in its second year of operation.
Mrs. Njideka Ejimbe, headmistress of the school, and one of the teachers Mrs Nkwo Nneka, told Newsextra that the special children are responding well in their different classes.
For Lady Ifeoma Atuegwu, the purpose of the visit of BINA Foundation was to encourage them and let them know the organisation’s heartfelt concern about their condition.
She said: "We have come to spend some time with you to show others that they should not be afraid of you or discriminate against you. We love you, accept you and will help give you the support and care that you need. We want to remind the public of your existence and hopefully more people will help you.
"The government, churches, international organisations, individuals, NGOs are all active in the fight against HIV/AIDS and for vulnerable children. But the menace still continues. We still need more people to join the battle."
Furthermore, she told Newsextra that the broad objective of BINA Foundation is to restore the humanity of people with special needs in an organised, focused and effective manner with a view to making them functionally relevant to the society.
The group also provided free and quality, medical services, among other things.
Mrs. Atuegwu said: "We have come to encourage you to strive to be somebody despite your challenges. Our medical teams of volunteer doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc, are here to assess your health needs and other quality medical checkups and treatment, including prescription and routine drugs.
"We commend the inspiration and vision of the Anglican Diocese of Nnewi Health and Community Development Centre headed by Rev. Canon John Ugochukwu Okoli in starting a wonderful school in Nnewi for the vulnerable children".
Also at Ihiala, she said, "We commend the Catholic Diocese of Ihiala, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital and the Coordinator of the Health Services of the diocese, Father Simon Adibe, for all their selfless efforts in supporting and caring for those infected and affected with HIV/AIDS and their wonderful project for orphans and vulnerable children."
BINA Foundation came into existence in December 2010 and has visited about four different organisations in both Enugu and Anambra states, and has spent millions of naira in charity.
Ajimobi ’ll discourage street begging - Disabled president
PRESIDENT of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disability, Prince Paul Adelabu, has unveiled what the incoming governor of Oyo State, Senator Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi, has for the disabled persons in the state.
Prince Adelabu, who is the leader of Ajimobi Disability Support Group, said the Governor-elect has evolved welfarist programmes that will wipe out poverty from the lives of the disabled persons in Oyo State.
Adelabu who was the former principal of Rehabilitation Centre for the Disabled, Moniya, Ibadan said the incoming administration will execute certain programmes that will discourage disabled persons from begging for alms on the streets.
Speaking with Sunday Tribune in Ibadan on Tuesday, he said Ajimobi administration will appoint a disabled person as a commissioner and that each local government chairman will create a department for disabled persons, and a disabled person of special adviser status will head the department.
According to Adelabu who claimed that his group had concluded agreement with Ajimobi before the election, the welfarist programme shall include monthly allocation to the Disabled Persons Departments at the state and local government levels, creation of camps where disabled persons are to be settled and learning of trade and acquisition of skills, provision of fund for disabled persons to set up business and special welfare package for those who cannot do anything.
Adelabu also stated that bursary allowance and scholarship will be made available to brilliant disabled persons, while each ministry shall grant employment to them.
He said within the first hundred days of Ajimobi’s administration, beggars would be flushed out from the streets of Ibadan and its environment and laws prohibiting giving of alms to the beggars on the street will be promulgated.
Debswana hands over P488,000 classroom block
Monday, 30 May 2011 | Issue: Vol.12 No.20
FRANCISTOWN: With the focus on caring for communities, Debswana fully demonstrated the values and virtues espoused in the third pillar of Vision 2016, which calls for the creation of "a compassionate, just and caring nation".
Debswana Managing Director Jim Gowans last Thursday handed over a P420,000 worth vocational training block at the Francistown Centre for the Deaf that the company funded to the tune of P488,000. The block has three classrooms for leather works, home economics and carpentry.
Gowans said at the handing-over ceremony that they were proud to be part of the auspicious event that marked a continuation of a journey that Debswana set out to undertake as part of their social responsibility and commitment to make a positive impact on the different communities in Botswana.
He added that the vocational training unit would give the pupils sustainable livelihoods. "It's my firm belief that this vocational training unit will significantly contribute to the enhancement of skills of the pupils at this centre, which in turn will earn them sustainable livelihoods. Our aim is to empower communities and I sincerely hope that our contribution to this centre will empower the pupils and turn their dreams into lasting reality,"
In appreciating the gift, Botswana Society for Deaf Executive Director Padi Makgonatsotlhe said though they have challenges on the outreach programmes, they are grateful about what Debswana had done for them. He said out of the money donated by Debswana in constructing the building, they used the remaining P68,000 to buy the three classroom machines. Makgonatsotlhe said they were now able to give lessons to pupils on leatherwork skills.
Encouraging some of the parents, who attended the handing-over ceremony, he said their job could be simplified by parents through early detection and identification of the child's deafness as early as the age of three. "The deaf children have to live independent lives as they grow. Much can be done for the child if parents identify it (impairment) as early as possible, say at the age of three," he added. According to Makgonatsotlhe, Debswana donated P488,000 in 2009 for the project, which has been completed this year.
World Deaf Congress headed for SA
*31 May 2011*
The Deaf Federation of South Africa (Deafsa) will host two international events in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal in July 2011. The 16th World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf, as well as the fifth International World Federation of the Deaf Youth Camp, will take place on African soil for the first time.
The World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf takes place every four years at different locations around the world, and in 2011 it comes to Africa under the theme Global Deaf Renaissance.
The event takes place at Durban's International Convention Centre from 18 to 24 July.
The congress aims to bring people together to exchange information and information, and to promote equality and wellbeing for deaf people.
It's also a cultural event which allows people from all over the world to discuss ideas that affect them as part of the global deaf community. These conversations allow them to identify with similar problems experienced by deaf people, wherever they are.
The congress's opening coincides with International Mandela Day, and on that day deaf people around the world will receive a call to take responsibility for improving their surroundings and communities.
The seven-day programme includes plenary sessions, panel discussions, presentations, and a number of film and theatre productions.
Topics up for discussion include bilingual learning; achieving legal recognition of sign language; social and economic empowerment; mentoring of sign language interpreters; and many others.
Besides the general deaf community, special deaf groups such as the elderly, gays and lesbians, and deaf-blind people also have topics devoted to their interests.
The youth camp takes place at the Protea Hotel Karridene, south of Durban, from 6 to 14 July. With the theme Deaf Youth Renaissance, its main objectives are similar to those of the congress ・to give young deaf people between the ages of 18 and 30 the opportunity to discuss areas of concern; network and build relationships; and develop their leadership skills.
Equal rights for all
The World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) was established as an NGO in Italy in 1951. The organisation currently has member associations from 130 countries, as well as a number of individual members.
WFD holds a general assembly every four years in conjunction with the world congress.
South Africa's Deaf Federation is a national organisation that represents the country's roughly 600000-strong deaf community and the 1.4-million who are hard of hearing.
The organisation is committed to promoting and preserving South African sign language as the language of the deaf community in South Africa.
Although South African sign language is not yet recognised as an official language, it is accepted as the official medium of instruction for deaf pupils under a number of legal instruments including the 1996 Bill of Rights and the South African Schools Act of the same year. Its importance is recognised by the country's Constitution.
Among its goals, Deafsa upholds the rights of deaf people, especially in dealings with government departments and decision-making bodies. It also conducts research and shares relevant information and as well as raising awareness amongst the general community of issues relating to deaf people, the organisation educates the deaf about their own rights.
Formerly known as the South African National Council for the Deaf, Deafsa was founded in 1929 and changed to its new name in 1995. According to the organisation, about 80% of its national executive committee is deaf.
*First published by
・get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa's media service.*
Milestones on Deaf blindness in Kenya: A success story of a struggling mother
Africa Science News Service
Written by Anthony Aisi
Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Many persons with disabilities are not able to access quality services either for their basic livelihoods or for their professional’s upward growth, Jane Ouko, National Treasurer of Parents of deafblind persons organization, PADBPO said Monday in Nairobi.
In an interview with Africa Science News Service, Ouko said we still have few numbers of trained teachers who can handle the deafblind children.
“We are continuously engaging the ministry of education to incorporate house mothers who are already in deafblind to be teachers”, she said.
Statistics show that 50% of blindness is brought by congenital rubella syndrome, this is a viral illness brought by a togavirus of the genus Rubiviru.
Children usually develop few or no symptoms, but in adults they may experience 1-5 day low grade fever, headache, malaise and conjunctivitis.
When Rubella infection occurs in pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, fatal infection is likely and often causes congenital rubella syndrome (CRS)resulting in abortion, miscarriages, stillbirths and severe birth defects.
It has been found that up to 20% of the infants born to mothers infected during pregnancy have CRS.
The most common congenital defects are cataracts, heart disease, sensori-neural deafness and mental retardation.
Jane has lived through it all.
She has a daughter Louise Otieno whose health has been a problem to the family.
Unfortunately no one knew what the problem was.
She decided to go public in seeking help and not to hide as other parents do in order not to suffer stigma.
Louise, who is sixteen years old, has sight and hearing problem, meaning she can’t hear at all but she can see partially when she put an object very close to her eye, defining her deaf-blindness.
Jane has passed through much that it has become routine to her.
She encourages other parents to support their children in similar conditions.
In bringing up her daughter Louise, born under weight at birth (she had weight of 1.9kg), Jane faced rejection, hatred, difficulty in finance so that she could not support her as well as attend to her work as a teacher.
People even told her she has been bewitched and she should seek a witch doctor’s advice.
But she took heart and struggled until the people who rejected her now befriend her because she made it.
When she first started school she was very withdrawn and exhibited challenging behavior.
