2020 Annual Regional Conference

3rd KIPPRA Annual Regional Conference on “Enhancing Inclusivity through empowering Persons Living with Disability” held through a virtual platform, from 28th -30th July 2020

CONFERENCE COMMUNIQUE

30th July 2020

Preamble

We, the participants of the 3rd KIPPRA Annual Regional Conference held virtually, from 28th – 30th July 2020, express our gratitude and appreciation to all the partners who have supported KIPPRA in organizing a successful conference.

We acknowledge the importance of adopting universal designs and an inclusive approach for persons with disabilities towards unlocking their potential for sustainable development.

We observe that Kenya is a signatory of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and the East Africa Community Policy on Persons with Disabilities. Kenya is also committed to the implementation of the Disability Act (2003) that established the National Council for Persons with Disabilities and developed a Plan of Action on disability mainstreaming. 

We observe that the Country, through the National and County Governments and Non-State actors, is implementing various national policies and plans that support disability mainstreaming initiatives, including social protection, gender, employment and procurement targeting PWDs. There are also sector-specific PWD policies, plans, standards and measures that strengthen disability mainstreaming in housing, health, education and transport, among other sectors.

We, the participants, observe that despite the interventions, barriers to the social, economic and political development of PWDs manifest with various adverse outcomes, including limited access to education and its attainment, high unemployment and adverse working environment, exclusion in property ownership and business opportunities, unfavourably built environment, hostile transport facilities and behaviour, limited access to assistive devices, negative societal perceptions, negative cultural attitudes and practices, stigma, limited access to justice, limited political representation, and constrained participation in sports and art. These and other exclusions have sustained a high poverty incidence among PWDs, relative to people without disabilities. The conference addressed the gaps and barriers that limit full exploitation of PWDs’ potential; and the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on PWDs.

Having had a successful discussion, the conference makes the following resolutions:

CREATING AN ENABLING POLICY AND LEGAL ENVIRONMENT FOR INCLUSION OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

Implementation and Enforcement of Disability Policies, Guidelines and Legislative Frameworks

  • Parliament, Senate, National Council for Persons with Disability (NCPWD) and the Judiciary to strengthen inclusivity of PWDs by enforcing laws; providing oversight and representations of PWDs interests in economic, social and political development activities; and supporting public engagements with key stakeholders on PWDs matters.
  • We urge, private and public sector institutions to undertake regular human resource audits in adherence to disability laws and guidelines, to facilitate persons with disabilities gain access to assistive devices and technologies that enable them to effectively compete with their peers who do not have disabilities.
  • The Judiciary and other law enforcement agencies to ensure the laws signed by Kenya including various conventions and legislations meant to protect PWDs are implemented as part of Kenyan legislations.
  • National Council for Persons with Disability (NCPWD), County Governments, Ministries, Departments and Agencies to enhance resource allocation in supporting and fast-tracking the amendment of the Disability Bill. Disability Act amendment Bill to respond to the gaps identified in the employment of PWDs and mainstream universal designs.
  • Public and private Institutions to cultivate a strong linkage between the employers and the NCPWD which is charged with enforcement of PWD related legislative and policy provisions; and ensure performance contracting is inclusive in catering for PWDs participation in various development activities.

Action: Parliament, National Council for Persons with Disability (NCPWD), Judiciary

PROMOTING INCLUSIVITY BY EMPOWERING PWDS THROUGH IMPLEMENTING THE BIG 4 INITIATIVES

 Promoting and empowering PWDs through implementation of the Big 4 Agenda

  • The National Treasury and Planning together with other functional units of National and County governments to ensure development policies, including the Third Medium Term Plan (MTP III) and County Integrated Development Plans, prioritize the needs of PWDs to foster inclusivity in planning.

Action: National and County Governments, Private Sector  

Enhancing inclusivity of PWDs in Universal Health Coverage

  • National and County governments shall ensure that all PWDs have health insurance coverage. Persons with disabilities face more pronounced health challenges including reproductive and mental health challenges. Thus, they require more resources to enable them to access the necessary health care and medication, which in some cases tend to be very expensive.
  • NCPWD with support from the Ministry of Health to fast-track creation of awareness and address needs for persons with cerebral palsy and other neural system related disabilities. Neurology specialists through the Ministry of Health to educate the population on convulsion triggers and controls.
  • The Ministry of Information and Technology to have in place innovative mechanisms of utilizing ICT to mobilize PWDs to access healthcare services including smart cards, adaptive medical equipment, among others.
  • Private and public institutions will adopt initiatives that support interagency advocacy and coordination bringing on board PWDs to benefit from funding initiatives for universal health coverage. PWDs awareness to be initiated by the stakeholders involved or tasked with such mandates with adequate monitoring and evaluation to ensure protection of PWDs even in times of disaster such as floods, drought and other external shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The National and County governments to put in place programs to support inclusive health coverage and affirmative actions to champion for the rights of PWDs adequately. Commitments meant to provide services covered under universal health for PWDs to be implemented by all government agencies.

