BACKGROUNDER ON THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ACCESSIBILITY AND DISABILITY RIGHTS

 “Towards a barrier – free society for all”

The National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development and partners present the National Conference on Accessibility and Disability Rights to be held from 25th to 27th June 2012 at Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi.

The conference is targeting a wide range of stakeholders with specific reference to Government ministries who are the key implementers of the Persons with Disabilities Act, 2003. The media, civil society, development partners, DPOs and the private sector are core partners and critical participants in the conference as well.

BACKGROUND

Building codes, physical planning laws and standards are unresponsive to the needs of Persons with Disabilities. The construction and building environments pose many challenges for Persons with Disabilities to physically access public buildings, roads and other infrastructure. Public transport laws do not facilitate modification of Public Service Vehicles and they are inaccessible to persons with physical impairments.

Electronic, print media and other modes of communication are generally inaccessible to people with visual, hearing or intellectual disabilities. This prevents them from participating or benefiting from information in these channels. To overcome these communication barriers, it is imperative to introduce forms accessible by persons with impairments. These include; brailing of printed information, sign language interpretation, eye-catching simplified messages, well illustrated and easily repeatable information. These should be delivered in accessible public settings.

The following Sections of the Persons with Disabilities Act of 2003 deal with Accessibility;

Section 21; Accessibility and mobility

Section 22; Public Buildings

Section 23; Public Service Vehicles

Section 24; Adjustment Orders

Section 35; Exemptions

Section 39; Television Programmes

Section 40; Telephone Services

Kenya now has a legal framework that fully recognises and protects people’s rights. However, we have to recognise that we still have a long way to go as there are still segments of our business sector and society that are resisting the full inclusion of persons with disabilities. There could be a number of reasons for this, including cost, complexity, fear of change, lack of knowledge, and misguided perceptions. This must change. And a thorough media campaign needs to be engaged to jump-start this change process that should culminate in the realization that there are no excuses for inaccessibility- be it in employment practices or in making buildings and services physically accessible and to comply  with sections 22, 23, 24, 39 and 40 of the Act.

Registration of PWDs

The NCPWDs has also made deliberate efforts to register Persons with Disabilities and their organizations to know the number, their distribution, the various categories of disabilities and the challenges they are undergoing. These will help in coming up with the relevant programmes to address the challenges that they experience in the community. It also makes it easy to plan when numbers and their geographical representation are known.

NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES, (NCPWD)

A vibrant Agency promoting Disability Mainstreaming in National Development.

The National Council for Persons with Disabilities is a State Corporation set up in November 2004 following the enactment of the Persons with Disabilities Act,(PWD), 2003. Membership consists  of nominees of Organisations of and for persons  with disabilities, key government ministries, the Office of the Attorney General, Federation of Kenya Employers and the Central Organisation of Trade Unions. The Board is headed by a non-executive Chairperson. The day-to-day activities are run by a Secretariat headed by a Director.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT;

National Council for Persons with Disabilities,(NCPWD)

Opp. ABC Place, Waiyaki Way,Nairobi

PO Box 66577 -00800, Nairobi

Tel: 020-231 4621/ 2375994/ 0716598898

Email: ncpwds@africaonline.co.ke

Website: http://www.ncpwd.go.ke

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