She had morbidity problem and was not able to wash and feed herself or to communicate with her family, but when she was taken to a deaf-blind school at Kilimani integrated school, Nairobi, she was assessed by a specialist, a thing that turned things for Louise.
Today, Louise even walks by herself, wash herself and utensils, and in school she even do bead-making which is then sold by the school for income generating activities by people with disability in the school.
Louise’s transformation has been extreme and her family life has improved.
Her mother is so grateful for Sense international, a Non-government organization, which is helping deafblind people in less developed countries to communicate, connect, interact and flourish, they made her.
Cape Coast School for the Deaf students receive HIV counselling, testing
Students of Cape Coast School for the Deaf, CAPE DEAF, have benefited from an HIV education, Counselling and Testing outreach programme organised by Hope for Future Generation (HFFG).
The programme, which formed part of the implementation of the Multi-Sectorial HIV and AIDS Programme (MSHAP/Ghana Aids Commission project), was carried out by the HFFG, a community-based Non Governmental Organisation on women and children last Friday.
One hundred and fifty-two students made up of 79 male and 73 female took part in the counselling and testing session.
The HFFG Project Manager, Madam Amy Asiedu and a Project Officer, Miss Josephine Lodonu, who sensitized the students, took them through the basic facts of HIV and AIDS focussing on its mode of transmission, prevention and the benefits of Counselling and Testing to know ones status.
A Person Living with HIV (PLHIV) disclosed his status to the students and told them about himself and his family and how he had been living with the virus for the past eleven years.
He said his wife was also positive but with the help of HFFG through education, counselling and medical attention, they had a child who was not infected.
The students, who were excited and touched by the disclosure of the HIV positive person, wished him well in all he does.
The Headmistress of Cape Coast School for the Deaf, Mrs Barbara Anning said most of the students had low self esteem as a result there was the need for behaviour change.
She urged HFFG to come to their aid and help to boost self confidence in the students.
Mrs Anning intimated that there had been lots of HIV education in the school, but that of HFFG was spectacular due to the counselling and testing activity and the disclosure by the PLHIV.
Group appeals to Jonathan on Nigeria Disability Bill
Persons with Disabilities (PWD), a group of Nigerians living with various forms of disabilities, have appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to assent to the Nigeria Disability Bill before the end of his present tenure. Patrick Adie, the South-South Coordinator of the group, made the appeal in an interview with newsmen on Monday in Abuja.
The bill, which was passed and harmonised by both chambers of the National Assembly in 2010, is awaiting presidential assent. Adie said the bill would go a long way in catering to the general welfare of all physically challenged people in the country if passed into law. ``We have been calling on our president because he is our only hope for now. We have been calling on him to assent to our bill because without, the bill, all our efforts in the past years to come up with this bill will be in vain. ``Our appeal is that he should please consider us. The only way he can reach every person with disability in this country is to assent to our bill before May 29,” he said.
South Africa: Metro improves library services for the disabled
Compiled by the Government Communication and Information System
Date: 06 Jun 2011
Pretoria - The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality has called on the public to submit recommendations on what services should be made available to people living with disabilities in order to make their visits to libraries more pleasant.
Ekurhuleni spokesperson Zweli Dlamini said community members and organisations can give input on what kind of special services a person who is visually impaired, blind or deaf would require at a library.
"The constitution of South Africa, which happens to be one of the most progressive documents categorically, states that everyone has the right to access to information.
"Without making primary institution of information such as libraries accessible to all members of society, this right which is guaranteed by the Constitution, cannot be safe guarded," said Dlamini.
He pointed out that even in this era of technological advancement, a library remains an important facility in any community.
Currently, the Ekurhuleni Metro has minimal services at some of its libraries, where the digital accessible information system commonly known as the Daisy system is used.
The municipality has prioritised the provision of special services for the visually impaired, blind or deaf for implementation within the next five years.
Suggestions may be handed in to staff at the counter at all libraries throughout the Metro during the month of June.
Reported by: South African Government News Service
Disabled community demands political appointment in Zamfara
Few weeks to the formation of a new government in Zamfara State by the All Nigeria Peoples Party, (ANPP), people living with disability in the state are pushing for the appointment of one of them to the position of Special Adviser to the Governor on Disabled Matters.
Presenting their request to the Governor-elect, Alh. Abdulazeez Yari in his Talata Mafara hometown, the President of Integration, Dignity and Economic Advancement (IDEA), Alh. Shehu S/Pawa maintained that they demand the position to eradicate isolation of the disabled people in the society.
According to him, the issue of the isolation and neglect of disabled people was addressed by the regime of former Governor Ahmed Sani Yerima when he appointed four people with disability as ex-officios in the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) during his eight years in government.
The president pointed out that Senator Yerima made the people to know that they are human beings too, adding that employment opportunities were made available to people with disability.
Alh. Shehu S/Pawa disagreed with the idea of providing rehabilitation houses for the people saying that street begging has always been the culture of the people.
He sighted example of how Yerima gave every person with disability a grinding machine with cash to empower them, yet the people packed the grinding machines and took to the streets begging for arms.
According to him, even the people that are employed into various departments of the government are still begging, calling on the state government to ensure total eradication of isolation by appointing a Special Adviser on Disable Matters which he said can reduce street begging.
In his response, the incoming governor, Alh. Yari assured the group that he will do everything within his powers to have a closed door meeting with the leaders of the group before he assumes office on May 29th.
The Governor-elect noted that the people with disability also contributed in no small measure to his victory, stressing that they deserves to enjoy the wealth of the state like every other person in the state.
In his words “The people worked very hard for ANPP victory. We gratefully acknowledged their efforts to answering us when we knocked at their doors for a change during the campaign period,” he said.
Persons with intellectual disability deserve human right treatment- Proprietress
Mrs Salome Francois, Proprietress of New Horizon Special School, has called on the society to ensure that people with intellectual disability have the full range of human rights in civil, social, economic and cultural activities.
She said children with intellectual disabilities were entitled to the same human rights enjoyed by others.
She noted that the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides all human beings free and equal dignity and rights.
“In order to achieve this goal, all communities should celebrate the diversity within the society,” she stressed.
Mrs Francois made the call at a Disability Seminar on the theme: “Social Integration: Making a Difference through Friendship,” in Accra on Saturday.
It was organised by Best Buddies Ghana, an International NGO to enhance the lives of people with intellectual disability through one-to-one friendship.
The participants were drawn from National Commission for Civic Education, School of Social Work, Share Care School, Parent Association of Children Intellectual Disability and Students and Staff of New Horizon Special School.
Mrs Francois said people with disability were the most marginalised in the world adding that their birth was often considered as a tragedy and received discrimination from birth.
“In Ghana, traditional believes are that these children are devils passed by evil spirit or as punishment from ancestral spirits,” she said.
She said due to these prejudices people shy away from children with intellectual disability.
She urged parents and society to support disabled children in formal education in order to participate equally in national development.
Madam Brooke Switzer, International Programme Director of Best Buddies International said the body was committed to support people with intellectual disability to become independent and develop self esteem to contribute to meaningfully society.
She said Best Buddies had an Ambassador Programme to help disabled people to speak to governments in regard to social rights, education, employment and medical needs to promote inclusion of disabled people in the community.
She encouraged parents with disabled children to challenge their children to take new challenges to develop their self esteem.
Mr Kojo Danquah Amankrah. Executive Director of Best Buddies Ghana explained that the seminar was organised to advocate the rights of persons with disability.
He noted that Best Buddies Ghana was committed to enhance the lives of people with intellectual disability by providing opportunities for one-on-one friendships and integrated employment.
He advised parents to provide all the basic needs of children with disability.
Mrs Mariama Obeng, Teacher at New Horizon Special School commended Best Buddies International for their initiative to support intellectual disabled children.
Best Buddies Ghana was established in 2004 to serve as a platform for the youth to contribute to the integration of persons with intellectual disability in the society.
The organisation is involved in creating long lasting friendship programmes among students from the University of Ghana, Legon and New Horizon Special School and promoting the rights of disabled people.
Visual Impairment Teacher Training launched
A ceremony to usher in the visually impairment teacher training (VIIT) project which is being sponsored by the royal Dutch Visio an NGO from the Netherlands has taken place today in Accra.
In her keynote address the Minister for Education, Mrs. Betty Mould Iddrisu explained that until recently, special education teachers were trained in one discipline to manage either the visually impaired, the hearing impaired and intellectually disabled.
She added that inclusive education is an approach that seeks to address the learning needs of all children, youth and adults with a specific focus on those who are vulnerable to marginalisation and inclusion.
She hinted that her ministry intends to support the Akropong and Wa school for the blind in the Eastern and Upper West Regions respectively with an amount of GHC50, 000 each to meet their educational needs.
The Director, Special Division Ms. Rosemond Blay, expressed her enthusiasm about the training stating that; another hurdle has been cleared to enhance the implementation of inclusive education in the country.
She indicated that the project is aimed at sharpening the knowledge and skills of resource teachers supporting schools practicing inclusive education.
The Acting Divisional Director,Tearcher Education,Mr.Emmanuel Ansah Asare stated that the three year project is in partnership with the special education division of the GES and Visio International of Royal Dutch Visio.
Teacher calls for sign language inclusion on all TV stations
Mr. Francis Agadiah told The Chronicle in an exclusive interview that the inclusion of sign language on the state TV network, GTV, had made a significant impact on hearing impaired persons, especially, students, who use the sign language interpretation to understand the news and stay abreast with all the happenings in the world. This also keeps them informed in decision making.
While appealing to other TV networks to emulate GTV, Mr. Agadiah also encouraged all public agencies and institutions, such as the hospitals, security agencies and media houses, to engage the services of special instructors to receive and address the plight of persons with all kinds of impairment.