Action: National Government, County Governments, Non-State Actors

Enhancing inclusivity of PWDs in the housing sector

  • The Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development (MTIHUD) to spearhead the provisions of the 2016 UN conference, Habitat III that advocate for the inclusion of universal designs for PWDs in urban planning and development.
  • Considering the state of residential places in most urban areas there is need to ensure construction of residential places is guided by the building code in considering the needs of PWDs, to guarantee access to essential housing services.
  • The National and County Governments to revise the building code and spearhead its adaption at all levels to address issues of accessibility to buildings by PWDs. Stakeholders to be sensitized on national building code to create awareness in understanding how to deal with issues concerning accessibility for PWDs.
  • The building and construction authority to develop a new curriculum for training construction personnel and industry artists to foster inclusiveness.

Action: Ministry of Transport Infrastructure Housing and Urban Development (MTIHUD), The National and County Governments.

Effective Access and Participation of Persons with Disability in Manufacturing

  • Local firms in manufacturing to actively participate in the production of assistive devices including wheelchairs and equipment and to employ PWDs.
  • The National and County governments to support PWDs initiatives, including assisting PWDs in manufacturing and accessing the export markets in the region.
  • The Kenya Revenue Authority will ensure enforcement of zero-rating of imports to manufacture and assembly of assistive devices for PWDs’ benefit.

Action: National and County Governments, Employers, Private Sector.

Strengthening Family and Community Support Systems as the Foundation for Promoting the Welfare of Persons with Disabilities

  • The family, community and caregivers remain key institutions for promoting the welfare, needs and psycho-social support for Persons with Disabilities. This is mainly through accepting them as they are, listening to them, and helping them acquire the facilities they need in going about their day-to-day lives.
  • The family should not hide their kin who are living with disabilities but rather encourage them to pursue their goals and expose them to the various opportunities as provided for in various legal and legislative frameworks.
  • The families and communities with a PWD need to be empowered and supported so that they can offer the support needed by the persons with disabilities.
  • That initiatives to bring on board all stakeholders from the government and private sector for inclusive growth of PWDs to be adapted and all institutions empowered to eliminate any form of discrimination against persons with disabilities.
  • The community to ensure that PWDs participate in all forums equally by availing support frameworks like sign language interpreters.

Action: Families, Communities, care Givers and other Non-State Actors

Enhancing Food Security and Nutrition among PWDs

  • That, Family, Communities, County Governments and Ministries of Agriculture and Health promote healthy eating habits and nutrition support among expectant mothers. County Governments and Ministries of Agriculture and Health to support utilization of food supplements by PWDs. Communities, County Governments and National Government to ensure access to adequate food supply for households headed by PWDs.

Action: Families, Communities, County Governments and Ministries of Agriculture and Health

EDUCATION AND TALENT MANAGEMENT 

Establishing Support Systems for Inclusive Learning for Persons with Disabilities

  • The Ministry of Education (MOE), Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), County Governments and Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to ensure adequate bursaries and education loans are set aside especially for persons with disabilities from needy backgrounds to enable them access education and enhance their transition and progression to higher levels of learning and training. The Ministry to also ensure adaptable infrastructural designs in learning institutions in liaison with the Ministry in charge of public works while considering the diverse needs of PWDs.
  1. Higher learning institutions including universities and technical training institutions to utilize technology and equipment for special needs students. For example, while the COVID-19 pandemic has made digital learning a reality, PWDs should be supported with assistive ICT devices adaptable to the diverse needs of learners with disabilities.
  2. Kenya Institute for Curriculum Development (KICD) to develop and implement a curriculum that caters for persons with hearing impairment coupled with a standardized Kenya sign language. In addition, have adequately trained interpreters of sign language for persons with hearing impairment. Moreover, Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to ensure teachers and educators are well trained on how to deal with students with special needs to help them develop their abilities and talents; and work with organizations that can initiate strategies of establishing local-based competitions for PWDs to empower youth through talent discovery.
  3. Learning institutions to ensure that persons with disabilities are encouraged and supported to participate in co-curricular activities at all education levels. Furthermore, sports initiatives and activities to be inclusive considering the diverse needs of PWDs in such institutions so that they can showcase their talents in sporting.
  4. The National and County Governments to implement the provisions of the Global Disability Summit (2018) by continuously budgeting for assistive learning devices. Public and private institutions to enforce responsive budgeting for PWDs in learning and training institutions to foster PWDs empowerment at early stages of life through affirmative action while supporting inclusive learning.
  5. The Ministry of Education to provide and support PWDs with learning materials such as braille for students with visual impairment and related ICT innovations and laptops. This will enhance inclusivity of all persons in learning places and effectively mainstream PWDs through relevant assistive devices that are compliant to emerging issues such as COVID-19.
  6. Noting that stigma is a major obstacle that constrains PWDs from pursuing their goals, all stakeholders including the media are to play a key role in raising awareness on PWDs and further develop a curriculum on training media personalities on reporting development issues affecting PWDs.

