BY RICHARD DRASIMAKU
ARUA: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2021
The government is finalizing plans to address the right to employment of the persons with disabilities (PWDs) through a regional quota system, third deputy Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Rukia Isanga Nakadama has said.
Nakadama said the system to bring about regional balance in employment of PWDs would be implemented once the regulation to operationalize the persons with disabilities Act 2020 is finalized.
She was speaking during the commemoration of the international day of the deaf at Arua Police grounds on Friday.
She said the day marked under the theme “celebrating thriving deaf communities: we sign for human rights,” is observed as part of the many efforts to promote the rights of PWDs.
Earlier Hon. Grace Hellen Asamo, the minister of state for persons with disabilities noted that Uganda has over 500,000 deaf persons and over 700,000 sign language experts many of whom are unemployed.
She also pointed out that majority of deaf persons stop with education at primary seven due to lack of secondary school for such people in places like the northern Uganda.
Asamo rallied the PWDs to participate in the parish development model, the salient feature of the national development plan III to drive grassroots development saying it will be one way for them to attain self reliance.
She stressed that under the parish development model, the ministry of gender, labour and social development is going to handle mindset change through the representatives at the parish development committees.
“We shall have PWDs represented on those committees. You should therefore find strong people to represent and fight for you,” she advised.
Nakadama assured the people that the Uganda government remains committed to continue to mobilise and create awareness on the integration of persons with disabilities into the different sectors.
“PWDs have suffered socio-economic injustices based on the ignorance of the society. Culturally, disability was regarded as a curse and it was normally blamed on the mothers who got divorced and discriminated against as a result,” observed Nakadama.
She recounted that when the National Resistance Movement government ascended to power in 1986, it launched a struggle to liberate the PWDs to help them exploit their full potential.
“NRM decided that PWDs be represented at all levels of governance from local councils to the parliament. This is how Uganda became the first African country to have PWDs as Members of Parliament,” she explained.
Nakadama thanked the PWD leaders and especially the deaf fraternity for working with the government through different forums saying that partnership has contributed to the making of relevant laws and the formulation of the regulation while the national policy on disability would be revised in near future.
She said the government will continue giving financial incentives to special needs schools and directed the ministry of education to ensure that the design of all new schools must have rums to cater for PWD learners.
An additional 10%, she added, would injected into the parish development model to specifically cater for PWS while the government would continue to emphasize the promotion of sign language at all levels including in schools and at health units.
During the event, Nakadama awarded certificates to 20 people sourced from different professions and departments including from police, nursing and teaching professions who were trained in sign language by the National union of disabled persons in Uganda.