Touching on factors that could lead to deafness, the special teacher mentioned excessive exposure to X-rays during pregnancy, illegal abortions, hereditary, and accidents.
Other factors could include a baby falling and banging the head on the ground during delivery, some sexually transmitted diseases, measles, CSM, and slapping a child on the ears.
He advised parents to screen their children to determine their hearing abilities, so that those who might have such challenges could be treated at an early stage, to avoid total deafness.
He stressed that parents should not only take their children to hospital for check ups on common diseases, but also do same for the ears, eyes and every part of their bodies.
A ministry’s fun time with special children
As part of the valedictory programmes for Lagos Deputy Governor, Princess Sarah Sosan, whose term in office expires on May 29, 2011, children from special schools across the state had a fun time with her. It was organised by the state Ministry of Education.
The special students thrilled the audience with various entertainments as the hearing impaired danced to rhythms of songs played by their teachers, and others displayed their handiworks.
One of the students of Sari Iganmu Primary School (inclusive unit), Emmanuel Njeteneh, a primary six pupil could not hide his feelings though could not talk very well. His teacher interpreted that he was impressed by what the state government has been doing for them but would want them to do more by providing more books, and school uniforms.
The teacher of the school which focuses on mentally retarded and hearing impaired pupils who pleaded anonymity thanked the state government for its support and for giving them hope by associating with them.
She however appealed to government to employ more teachers; additional recreational facilities as well as more vocational materials to enable teachers teach the pupils on how to do things with their own hands.
Speaking with Daily Independent, Head teacher, Modupe Cole Memorial Child Care and Treatment School, Mrs. Folake Durowoju described the event as suitable saying that the task of training the children was for everybody.
Durowoju who noted that the children are talented, appealed to the state government to hasten up the process of providing a descent accommodation for their use.
“They have different talents, we have musicians, artists among them and they are all doing fine. We just need to help and develop them. Giving them money and alms will not help them but giving them quality education will take them to places,” she said.
“The students have potentials that need to be cherished, it is not by giving them alms that will help them, but rather good education, they are very good.”
“Relating with them is a thing that should be done by everybody, we don’t need to push them aside, they should be allowed to mix up with other people in the society. The Deputy Governor has shown love for these children and always makes them happy all the time.”
President, Nigeria Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) Lagos state chapter, Mr. Kehinde Alimi, appreciated the state government, especially with the all-round support given to special schools and inclusive unit.
He outlined some of the challenges facing the sector as inadequate special trained teachers and called on the government to recruit more teachers.
According to him government’s impact has been visible in the last four years, particularly in the education sector.
He however stressed that challenged children deserve better care and appealed to the state government to take action on the needs of the special schools. He also called for recruitment of special teachers to man the schools, adding that there was urgent need to include sign language on the Lagos Television (LTV8) for the hearing impaired.
Also, Chairman Association of Heads of Special Schools, Lagos State, Dr. Taiwo Gbeleyi said the provision of 40 KVA generator, new Toyota buses and various vocational equipment to all model special education centres have been helpful.
“Your love for these special children is a source of inspiration and encouragement. You have positively affected these special children educationally, socially, psychologically, emotionally and physically.”
Responding, Sosan assured that the Education Ministry will make the celebration a yearly programme at Easter, even as she expressed gratitude to parents for bringing the children to school and not keeping them at home.
“It is God that has made everyone of them, as individuals we need to give them support and make them happy. We need volunteers in the area of medical. We need psychotherapists; many of them need their limbs to be strengthened”.
According to her, special education will continue to receive support from the state government.
Group for disabled gets Sh2.8m credit
Daly Nation, Kenya
June 7 2011
Thirty two savings and credit groups for physically challenged people in Central Rift Valley have benefited from a Sh2.8 million loan. The savings groups are managed under the Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK).
According to a micro-finance officer in charge of the groups at APDK offices in Nakuru, Ms Naomi Njeri, 674 members have saved Sh1 million since the project was started in 2007. “The main objective is to empower persons with different disabilities to play an active role in the development of the country,” said Ms Njeri.
Ms Njeri, however, said the four-year-old micro-finance venture faces many challenges that have slowed growth. “We have intensified training of the members because majority of them want to work and earn an honest living from their savings,” she said.
The low levels of savings is a big challenge as the minimum saving per month is Sh100, which some are unable to remit. The official said the micro-finance organisation was supposed to collect Sh100,000 per month but only manages slightly over Sh50,000.
“Most of our members are engaged in small-scale businesses such as shoe shine and kiosks while a few are in small-scale farming that was affected by drought.”
Ms Njeri said the group had launched a campaign in the region to recruit more members to boost their savings.
“We are also carrying out training to educate our members on the importance of saving for a rainy day instead of depending on handouts,” she said. The groups in the region have also benefited from Sh500,000 from the National Disability Fund to start income generating projects.
SA failing on equity targets for the disabled
Sunday Times, Jun 7, 2011 1:07 PM | By Sapa
SA is failing to achieve its two percent employment equity target for people with disabilities, Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana said on Tuesday.
Both the public and private sectors had not made progress in meeting the target. In 2010, only 0.9 percent of people with disabilities were employed, Xingwana told the National Assembly during debate on her budget vote speech.
"We are very concerned with the continued failure of both the public and private sector to advance towards the target... The last report of the Employment Equity Commission indicates that government is trailing behind the private sector."
People with disabilities constituted 0.6 percent of state employees, while the figure for the private sector stood at one percent.
Each department or sphere of government would in future be held accountable.
She said the disabled faced the "stiffest" obstacles towards socio-economic participation compared to other South Africans. Problems included lack of access to jobs, transport, education and health services.
In an effort to address this, the department would focus on improving access to education through the promotion of the inclusive education policy.
"We have to promote integration of children with special needs into the mainstream school while acknowledging that children with severe disabilities will still need special schools," Xingwana said.
The department would conduct an audit of all special schools in the country.
This would provide information on the state of each school and inform appropriate interventions that needed to be taken.
Xingwana said a lack of transport for the disabled also limited their participation in social and economic activities.
"We will work together with the department of transport to ensure that our public transport strategy and initiatives respond to the transport needs of people with disabilities, including standardisation of designated parking."
The department intended to develop and implement the national accessibility campaign, which would focus on reasonable accommodation at places of work, accessibility of buildings, promotion of Braille, sign language and access to assistive devices and disability grants.
Lukewarm interest for Miss Deaf tender
The Swazi Observer, 07 June, 2011 10:44:00 By Nokukhanya Aimienoho
*There has been lukewarm interest in the Miss Deaf contest. Not many companies and individuals have stepped forward to register an interest in hosting the contest. This was confirmed by the Swaziland National Council of Arts & Culture (SNCAC) CEO, Stanley Dlamini as well as the Swaziland Beauty Pageant Association (SBPA) President Sizwe Ndlela.*
Dlamini said no one had stepped up to tender for the pageant.
The tender was opened, not only for the Miss Swaziland contest, but also the Miss Deaf Swaziland, Mr Swaziland, Miss Cultural Heritage, Tihlabani Awards and the Miss Teen Swaziland contests in January.
Tenders have been awarded to deserving companies or individuals who registered an interest in all the other contents except for the Miss Deaf one.
Meanwhile, the tender for the Tihlabani Awards was restarted due to some controversy. Dlamini noted that Miss Deaf was overshadowed by the Miss Swaziland contest. He recalled that he received a call last week, indicating an interest in the Miss Deaf contest. “Only one company has registered interest and as far as I know, some calls have also been received by the SBPA,” he said.
Ndlela said the SBPA was still waiting for companies to show interest.
“Having hosted the contest in the past, I am very passionate about the Miss Deaf contest. I would really like to see organisations like FODSWA and the Deaf Association coming forward to host the contest, “he went on to say.
The Miss Deaf Swaziland contest was last hosted in 2009 and the title went to Siphiwe Magagula, who went on to represent the country during the Miss Deaf World contest, where she became First Princess.
Financial constraints gotin the way of her from representing the country in the Miss Deaf International contest in Las Vegas that year. Interestingly enough, the President of the Miss Deaf World and Miss Deaf Europe Pageants Josef Uhl？？ made an irresistible offer to the organisers of the Miss Deaf Swaziland pageant.
Uhl？？ offered an all-expenses paid trip to the Miss Deaf Swaziland titleholder and her chaperone to represent the country during the Miss Deaf World and Miss Deaf Europe to be held from July 1 to July 11 in the Prague, Czech Republic.
The offer also included return air tickets, accommodation at the Praha Blazimska in Prague,three meals a day and free clothing.
Participating countries were required to fill up and sign an application form for both pageants on time. The latest submission was to be made by March 15.
Although, the SNCAC and SBPA were aware of this offer, nothing was done about it.
At that time, the tendering process had not been opened and they put emphasis on following what they referred to as ‘the right channels’.
Report: Women and the disabled lack faith in Cameroon polls
A survey carried out in Cameroon shows that women and the handicapped have lost confidence in the country’s electoral body, Elections Cameroon (ELECAM), for not pushing for their registration as voters.
The survey, conducted between December 2010 and May 2011, was sponsored by the European Union and a non-governmental organisation, Women Horizons, was intended to find out the degree of participation by women and handicapped persons in the electoral process as well as democratic governance in Cameroon.
According to the results, only 32 per cent of those interviewed think the electoral process was necessary, while as low as 16 per cent believe in the transparency of the process.
The main reasons advanced for their negative perceptions were electoral fraud and corruption.
The negative perception of elections were reinforced by the surprisingly high percentage of women and the handicapped who did not know ELECAM and what it was all about. Only 58 per cent of the women knew of the existence of the body.
Viewed from the perspective that a majority of Cameroonians (52 per cent) are women, the negative perception and outright ignorance about the poll agency may signal a low participation during forthcoming elections, beginning with the presidential one due in October.