Action: National Government, County Governments, HELB, Universities and Research Institutions, Private Sector, Civil Society, TSC, Non-State Actors

EMPLOYMENT AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Enhancing the Participation, Employability and Engagement of PWDs in Formal Employment and Businesses

  • Public and Private organizations need to create mechanisms to encourage PWDs to engage in entrepreneurship and assist them to easily run their businesses. The mechanisms to focus on innovative ways of utilizing ICT and mobilizing PWDs to participate in saving groups and economic empowerment projects.
  • Public service in partnership with the private sector to incorporate mechanisms in their recruitment procedures to facilitate PWDs in accessing internship opportunities that enable them to acquire work-related skills and encourage them to easily adapt to a work environment in taking up employment opportunities.
  • Learning institutions to have inclusive programs to equip PWDs with skills for the job market and entrepreneurship. For example, PWDs need to enrol in technical training institutions to acquire soft and life skills to enable them to effectively participate in the workplace and run businesses. Employers as well to assign mentors to PWDs at their workplaces to help them learn and acquire new skills for enhanced productivity.
  • The business community and employers to install assistive devices to enable PWDs to work with ease and effectively engage with other sector players. For example, organizations should have ramps for offices, and voice in all elevators/lifts.

Action: National Government, County Governments, Business Community, Learning Institutions, Private Sector, Civil Society, Non-State Actors

Creating a Conducive Environment for Participation of PWDs at the Workplace

  • Public and Private organizations should provide an enabling environment to facilitate PWDs to smoothly execute their activities. This can be done by supporting PWDs with assistive devices such as white canes and orbit readers, and eradicating any form of stigma and work-related gender-based violence towards PWDs.
  • The National and County Governments and the private sector need to come up with strategies that enhance affirmative action policies for inclusive participation of PWDs in the labour market.
  • Public and private sector employers to come up with measures that enhance remote working options and flexible working hours for PWDs, especially women PWDs with children. Employers need to install emergency evacuation equipment for PWDs to guarantee their safety during emergencies.
  • National and County governments to engage extensively with the private sector in coming up with a Disability Policy that allows for adequate allocation of resources to effectively implement the policy actions.
  • The National and County governments to create an enabling environment to eliminate any form of discrimination, ensure competitive participation in recruitments, and by not disqualifying a successful job applicant upon the realization that they are abled differently.

Action: National Government, County Governments, Universities and Research Institutions, Private Sector, Civil Society, Non-State Actors

LEADERSHIP, GOVERNANCE, PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Enhancing the Participation of PWDs in Leadership and Governance

  • Inequalities in leadership and public forums hinders optimum contribution and effective participation in governance by PWDs due to systems that perpetuate stereotypes. There is need to have among other provisions, sign language interpreters in the public participation forums, to make public forums inclusive and accessible to PWDs.
  • Law enforcement agencies to put in place mechanisms to specify the clear steps on how public participation should be conducted to ensure effective compliance to needs of persons with different abilities; including through provision of sign language interpreters.

Action: National Police Service, The Judiciary, Parliament, National Government, County Governments

DATA, STATISTICS, AND INSTITUTIONAL COORDINATION TO SUPPORT POLICY, PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION

Enhancing inclusivity through data and allocation of resources for inclusive growth

  • Public and private institutions to heavily invest in inclusive data collection to enable effective budgeting and planning for PWDs. Further, ensure all data collection is compliant with the existing laws and policies especially data disaggregation provisions.
  • The National and County governments to coordinate all programs such as cash transfer under Inua Jamii programs and oversee their continuous implementation to empower PWDs in the society while ringfencing targeted interventions aimed to benefit persons with disabilities.
  • Based on accurate data, National and County governments to ensure progressive implementation of 5 percent employment provision for PWDs through legislation and policy advocacy in collaboration with the private sector.
  • The Ministry of Education to collect data for PWDs rate of progression and transition through the education system. This to be monitored and enhanced considering that a substantial number of school-going age children with disabilities face multiple disabilities which is likely to constrain them from future participation in available opportunities both at higher levels of education and in economic activities.
  • National and County governments to provide adequate budget allocation to schools with children with disabilities based on data and further provide tax benefits to PWDs on a need-by-need basis to improve their welfare.
  • Initiate mechanisms that enable PWDs to easily access data on labour market information to help them make informed decisions on economic choices.
  • Considering the data protection policy, affected organizations should adhere to data protection policy to protect the privacy of the PWDs and any disclosure of PWDs information should be done in accordance with the law.

Action: National Government, County Governments, Private Sector Players

MOVING FORWARD

The Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) commits to ensure that these issues raised are communicated with the relevant agencies identified in this communique. The Institute also commits to follow up on the actions proposed during the conference and report on progress made towards implementation of the resolutions.

Action: KIPPRA

Thank you all

Presented on 30th July 2020 via a Virtual Conference Platform.

 

Signed by: …………………………………………………….

Dr Rose Ngugi

Executive Director, KIPPRA

Signed by: …………………………………………………….

Dr Linda Musumba

Chairperson, KIPPRA Board

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