Kakamega County Persons With Disability joined others worldwide to mark the start of the International Deaf Awareness week to create awareness and teach residents on the significance of sign language in the society. The week focuses on promoting the positive aspects of deafness, encouraging social inclusion, and raising awareness of the organizations that support those who are deaf.
The theme of this years celebrations is “Reaffirming Deaf Peoples’ Human Right”. It is aimed at ensuring that deaf people in the society are not mistreated and educating the public on sign language which is the basic mode of communication by the deaf people.
The Ag. Head of Department for Social Services Madam Yvonne Atsenga represented her CECM in the Ministry of Social Services, Youth, Women empowerment, Sports and Culture Mr Kassim Were during the event held at the Kenya Assemblies of God church, Kakamega. The commemoration that began on Monday will end on Tuesday, 29th September.
In Mr. Were’s speech delivered by the HoD, the CECM noted that Persons with Disability (PWDs) undergo challenges such as stigma, inadequate opportunities in the mainstream life and rampant discrimination, which has pushed them into the jaws of poverty and drug abuse.
Kakamega County through the technical department of planning conducted a disability census and have already allocated funds to impliment economic empowerment program to support them through trainings and provision of assistive devices.
“I am glad to announce that my ministry has also developed the Disability Bill and Mainstreaming Policy; this will make your life in the County bearable” Mr. Were assured.
Madam Atsenga on her part acknowledged the sponsors for the great work done in mobilizing people to respect and support the deaf.
Kakamega Deaf Association chairman, Mr. Habel Ouma thanked Governor Wycliffe Oparanya for the support to the PWDs in general and the deaf in particular .He urged the county government to also provide them with scholarships to further their education.
Mr. Ouma added that the Government should employ more sign language interpretors to ease their access to information and services in public offices.
Kakamega National Council of People With Disabilities Director Madam Prisca Akoth reminded them to apply for bursary as learners prepare for a possible re-opening of schools.
In attendance were the Personal Assistant to the CECM Mr. Vincenzio Wangatia, Dishion Murula from the National Government’s Social Department and Greg Inda a UNFPA representative among others.