The head of Women Horizons, Ms Denise Ngatchou, told Africa Review: “If we consider women leadership from the point of view of political engagement, we see very well that political engagement is not important within the two groups involved in the survey. Few women and handicapped persons are members of political parties and few still hold any positions of leadership in politics”.
She felt that this lack of interest stemmed from the historical background of inequality of women to men in Cameroon.
S.Leone in count of amputees, disabled beggars
FREETOWN - Sierra Leone's goverment is carrying out a national survey of the disabled beggars who crowd the streets, many of them amputees left over from the west African nation's brutal civil conflict.
They hope the six-month survey, launched in early May, will enable the authorities to find a solution for beggars such as Sullay Turay, forced onto the streets after his village was attacked and right arm chopped off by rebels.
"The arm was amputated by rebels when they attacked Pujehun (south) in 1999, burning over 100 huts and killing many civilians," he told AFP.
"It is an incident I don't want to remember."
Social Welfare Minister Dennis Sandi says the government is seeking accurate data on the number of disabled beggars.
"We want to change their plight and the goal is to take them off the streets. At the end of the survey, the report will be sent to President Ernest Koroma for action," he said.
Director for Data Management in the Ministry of Social welfare, Mohamed Kallon said "the blind, lepers, the deaf and dumb, amputees and war wounded are being targeted."
Rebels used the horror tactic of crudely chopping off limbs to sow terror during one of Africa's most bloody conflicts, leaving one of the world's poorest countries, with a crushing social burden of thousands of amputees.
Lamin Sesay, a once prosperous farmer in the agriculturally rich Kailahun district, 300 miles (180 kilometres) east of the capital, dexterously whips out a cigarette with his remaining hand as he tells his story.
While ploughing his cocoa farm in 2001, he fell into a rebel ambush, was tortured and had his left arm crudely amputated while his entire farm was set ablaze and his four tractors destroyed.
Left for dead, he was rescued by a medical team from the International Red Cross and flown to the capital where he was hospitalised for six months.
"After my discharge, I was penniless and had to sell my farm at a pittance and returned to Freetown to beg for my living," he says.
"This is why I am delighted that the government is now focusing on our plight to see how we could be helped and provided for."
Lilian Cassel of the NGO, Children's Forum, said disabled beggars operate mainly in large numbers in the main cities and diamond-mining areas.
The child rights advocate said they are "guided in their mission by under-aged children mostly under-aged girls who should be attending school."
Sierra Leonean motorists often protest to local municipalities about the harassment they face from beggars while driving.
"They are a nuisance and the sooner they are taken off the streets, the better," said Sarian Koroma, a doctor in the capital.
The decade-long civil war, in which thousands lost their lives, destroying the economy and infrastructure, has left goverment with a hefty task of reconstruction in a nation where one in four peple lives in extreme poverty.
Hailed for its democratic governance and attempts to crack down on corruption, Sierra Leone has attracted major investments in mining, agriculture and oil exploration.
AIDS and Disability Partners Forum: Enhancing inclusive and accessible HIV programming which fits all the population
09 June 2011
Jan Beagle, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Management and External Relations
Although there is growing international attention for the rights of people with disabilities, governments and policymakers rarely consider disability issues when formulating their HIV strategic plans.
To highlight the significance of this area of work and advocate for national integration of the needs of persons with disabilities into all aspects of the AIDS response, a partner’s forum on AIDS and Disability was held on 9 June during the High Level Meeting on AIDS.
The event was co-chaired by Jan Beagle, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Management and External Relations and Professor Nora Ellen Groce, Director, Leonard Cheshire Disability & Inclusive Development Centre at University College London.
“Both the AIDS movement and the disability movement have at their core a respect for human rights of the individual. Both are movements which are confronting sigma and discrimination of different kinds. Both HIV and disability affect not only the individual but also the household, in ways that you all know so well. Where you have both HIV and disability, there's a double stigma, and a double burden,” said Jan Beagle, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Management and External Relations, introducing the event.
Mary Muthoni Rop is a mother of three children who lives in rural Kenya.
She has multiple disabilities and is living with HIV. She has become an activist with Thika Disabled Fighting HIV and AIDS and spoke at the event of the myriad difficulties and vulnerability the HIV epidemic has brought to people living with a disability which include obstacles to access to HIV services due to distances and infrastructure of health facilities. “We find that most of the health facilities are not accessible to people with disability: for example a hospital having stairs all over,” she said. HIV prevention information is also often inaccessible. “We find that in most of our health facilities, we don't have people who can give proper information to people with disability.
We don't have workers trained in sign language interpretation.”
We've all got to work together: governments in North and South, civil society and in particular, people living with disabilities and people living with HIV
Jan Beagle, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Management and External Relations
In 2006 the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted in 2006 and ratified in 2008. This Convention obliges states to provide access to sexual and reproductive health including HIV information and services for all persons with disabilities.
The UN Development Group under the leadership of the UNDP Administrator has developed specific guidance for UN country teams on integrating disability into all its work and that of the UN system at global and regional levels.
Stephen Lewis, co-founder and co-director of AIDS-Free World spoke about the need for national government to transform this global instrument into a tool, saying “countries need to understand that they need to take the Convention and turn international law into national law in order for it to be effective and implemented.”
Disabled people’s organizations in different countries in Africa and Asia are becoming more and more involved in the HIV arena to mainstream disability into HIV programmes. Richard Kabeto Matlhare head of Botswana ’s National AIDS Coordinating Agency shared insights from his country’s response.
Etienne Krug, Director of Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability gave an overview of the global report which was launched by the World Health Organization earlier in the day “and the big message of the report is that we cannot continue to ignore the needs of 1 billion people in the world.”
“What the report clearly states is that disability results from impairment, but much more from the barriers that society erects.
Barriers such as stigma and discrimination, lack of adequate health care and rehabilitation services, inaccessible transport, buildings, information, communication technologies." said Dr Krug
What’s needed is “attacking those barriers, which contribute to a large number of negative outcomes: poorer health status, poorer employment status, less access to education,” he added.
Summing up the discussion as co-chair, Jan Beagle stressed the actions needed to ensure the needs of persons with disabilities are included into all aspects of the AIDS response. “We know that there's very far to go. However, we know how to do it, and the way to do it is by working together. We've all got to work together: governments in North and South, civil society and in particular, people living with disabilities and people living with HIV.”
The AIDS and Disability Partners Forum was organized by UNAIDS in collaboration with Global Partnership for Disability and Development, Health Canada, USAID, US State Department, ILO, UNDESA, UNICEF and WHO.
UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS
Thirty years into the AIDS epidemic, and 10 years since the landmark UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS, the world has come together to review progress and chart the future course of the global AIDS response at the 2011 UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS from 8?10 June 2011 in New York. Member States are expected to adopt a new Declaration that will reaffirm current commitments and commit to actions to guide and sustain the global AIDS response.
Conquering disability with car washing
Disability and Poverty
Military disabled people benefit from modern prosthetic limbs
Hope for Tharakaケニア 発の映像です。
Metro fair delves deep into politics
She drew a window in his right cheek and inside the win- dow there were huge amounts of cash.
Mom sues for R7m over disabled son
Education for all: Children with disabilities also deserve the best
CNN's David McKenzie looks into a world of anguish and misunderstanding of mentally handicapped individuals斉藤@AJF事務局です。
Disability is not inability: The Story of Fadumo Bihi- Part II
Uganda: New Centre Brings Hope to Disabled Children
Disability does not mean inability
Times of Swaziland
16 June 2011
Sir, May I direct my concerns to the nation and those who are hiding disabled children.
Many people think negative things about disability. Some people are hiding disabled children but they do not know that they are tomorrow’s heroes.
Now our government has introduced free education but still many parents do not send their children living with disabilities to school.
In my community there are many children living with disabilities but they are not going to school.
So I beg the Deputy Prime Minister’s office, the Members of Parliament and Bucopho to take action against those people who are hiding children with disabilities.
When we get government grants, people with disabilities come in numbers. I think this is the right time to arrest those people who are hiding disabled children.
I have a passion about children with disabilities and hope to also educate the parents and nation to love and support them all the time.
Some parents leave their children alone at home and shout at them all the time. They hardly ever motivate them to be the best that they can be.
To people living with disabilities, it should not mean you should just sit at home, waiting for the government grant, and give up on your dreams.
As a person with a disability, I can tell you that you should not limit yourself.
Plan your life and pursue your goals to the best of your ability.
Nothing in life is impossible. Challenges, whether or not you have a disability, will always be part of your life.
Tell yourself that you will overcome all those challenges and reach for the sky.
living with deafness
Dear Fanelo Zikhali,
Your words are wise and your compassion strong. Yes, we all live with challenges of one sort or another - some of these challenges are just more visible than others. We can’t afford to be ashamed of our disabled people at a time like this - we need to find ways to integrate them into a working society along with everyone else - as you say; today’s child, however they may appear, could be tomorrow’s hero.
Nigeria: You Need Passion, Patience to Teach Hearing Impaired Kids --Alozie
Some parents with hearing and speaking impaired kids are usually not excited about sending them to school and end up sending into the streets for begging.
"What is the essence of wasting money training them in school when such child cannot hear what the world is saying nor be able to speak to the world, now and in future? "They argue.
The good news for such kids is that the Lagos State government has made it mandatory for all the public primary and secondary schools in the state to have a special education unit that would be manned by specially trained teachers for handicapped and impaired children.
Already, two of such primary and two secondary schools with inclusive special education unit for the hearing impaired have come up in Badagry.
In a chat with the head of unit for pupils with special needs, Muslim primary school, Badagry, Mr. Placidus Alozie, he told Champion Scholar that at the beginning of the session he registered 48 hearing impaired pupils but only 38 of them commenced studies.
