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Calls for inclusion and equality top disability summit

By James Wanzala | Published Thu, July 26th 2018 at 11:41, Updated July 26th 2018 at 11:43 GMT +3
Labour and Social Protection Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani speaking at the Global Disability Summit held in London on Monday. [Courtesy]

People living with disabilities around the world have reason to hope for a brighter future if promises made at a key summit are kept.

The Global Disability Summit, which was held in London on Monday, resolved to craft various measures and policies to ensure the disabled get access to education, health and equal employment opportunities.

The event, which was co-hosted by the Government of Kenya and the International Disability Alliance, saw Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno – a quadriplegic – call on leaders to step up efforts to fight stigma and discrimination against persons with disabilities. Ministry of Labour and Social Protection Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said Kenya was committed to providing the necessary policy framework to establish an environment to regularise standards on innovation for development and importation of assistive technology.

“Further, Kenya is at an advanced stage of establishing an assistive technology hub in partnership with major stakeholders,” said Mr Yatani.

He said Kenya had signed and ratified international instruments of law pertaining to education for all, including children with disabilities and special educational needs.

On May 25, President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the 2018 Education Sector Policy for Learners and Trainees with Disabilities, which is a revision of the Special Needs Policy of 2009, where Kenya had committed to inclusiveeducation.

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There was more good news after Safaricom announced at the summit that it would increase the number of staff living with disabilities to five per cent by March 2021, up from the current 1.7 per cent, as part of its strategic business objectives.

“Our focus on diversity and inclusion has seen us reach out to minorities such as people with disabilities in line with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) eight on decent work and economic growth, and SDG 10 on reduced inequalities,” said Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore.


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