Statement Of Need
PWDs in Uganda have always struggled to integrate into societies that tend to exclude the disabled or demand conformity. As the number of PWDs surpasses two million people country wide, the struggle cannot be ignored. Uganda faces a considerable challenge in integrating the disabled community. National disability concerns include poverty and unemployment. In addition PWDs lack access to appropriate health, quality education and other social services. These challenges stem from discriminatory attitudes towards People with Disabilities, limited resources devoted to addressing disability issues, and lack of political and technocratic will to resolving such issues. The People with Disability Act of 2006 established the freedom of association and the right to education, health, employment and interaction without any forms of discrimination.
Problems Faced By PWDs in Kasese
- Children with disabilities are constrained from accessing Quality education, however it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that PWDs attain education through encouraging schools and institutions to take on PWDs and establish special needs policies and programmes to facilitate Children with disabilities to attend school both boys and girls, put in place special schools and special courses for PWDs, ensure that special needs teachers are recruited and maintained in schools, provide materials and assistive devices for learners with special needs and ensuring that structures in education institutions suit the needs of PWDs and ensuring that not less than 10% of all educational expenditure is spent on the educational needs of PWDS at all levels this has been like a dream to the community of Kasese, this rights have been abused for generations of years. The proposed project will build the capacity PWDs representatives to effectively participate in decision making to ensure that this gap is addressed.
- Right to Health: the simple survey made by Karambi Group of People with disabilities in 5 health centres vi, there’s no health attendants trained in sign language, no interpreters, the PWDs are not enjoying the same rights with the public in all health institutions and yet the government of Uganda is supposed to make this happen. The women with disabilities have no access to reproductive health services with an attitude that women with disabilities does not have sex, therefore are not on the risk of being infected with STDs. Women and youth with disabilities die in a critical pain due to the denial to access health services. This issue is going to be handled in the proposed project by advocating the right to health for PWDs like any other citizen of Uganda. Through building the capacity of the marginalised PWDs by sensitizing them on the CRPD that they are entitled to access health service like any other citizen, full participation of disability representatives to advocate for placement of sign language interpreters in hospital or training the health workers.
- The right to employment of persons with disabilities have been abused in Kasese district and Uganda at large, it is illegal putting conditions in job advertisements that might discourage a PWDs from applying for the job like the recruitment requiring the applicant to have a driving license, requiring applicants to first run, dismissing or stopping a PWD employee from working due to her/his disability like one woman was stopped from working with the electoral commission and yet she had no difficult while using the computer, using tests on a PWD that assess his/her speaking skills or hearing ability instead of assessing his/her skills, capacity and ability to do the required job. The PWDs will be empowered to report such incidences and action shall be taken effectively.
- Accessibility and transport means, this right have been abused because the population is not aware that PWDs have the right to accessibility, access to buildings, in Kasese district only schools and health institutions own toilets that cater for the PWDs special needs. The public is not aware that it’s the responsibility of any person who construct a building that will be used by members of the public to make sure that PWDs can enter and leave the building by providing; a safe and accessible toilet that can be used by all kinds of PWD, Ramps for wheel chair users and people who have difficulty in walking and rails on the stairs, ramps and balconies. The strategies used in Kasese in promoting the access to information is limited, the public offices have no sign language interpreters (Police stations, banks, courts, hotels and at public functions). This constrains PWDs to attend meetings. The proposed project will ensure PWDs are facilitated to attend decision making and present their petition.