Alozie enumerated some of the challenges that may have discouraged the effected parents from sending their children to school.
"Some live far away and have to spend a lot of money on transport before getting to school. Providing such lump sum of money for five days in a week is herculean to the average parent and may l leave them little or nothing to feed the family. Some comes from such far places as Agbara, Okeafo, Iworo, Ajudo, Ikogou and even Seme border," he stated.
As he put it, "It is a good innovation for government to enable the pupils(hearing impaired) to attend school at the neighborhood and open special unit for all the local government in the addition to providing free lunch meal for all the kids'.
Alozie who is also the Secretary general, Nigeria Association of Special Education Teachers Lagos state chapter, added 'we have 35 pupils hearing impaired while mentally challenged or mental retardation(MR ) are 3 which gives a total figure of 38 pupils that were under the inclusive special education unit in the Muslim primary school, Badagry.
The teaching materials that the government provided for the pupils, he said includes were; "The Joy of Signing by Lottie L. Riekehof, a text book for teaching the deaf.
There are also Video CD's, television, CDs and a sign language for teaching the deaf children. Also he said there is a standby generator that the state government fuels when there is power outage and all other teaching materials necessary for educating a deaf child.
He pointed out that both the normal pupils and hearing impaired ones use the same curriculum. They usually start with ABC and 123 and the moment they have adopted to learn them, they make every efforts to learn the curriculum fast on their own, adding that. His words, "There must be early intervention, that is catching them young , if not it would be difficult to train them". At home, he said, they already have local sign language that they use in communicating with their parents and their siblings before they were absorbed in the school which is different from the accepted universal sign language we teach them in the class.
And they learn fast since they have no other distractions. 'As they are completing their primary six, they are absorbed into the Methodist Junior High School, Badagry established by the Lagos state government last year. In terms of academic performance, they are highly intelligent and very creative, good in arts generally including painting and and also good in Mathematics and social interactions. They play football, and participate in different games," he added, A Public Relation Officer of the National Association of Special Education, Alozie disclosed that they need more teachers for the special education unit and that there are qualified special education teachers who are unemployed. We have 38 pupils and by the National policy recommendation, there should be five pupils to one teacher or at most ten to one teacher.
At the moment, the school have three special education teachers to 38 pupils until recently they were bereaved of one female teacher so they are left with two teachers to 38 pupils.
"If only the government can employ our colleagues out there, we would have enough teachers to teach them." The man appealed When asked the rational in merging the normal and hearing impaired pupils in the same environment since they cannot communicate because the normal students are not train to speak sign language, he quipped: 'Bringing them together in the same environment is the best because it is a way of building them up, to integrate them into the larger society. Isolating them from the normal pupils would be difficult for them in the future, they will not be able to interact in the society. In fact, they would be proud to say that they went to Muslim Primary School."
The sign language is the same language spoken among hearing impaired all over the world which is different from the sign language spoken at home before they were absorbed into the school. Mr. Alozie appealed to the parents not to hide their children, stressing that the government has provided all the enabling and conducive environment that will make them to learn. He however suggested the provision of school bus that would convey the pupils through and fro the school in order to encourage parents to start sending their hearing impaired children to school.
"It is not easy teaching these pupils , you must develop that passion and patient to teach them and that is why there is a slight difference between our salary and that of teachers for normal pupils. The government also plan to increase our salary substantially but this has not been implemented and we are grateful to the Lagos State government for making our salaries regular".
On how they create awareness that government has inclusive special education unit in these schools, this special teacher asserted that they organize programme like send forth party for the primary six pupils and invite the parents of the pupils and those of other impaired pupils. They sometimes engage in awareness programmes such as going to churches, mosques, markets, writing letters to His Royal Majesty, Baales, Community leaders, etcetera to encourage the parents to send their children to school. And they have been responding but not as we had expected because there are many of them out there in the villages. The harsh economy is affecting most of the families and making them reluctant in send their wards to school.
Deaf Bible translation center sees results
Mission Network News, Kenya
16 June 2011
The Deaf people of Kenya are overjoyed by the ability to receive and understand the Scriptures.
Kenya (MNN) - When The Seed Company dedicated their Deaf Bible Training and Translation Center in Kenya, they had no idea the impact their work would have on the Deaf community.
In their recent newsletter, Deaf Opportunity Outreach with The Seed Company reported the joyous reactions of the changed lives of Deaf members receiving Biblical training and teaching for the first time.
Not only is the purpose of this center to translate the Bible into a DVD that can sign the message of the Good News, but also to create notes of interpretation so that the Deaf community can dig deeper in understanding the message they are receiving.
Recently, the team tested the Translator's Notes for the story of Jesus healing a man from an evil spirit who had made him mute.
This story is meaningful especially to the Deaf people of Kenya because many Kenyans--even Christians--believe that "deafness" is caused by curses or evil spirits.
Members of the Deaf community were able to discuss the meaning of the story with each other, and the team was touched by what they witnessed.
One Deaf man signed, "This boy who had an evil spirit was suffering a lot.
The evil spirit caused him alot of discomfort and tormented him.
This is not the case with the Deaf.
God has blessed us.
We are comfortable.
We eat well, have families, communicate well with each other, and are healthy! Deaf people do not have evil spirits!" Another Deaf man added, "In the story of God calling Moses, God told Moses that it was He who made the Deaf and the blind.
The Deaf were created by God and not by evil spirits.
If deafness is caused by evil spirits God would not have said that He made the Deaf!" It has been encouraging to Deaf Opportunity Outreach's ministry to see their efforts received so well by the Deaf community.
Currently, they have completed nine sets of notes that have been community tested.
However, their efforts are slow because they have only one certified sign language consultant available for checking the translation of nine teams.
Death Opportunity Outreach is looking for more sign language consultants to become available in order to accelerate their multiple projects.
The projected goal of the center is to have their projects completed by 2013.
The teams would ask for prayer for timely completion of their work and that more sign language consultants would join their mission.
They praise God that the Deaf now have a resource that can explain questions only a Deaf audience would ask.
The truth of the Bible has liberated many of the Deaf in Kenya as a result of the Deaf Bible Training and Translation Center.
Lives have been changed as people have come to know Christ, and Deaf men and women have been encouraged to know that they are just as much a part of God's plan with or without their hearing ability. That is the most rewarding gift of all.
Disabled protest in Egypt continues
By Ashraf Sadek - The Egyptian Gazette
Friday, June 17, 2011 02:56:10 PM
CAIRO - Hundreds of disabled people protested in downtown Cairo Thursday demanding that the Government should preserve and protect their rights and help them get jobs in the ministries and private sector.
They wanted Prime Minister Essam Sharaf to enforce a 2010 law the compels the public and private sector to allocate five per cent of their labour force to the disabled people, whose number exceeds 10 million in Egypt.
The protesters called on Sharaf to protect the rights of the disabled and integrate them into the nation's labour force through offering them training and rehabilitation programmes.
The Government must prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities in all areas of life, including employment, access to justice and the rights to education and health services and access to transportation specially after the January 25 revolution, the protesters demanded.
"We are denied our right to get a job despite the fact that we can be integrated into the nation's labour force through attending training and rehabilitation programmes," Mohamed el-Saeed, a crippled man, said.
"There is an urgent need for setting up a comprehensive programme to reintegrate disabled people into society through training courses, raising awareness and encouraging solidarity among disabled people," he said.
He called for enforcing the law, which has been passed to improve the status of handicapped people, notably in the world of work, and taking legal action against those, who refuse to abide by it.
Law No 137/1981 mandates jail sentences of up to one month and fines as punishment for any employer found guilty of refusing to appoint a handicapped person, el-Saeed said.
Disabled people are seldom taken care of by institutions here; mostly they are either left to their own devices on the street or kept behind closed doors because their families are ashamed of them.
Economic crisis hits hard on three deaf, dumb children
The SWAZI Observer, 18 June, 2011 11:38:00 By Hlengiwe Ndlovu
It is pure agony for Lomagugu Shongwe of Mayiwane, a mother of three children who have speech and hearing impairments and what makes matters worse, they cannot further their studies because their family is too poor and government stopped subsidising their school fees.
As a result of the non- availability of finances, the three siblings were each forced to drop out of school when they reached Grade Seven, despite the desire to further studies.
Lomagugu has eight children in all, three of whom cannot talk while the others are having it tough at school because there isn’t enough money for school fees.
The three disabled children are Sibonakaliso, Thandazile and Sithembile, whose frustration runs deep now because they cannot continue with their education.
Each day, all that Sibonakaliso and Sithembile do is laze around at home and watch the sun rise and set, while younger Thandazile lives with a relative in Manzini where she earns a little income by baby-sitting a toddler.
Lomagugu’s frustration is even worse as she has to endure the pain of seeing her three children do nothing to develop themselves, despite that they have big dreams.
Suppressing tears, she narrated how she had difficulty raising disabled children, who were sometimes not properly accepted in the community because they could not communicate with others. She confided that at some stage, when life got tough, the thought of abandoning her children and husband crossed her mind.
“I would not lie, at some stage, I thought of abandoning my children and marriage, but I quickly abandoned such thinking because all my children, even the disabled ones are a gift from the Lord. I also could not walk out of my husband just like that”.
She said when the eldest of the disabled, Sibonakaliso was accepted at the School for the Deaf, it was a new dawn of hope because she realised that her children would now have a future. “Education is the key to success and when the School for the Deaf accepted my children, I could not believe how lucky I was. Little did I know that Government would soon run out of money to subsidise their school fees and that they would eventually drop out because of lack of money,” she said. Sibonakaliso and S’thembile are eager to start small businesses as they received dress-making, carpentry and handicraft training and are qualified in these fields. They were trained at the Vocational Training Centre at Sidwashini in Mbabane after dropping out of school. Lomagugu and her husband are unemployed. The family’s only source of income is small scale farming. She made a plea to the public to assist the children with capital to at least start their dress-making and carpentry business.
