By Ssazi Shafik
Uganda has joined the rest of the world to commemorate the World Deaf Day celebrations that started on Monday 21st September and shall be concluded on 25th September. While speaking to the journalists at the media centre on Tuesday 22nd September in Kampala, Hon. Sarah Kanyike the Minister of State for persons with Disabilities said that the events shall be held this Friday 25th September in Masaka under the theme “Sign language rights for all.”
Sarah Kanyike said that the celebrations shall be scientifically held and only a few members have been invited to attend.
Kanyike stressed that there is a bad syndrome that Ugandans have towards the persons with disabilities especially towards the death that affects them.
“We have a responsibility to change the people’s mindset towards the persons with disabilities. We need to have inclusiveness in all activities and we need to enjoy our rights like any other Ugandan” Kanyike added.
She also said that one of the greatest challenges People with Disabilities have faced still lies in the education sector where learners especially the deaf have found it difficult to access E-learning on television.
Kanyike said, the ministry is reviewing the national policy on disability that prioritized operation of sign language as a mode of communication for the deaf. She further said that the policy will adopt the Uganda sign language dictionary as a key document to be applied in the communication at key points where it is needed.
Emily Ajambo; the commissioner of People With Disabilities, said that issues of the People With Disabilities need to be addressed at every level so that the public feels the impact of People With Disabilities.
She also said that they are in talks with the Electoral commission to ensure that there is inclusiveness in the activities of the elections. Emily added that adverts and programs running on the media especially television should include People with disabilities so as to improve access to information for all irrespective of their status.
Joseph Mbulamwana; The Executive Director of Uganda National Association of the Deaf (UNDA) said, “We shall take the government to courts of law if it fails to implement the law. We are good at documenting but fail to realize the implementation of the law.” It should be recalled that the percentage of the persons with hearing impairment is 3.1 of the total percentage 12.4 percent according to the Uganda Bureau