Meanwhile, Lomagugu said she had developed stress-related complications, which she could not reveal as a result of her children’s situation.
Lomagugu cannot properly communicate with deaf children Sibonakaliso, Sithembile and Thandazile Shongwe- the three deaf and dumb siblings learnt sign language at school, *but their mother, Lomagugu,* *never received formal sign language training and cannot properly* *communicate with the trio as a result.* *Because she is illiterate, she cannot read what they write when they* *sometimes try to express themselve*s. But the family believes Lomagugu is one smart woman and despite that she looks down upon herself, but others can see how brilliant she is as *she quickly mustered the basics of sign* *language*. “I do not communicate in the manner that I would have loved to with my children, but because I am their mother, I find a way,” she said
Children jolly fellows despite hardships
Throughout the interview with their mother, Sibonakaliso and Sithembile showed signs of being jolly, despite that they could not speak back.
Seating next to their mother, they smiled all the time and were far from being gloomy, despite their painful situation. When they mother told them to fetch their vocational training certificates, Sithembile was first to dash off and brought both certificates to her mother with confidence. “My children are jolly souls and they never allow their situation to bring them down, despite that I sometimes get very depressed”.
100 disabled people graduate
New Vision, Uganda
Sunday, 19th June, 2011
A total of 107 students with disabilities have received certificates and diplomas in motor vehicle mechanics, tailoring, catering and nurseryteaching at Nakawa Disabled Vocational Training Institute. Speaking at the graduation ceremony recently, Jacob Bona, the institutedirector, appealed to the public to stop discriminating against people withdisabilities, saying they can also contribute to the development of thecountry. We can do what others do. Disability is not inability, Bona said. The director of studies, Alex Omony, said the Government's failure to fundvocational institutions had affected the quality of higher education inUganda. Vocational institutes are not taken seriously, yet graduates need them forpractical skills, Omony said.
The deaf bemoan lack of access to information
The Post Online, Zambia
By Edwin Mbulo
Sun 19 June 2011
THE deaf are suffering when it comes to access to information on povertyalleviation, HIV and AIDS and human rights, says Cephas Mulubwa. In a walk-in interview, Mulubwa, who is President of the National Freedomfor the Deaf People in Zambia (NFDPZ), said the deaf have problems in makinginformed choices on political, social and economical issues. “We are suffering because we don’t get the right information, access toinformation on various issues such as poverty alleviation, HIV and AIDS.issues of productive health have greatly affected our deaf sisters who endup getting pregnant at an early age,” said Mulubwa. He said the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), political parties andother organisations dealing in the electoral process were placing adverts ontelevision without provision for sign language. Mulubwa said the deaf found it difficult to attend political meetings andrallies because there was no sign language provided. And NFDPZ treasurerFred Mwenya said the organisation was formed after the realisation of thehigh prevailing poverty levels among deaf youths in Zambia. “Many of our brothers go to bed on an empty stomach when all humansregardless of their physical disabilities have the right to access to cleanwater, clothing and shelter,” Mwenya said.
Writers concerned about lack of books for visually impaired people
6/20/11 11:51 AM
Luanda - Lack of national books, especially children’s, for visually impaired people in the country, has caused many writers to react against this deficit and appeal for better solutions to the situation.
According to the writer Maria Celestina Fernandes, the society and the Ministries of Culture and Education, particularly, should be concerned about the lack of books in Braille, taking into account the high number of visually impaired people.
“There is a need to remember this section of the society”, said the writer, in the sidelines of a meeting of the National Library, in Luanda.
The writer Cremilda de Lima, on her turn, stressed that this is a big matter, because such condition (blindness) should not hinder children with this disability from having the same needs as other children.
Sharing the same opinion, the writer Kanguimbo Anan?ssaid the moment is appropriate for serious reflection and for letting this group of the society also learn about the Angolan cultural identity, through books.
Marta Santos reiterated that literary production in this field, in this country, is not advanced and the country has lot to transmit to the younger generation.
The National Library has 27,000 literary works available, but only one can be found in Braille system.
Siyakha offers access to disabled workforce
IOL News, June 20 2011 at 12:55pm
Disability in South Africa is becoming a key milestone, where its force is being recognised in the employment equity. As a result to this Siyakha Consulting is embarking to tackle disabilities in the workplace.
Various research has been undertaken and statistics compiled on the status of disability in South Africa.
In the region, five million South Africans are disabled. This equates approximately to one in ten South Africans, despite this, less than 1percent of all people employed in this country are those with disabilities.
According to a media statement issued by Siyakha Consulting, the Chief Executive Officer Dionne Kerr says: “Although often unclear and sometimes contradictory, the fact remains that a significant number of people in SA are living with a disability.”
The accepted legal definition of disability is “a condition caused by an accident or trauma or genetics or disease, which limits a person's mobility, hearing, vision, speech and intellectual or emotional function.”
In terms of the employment equity act, as it stands now, the definition of disability is, “people with disability are people who have a long-term or recurring physical, including sensory, or mental impairment which substantially limits their prospect of entry into or advancement in employment.”
Further in the statement Kerr says, “The current guideline on disabled persons in a company's workforce is 2 percent. However, in terms of anticipated legislation due out this year, we are expecting the guideline to become legislated and to be increased to 4 percent.”
Siyakha Consulting therefore offers key services in this arena to its clients. It also runs regular workshops where it provides a full outline of disability in the South African workplace, feedback from which is that these are imperative for any human resources professional.
Kerr added that “We are a market leading, disability recruitment company with a wide database of candidates which is updated on a regular basis.”
“Siyakha sources candidates through our relationships with many disability organisations, as well as directly, ensuring that we are able to offer our clients suitable candidates on an ongoing basis,” she adds.
Disability, loss of parents, no excuse for inability - Yusuf
He carried himself gracefully and spoke good Queen’s English. Yusuf, Waheed, a 31-year-old physically-challenged youth corps member took Taiwo Olanrewaju through his life history at the passing-out parade ceremony at the Olubadan Stadium, Ibadan. Her report.
“DISABILITY is not inability. When you have brain, you should be able to compete with others. Life is all about competition. One should not give up in spite of any odd.”
These were the inspiring words of Mr Yusuf, Waheed A., a physically-challenged youth corps member, an orphan, who has just completed his one year compulsory service to his fatherland in Oyo State last Thursday.
Yusuf, whose disability affected his legs and thus, crawls instead of walking told the Nigerian Tribune that he was born a normal healthy child in Saki, Oke-Ogun area of Oyo north in 1980.
According to him, his mother told him that when he was about two years old, he took ill and the illness resulted into polio which eventually claimed his legs.
Although he was very young, Yusuf, recollected that his parents, now deceased, tried their best to save the situation. “They took me to Baptist Hospital, Saki and from one traditional doctor to another, all to no avail,” Yusuf said.
Knowing fully well the importance of education, the late Mr and Mrs Yusuf, who were both into business, enrolled Yusuf at the School for the Handicapped Children, Saki, where he completed his primary school. Yusuf was a boarding school student, so, he did not encounter much mobility problem.
For his secondary education, however, Yusuf attended Okere Secondary Grammar School, Saki, where he finished in 2001 and developed a keen interest in figures and accounting.
His love for accounting saw him to The Polytechnic, Ibadan where he completed his Higher National Diploma in 2009.
“There I encountered a lot of mobility problem which saw me going late to class and missing lectures outrightly at times,” volunteered Yusuf.
In spite of his disability and numerous challenges, Yusuf came out with an Upper Credit. “I am an average student,” he added.
Yusuf, who was posted to Edo State for his National Youth Service, redeployed to Oyo State where he served with Saki Local Government Council.
The accountant, who lost his father in 1992, also lost his mother, a businesswoman who sold Elubo (yam flour), on July 27, 2010, the day he came back from the orientation camp in Edo State.
With no parent to savour the joy of his success, Yusuf, the second child of his mother and from a polygamous home, hopes to make it in life.
The 31-year-old ex-corper, who has been employed by the Saki Local Government expressed his gratitude to the NYSC and the council for coming to his aid with the provision of a wheelchair and employment.
He, however, confessed to our reporter on phone that he was not happy on the day of his passing- out because he remembered all that his mother did for him and yet, she did not live to savour the joy of his success.
“Life! How cruel life could be a times,” he noted.
Soweto disabled NGO seeks lifeline
Sowetan 22 Jun 2011 | Alfred Moselakgomo |
A NON-PROFIT organisation in Soweto - which employs mostly disabled people in a self-help venture - is on the verge of shutting down due to lack of funds.
The Self-Help Association of Paraplegics (Shap) works on a subcontracting basis and is in desperate need of financial assistance or be forced to close.
The centre was formed in 1981 by the late Friday Mavuso, a paraplegic, to provide employment for people with disabilities.
It employes 74 people, 80 percent of whom are disabled.
They do packaging and assembling work, make protective clothing and sew various products.
All the administrative and supervisory positions are held by disabled people.
The centre seeks funding from the community and businesspeople for capital projects and support of its service programmes.
Shap chairperson Eric Fikile told Sowetan yesterday that things have not been going well since Mavuso's death in 1995.
"When he was still in charge we used to get contracts from different businesses but they terminated the contracts, while others did not renew them. Our employees face a bleak future," he said.
Fikile said even more challenging was the lack of transport to ferry the disabled to and from work.
"Since the establishment of the centre we have been using two buses that are now old and worn out. One bus was written off and the other can die any time."
He said they had written to President Jacob Zuma asking for assistance with transport but had not received a response.
"It's tough now because even if they were getting enough salaries, which is not the case, most of our employees cannot use public transport because it is not wheelchair-friendly," said the secretary, Frank Mahlalela. "Everybody here is worried about their future because this facility was formed to prove that a gainfully employed disabled person can be in a stronger position.
ASHMA spends GH¢33,000 on disabled persons
Forty-three persons with disabilities (PWDs) in Ashaiman have benefited from GH¢33,000, which is part of the District Assembly Common Fund accessible by people with disabilities.
While some received cash sums, others received equipment such as laptop and desktop computers, system units, printers and deep freezers, depending on the beneficiary's request.
The equipment included two Toshiba laptops, three desktop computers, two system units, three printers and four deep freezers.
Giving account of how the beneficiaries were picked and chosen at a presentation ceremony at the forecourt of the Ashaiman Municipal Assembly (ASHMA) last Monday, Madam Augustina Nartey, Social Welfare Coordinator, said her outfit, after thoroughly scanning through several applications for financial support it received earlier this year from the PWDs, it invited the applicants for vetting, and the 43 were found qualified to benefit from the Common Fund.
'Social Welfare then presented the requests to the Assembly, which has been able to put all these items together, to put smiles on the faces of our brothers and sisters who have converged here today,' she said.
Numo Addinortey Addison, Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Ashaiman, said he was very happy when he received the PWDs' requests on their desire to work and earn a better living for themselves and their families.
He said: 'I was very happy, because, you know what? These people here did not use their disabilities as a yardstick to beg for alms on the streets. The Assembly, through the Social Welfare, will be ever ready, therefore, to support any PWD who will want to live a meaningful life, as we all want to achieve a 'Better Ghana' for all and sundry.' The Ashaiman MCE entreated the beneficiaries to ensure that they put their presents into lucrative use, saying, 'If you are able to put your cash or equipment into a good venture, you will reap more profits to expand your business.'
Mr. Daniel Ekuman, Presiding Member (PM) of the Assembly, told the beneficiaries that the assistance was a way the Assembly and the government could help improve the quality of life of people with disabilities.
Congratulating them on their move, he said: 'You have proved that you do not want to be burdens on your families. You are worth emulating; even able persons who do not know what to do with their lives are wandering about stealing what other people have toiled for.'
He sounded a word of caution to criminals who would like to take advantage of the beneficiaries' disabilities to rob them of their properties, warning, 'because when we grab you, I can assure you that the law will severely cause you indelible pain.'
He entreated families of the beneficiaries to ensure that they assisted them (beneficiaries) in the way they would utilise their benefits, and to further ensure that they assist the beneficiaries to open bank savings for future expansion of their ventures.
Mr. Michael Agbetsomedo, Chairman of the PWDs, expressed immense appreciation to both the Social Welfare and ASHMA for their support. He said the association of the PWDs would form a supervisory team to ensure that the recipients did not divert their presents for other dubious gains, but rather use them for their intended purposes.
In addition to a deep freezer, Mr. Agbetsomedo received a sum of GH¢1,700 to expand his business.
In Sierra Leone, Grafton Residents Expose Police Brutality
NEWS : LOCAL NEWS
By Abdul Karim (Fonti) Kabia Jun 23, 2011, 17:36
Deputy Police Chief Moigbeh Residents of the disabled community in Grafton (outskirt of Freetown) have seriously indicted officers of the Francis Alieu Munu led Sierra Leone Police (SLP) force, as perpetrating hate crimes against people with disabilities in the country.
At a press conference summoned by the Sierra Leone Union on Disability Issues (SLUDI)) yesterday Wednesday 22nd June 2011, at the Western Area Human Rights Committee conference hall in Freetown, members of the disabled communities in Grafton explained that they were subjected to torture and various forms of degrading human rights abuses by the police and invading youths from other localities on Saturday 11th June and Sunday 12th June 2011 during deadly skirmishes between youths in Kossoh Town and Grafton.
It could be recalled that journalist Ibrahim Foday was stabbed to death during the said fracas, and accusing fingers are being pointed on a police officer as being the one that aided the criminal that stabbed the journalist.
“Polio persons, their wives, children and helpers were seriously brutalized by violent youths backed by OSD officers of the Sierra Leone Police,” Sylvanus Bundu, Chairman of the Disabled Community in Grafton, told newsmen, adding: “They inflicted serious injuries on polio persons with the use of machetes and other dangerous weapons.”
Police Chief Munu
According to Chairman Bundu, members of the disabled community were indiscriminately brutalized, arrested and dragged to police cells. He described the act of the police as sheer discrimination and physical prejudice associated with hate crimes.
Explaining his ordeal, a female member of the disabled community used words like malicious, wicked and inhuman to describe the alleged brutal attack meted on her by the police.
Esther Chaspo, who suffered from a double fractured leg in the attack and spent three nights in stinking police cells without medical attention said police officers launched an unprovoked attack on her and her son.
According to Esther, who happens to be the wife of a disabled person, she sent her son, Anthony Chaspo, to the stream on the fateful day to collect the clothes she laundered. “Shortly after Anthony returned from the stream and while I was hanging the clothes on a rope, police officers in the company of a few civilians arrived at the scene and the police officers were ordered by the civilians to arrest my son,” she explained.
Bockarie: Victim of alleged police brutality
The police, she continued, refused to tell her the rationale behind the arrest of her son and “efforts to restrain them from unlawfully taking my son away landed me in hell”.
“One of the police officers started off the torture by hitting me with a baton and pushing me to the ground,” Esther said, adding that the officer went further to step on her leg with considerable force. “This act resulted in breaking my leg and as I was groaning in pain informing the officer that he had damaged my leg, the other officer commented that I was lucky that they did not kill me,” she alleged, adding that she was further hit with a baton.
“At this juncture, one Inspector Senesie Sesay ordered that I should be dragged and dumped into a waiting police truck,” the lady alleged, adding that the order was executed and her entire body was inundated with severe pains by the time they arrived at the Jui police post.
Esther: Wife of a disabled man, who has been disabled as a result of alleged police brutality
According to Esther, the police did not only ignore her broken leg complain but continued to torture her at Jui, prior to bundling her again and dumping her into the police vehicle heading for the Kissy Police Division.
“At the Kissy Police Division, I spent three days inside the cell with the police completely ignoring my call for medical attention,” Esther disclosed in tears, adding that she was only allowed to receive treatment at a pharmacy three days after the incident, following persistent interventions of human rights activists and journalists.
Esther said she was later released and that doctors at the Emergency Hospital at Goderich have confirmed the seriousness of her double fractured leg.
She insisted that she can identify the police officers that attacked her if given the opportunity to do so.
Another victim who claimed to have suffered police brutality was a disabled person called Bockarie Filli. He explained that he was doing some laundering at the stream when a police officer called Sergeant Tamso scolded him from the back with accusations that he was part of the skirmish. “Before I could realize what was happening, the officer started hitting me with handcuff and dragging me,” Bockarie explained, adding that the manhandling continued until his entire body was covered with bruises and blood. The police officer, he alleged, continued to drag him and throw him inside a water well. “I was again removed from the water pit for a continuation of the inhuman torture,” he disclosed, adding: “The police, accompanied by civilians, took me to an unfinished two storey building and pushed me off”.
According to him, the police officers continued to hit his polio foot with provocations that it was the disabled foot that was responsible for the stubbornness of polio people. “Following the merciless beating, I was dragged like a dead dog and dumped into the police vehicle heading for Kossoh Town,” Bockarie said, adding that he was later transferred to the Kissy Police Division were he spent several nights in stinking police cells. “In my entire time at the Kissy Police Division no statement was obtained from me, neither was I given access to medical attention,” he disclosed in tears, while calling on authorities concerned to intervene and give them justice.
Another disabled person called Daniel Aruna made similar serious allegations against the police.
At the briefing, the members of the disabled community explained that majority of the twelve people currently in stinking police cells were disabled people from Grafton. They accused the police of openly taking sides with the youths from Kossoh Town during the deadly land fracas.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Ibrahim Samura, who was at the press briefing, described the Saturday and Sunday incidents as unfortunate. He however insisted that the pronouncements by the disabled people were “mere allegations subject to investigation”. While assuring that the police were respecters of human rights, Samura said the matter would be thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators for both the alleged crimes committed against the disabled people and the murder of the journalist would be brought to book.
Luanda govt to build school for disabled people
6/25/11 4:29 PM
Luanda - The governor of Luanda, Jos? Maria Ferraz dos Santos, said on Friday here that his government intends to build as from this year a *school aimed for the training of disabled people*.
The official said so to Angop on Friday, while meeting the handicapped people, and therefore the government of Luanda will materialise this project, in the ambit of the Children’s Book Fair.
The official said that to materialise this project, the government of Luanda will have to develop actions with other stakeholders, aimed at valorising the disabled people.
Children’s Book Fair was opened on Thursday in Luanda’s Independence square and it is expected to end on Sunday.
The event is aimed at promoting and diversifying the liking of reading.
People with Disability, Sport and Recreation Swazi observer
25 June, 2011 10:00:00 with Buyie Masuku
People with disabilities experience the same need for sport, including competitive sport, and recreation as their non-disabled peers.
Sport is generally regarded as one of the vital components in the *integration of people with disabilities into society*. It is also often a vital component in the *successful rehabilitation* of people with disabilities.
Sports can also be used as a tool for development of *personalities* while at the same time integrating and encouraging social contact between people diverse abilities. Sport, leisure and other recreational activities are as important for people with disabilities as they are is the able-bodied persons. Again, the benefits of sport to people with disabilities are immense. It can be used as means *of treatment, leisure, hobby, therapy and rehabilitation*.
*Sport at school level is critical for the development of physical qualities *, as well as for the development of *self-esteem, courage and endurance*.
It is therefore vital that sport at school level - both within ordinary and special schools receives urgent attention.
Therefore, there is* need for policy objective to develop and extend sporting activities for people with disabilities in both mainstream and special facilitie*s so that they can participate in sport for both recreational and competitive purposes.
Training of Trainers
The* development of trainers/coaches familiar with sport for people with disabilities is an essential* component which needs to be urgently addressed. This process should involve both familiarising existing coaches and trainers with aspects relevant to the coaching of people with disabilities athletes, as well as the training of trainers specialising in sport of people with disabilities athletes.
*Existing public sport facilities are inaccessible*. This includes changing rooms, lockers, showers, toilets and so on.
Both *community and urban sport centres s*hould be developed in consultation *with organisations of people with disabilities* to ensure *not only barrier-free access, but also integrated universal design* to allow both non-disabled and the people with disabilities athletes to use the facilities simultaneously.
The public at large, people with disabilities(especially those living in rural areas), sponsors and sport administrators tend to be largely unaware of the different forms of sport for people with disabilities. And this aspect should be targeted in a public education programme.
Sport for people with disabilities should be *‘mainstreamed’ as far as possible to increase sponsorship value*, it should be promoted jointly with mainstream events.
Lastly, I would like to encourage people with disabilities to use these opportunities that are availing themselves each and everyday from different spheres, to get engaged, involved and participate fully in sports for their development and exposure.
*UN Convention on the Right of People with Disabilities*
Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport
1. States Parties recognise the right of persons with disabilities to take part in an equal basis with others in cultural life, and shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities:
(a) Enjoy access to cultural materials in accessible formats;
(b) Enjoy access to television programmes, films, theatre and other cultural activities, in accessible formats;
(c) Enjoy access to places for cultural performances or services, such as theatres, museums, cinemas, libraries and tourism services and as far as possible, enjoy access to monuments and sites of national cultural importance.
2. States Parties shall take appropriate measures to enable persons with disabilities to have the opportunity to develop and utilise their creative, artistic and intellectual potential, not only for their own benefit, but also for the enrichment of society.
3. States Parties shall take all appropriate steps, in accordance with international law, to ensure that laws protecting intellectual property rights do not constitute an unreasonable or discriminatory barrier to access by persons with disabilities to cultural materials.
4. Persons with disabilities shall be entitled, on an equal basis with others, to recognition and support of their specific cultural and linguistic identity, including sign languages and deaf culture.
5. With a view to enabling persons with disabilities to participate on an equal basis with others in recreational, leisure and sporting activities, States Parties shall take appropriate measures:
(a) To encourage and promote the participation, to the fullest extent possible, of persons with disabilities in mainstream sporting activities at all levels;
(b) To ensure that persons with disabilities have an opportunity to organise, develop and participate in disability-specific sporting and recreational activities and, to this end, encourage the provision, on an equal basis with others, of appropriate instruction, training and resources;
(c) To ensure that persons with disabilities have access to sporting, recreational and tourism venues;
(d) To ensure that children with disabilities have equal access with other children to participation in play, recreation and leisure and sporting activities, including those activities in the school system;
(e) To ensure that persons with disabilities have access to services from those involved in the organisation of recreational, tourism, leisure and sporting activities.
Disabled family told to wait for promised house
Two months ago, just* before the local government elections*, a disabled, wheelchair-bound couple who are looked after by their 12-year-old son were promised a house by * minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities *Lulu Xingwana.
But on Tuesday the couple, who live in a* one-roomed shack* in Khayelitsha’s YAB informal settlement, heard that they might *have to wait years* for their promised house to become reality.
After West Cape News highlighted the story of 12-year-old Ntsikelelo Bharhu who cares for his disabled parents Nceba Kwinana and Nomzamo Bharhu in the Daily Sun on March 16, Xingwana visited their tiny shack on May 16.
She was *accompanied by TV, radio and newspaper journalists* and promised to move the couple to a newly built house.
The next day - a day before local government elections - in a surprise visit to Khayelitsha accompanied by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, about 200 people heard her again commit to helping the family move out of their shack.
On Tuesday this week a representative from Xingwana’s department, Nonkosi Tyolwana, visited the family. But expectations that the shiny black cars outside the families home meant she was to announce a new home for Ntsikelelo Bharhu and his parents were crushed. Tyolwana told them the *promised house might take “a year or two” to materialize.*
Tyolwana said the department was *going to look at other options, like getting the family a temporary house*.
The announcement has angered community leaders and residents who accuse Xingwana of creating false expectations.
Some of the residents said on Tuesday they thought the time had come for the family to be moved and were disappointed when they discovered the truth.
Nceba Kwinana, 62, said he got a call from Pretoria last Friday telling him that government officials would be visiting this week.
“I was so happy when I get a call that people who promised us a house were coming to visit us. All I was waiting for was good news that we will get the house, but it seems we’re in for a long wait,” said Kwinana after the official visit.
He said when Xingwana first made her promise she made* it sound like they would have a new house “within that week”.*
“I also heard on radio the woman (Xingwana) explaining about our situation and that her department would help. It saddens me that nothing has been done,” said Kwinana.
“We thought the visit by Xingwana meant the struggles were over for the family and they would be taken care of, but we were wrong,” said local community leader Unathi Mabengwana.
“Their house is* leaking and water comes in.* Yesterday’s visit from minister’s department was pathetic and it left residents more furious,” he said.
Responding to questions last week, Xingwana’s advisor David Dlali said Xingwana was in discussions with the relevant department on how to assist the family.
The family survives on *disability pensions but spend most of their income on hiring a car to take them to the payout point each month*.
In the meantime, since their plight was made known, charitable Capetonians have come forward to assist the family with food, money and a television set. - *Nombulelo Damba*, West Cape News
Talented deaf youths
30 Jun 2011 | Edward Tsumele |
THIS week I had a lesson in signing, better known as sign language. And, no, I have not suddenly lost my hearing.
I was invited to Deaf TV's Zwakala talent competition where primary and high school pupils who cannot hear demonstrate their artistic skills in story telling, drama and in poetry in front of the cameras.
I met Barbara Peters, the show's public relations person , Candice Morgan, the executive producer and presenter, Chris Mostert, Zwakala's director, Troy Panaino, the show's cameraman, Christopher Harrison, the interpreter, and judges Isidingo actor Jack Devnarain, choreographer Tracey-Leigh Lawson and Modiegi Moime, the sign language coach and the only deaf judge.
The venue was Postmasters Studios in Auckland Park, Johannesburg.
I spent three hours with people who can't hear and when I emerged from the studio and a world that I had not known existed, I was humbled.
I was reduced to stunned silence by the sheer determination of the contestants and also the experience of being with a section of our society that the majority of us do not know.
I witnessed one of the fiercest fights for the hearts, minds and favours of the judges by the talented contestants.
And I can tell you that the competition is no walk in the park. That the contestants are deaf does not mean that the judges are lenient.
The contestants use signing to express themselves in dramatising their stories and reciting their poetry.
The competition requires the contestants to express themselves with discernible expressions as well as with body language .
The difficulty though, as far as the deaf contestants are concerned, is that they need to master the sign language.
Apart from their stories and their poetry being well told, with all the dramatic elements to be perfect, the signing too must be impeccable.
I believe that we must all master the language of deaf people.
There is absolutely no excuse for people who can hear to use "English signing". (I am ashamed to say that I did not know until this week, when Moime pointed it out, that such a thing existed in the world of the deaf.)
And in this competition the stakes are so high that only those contestants who get 60percent will have an opportunity to be seen by the public on television in September when the competition will be screened on SABC3.
Even though sometimes I felt that the judges were too harsh on the contestants, I came away enriched and very enlightened about the other world, that of the deaf, in our society. This is significant considering that South Africa has a population of around four million deaf people.
According to the 2001 South African census, about 20percent of all disabled people in South Africa have a hearing loss.
The next dates for judging are August 1 and 15. The results of the overall winners will be announced at a gala occasion on October 28.
Screening will take place on Sunday, September 11, on SABC3 at 9.30am and will be repeated on Monday, September 12, at 2pm. The competition is now in its fifth year.
Disabled Youth call for implementation of LI on Disability Act
The Ghana Federation of the Disabled Youth, Upper East Chapter, has added its voice to numerous calls on the government to expedite action on the implementation of the Legislative Instrument on the Disability Act 715, which Parliament passed five years ago.
After a three-day capacity building workshop on the provisions in the Disability Act and the United Nations Convention on Persons With Disabilities (UNCRPD) for five selected district leaders from Bongo, Bolgatanga, Kassena-Nankana East, Builsa and Talensi-Nabdam districts in the Upper East Region, the federation also called on the government to ensure that the 2% of the District Assembly Common Fund for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) is paid into the accounts timely.
They are also demanding that PWDs should be made signatories to the accounts, to enable them monitor the disbursement and utilisation of the money.
In a press statement issued and signed by Mark Akubire, Regional Chairman, and Aniah David, Regional Secretary, the federation is also calling for the incorporation of sign language into the training of nurses and security officers.
Sign language interpreters should also be engaged in the various departments and agencies such as hospitals, courts and police stations, to enable hearing-impaired persons express themselves in these areas.
While calling on the Ministry of Education to provide disability aids in the drawings of school??? buildings to make them accessible to all PWDs, the federation has also called on government to ensure that the offices of the regional and district councils on persons with disabilities are established immediately.
According to the federation, if these issues are addressed, PWDs would be able to enjoy their rights and privileges, as well as perform their responsibilities without any constraints.
This would go a long way to enable them contribute their quota to the development of the country.