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MMUST DISABILITY MAINSTREAMING COMMITTEE CHAMPIONS INCLUSIVITY TO ENSURE EASY ACCESS OF SERVICES FOR PEOPLE LIVING WITH DISABILITIES

Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology’s Disability Mainstreaming Committee (DMC), has stressed on the need to include issues related to disability in service delivery to ensure easy access to services for People living with Disability (PWD) in the University. This was during the informative training held on 12th May, 2022 at the Golf Hotel in Kakamega County.

The workshop was graced by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Planning Research and Innovation, Prof. Charles Mutai who acknowledged the relevance of the DMC. He stated that Disability Mainstreaming forms part of the indicators in the Performance Contract of all Government institutions with the aim of anchoring disability into government policies, plans and programs. “It is our objective as a University that persons with disabilities are empowered to fully and equally participate in the University's development process,” said Prof. Mutai.

 


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Prof. Lilechi Baraza making his presentation


Making a presentation during the training, the Director, Quality Assurance Prof. Danstone Lilechi who is also the Chairperson of Disability Mainstreaming Committee at MMUST, encouraged the committee members to act as the focal point on disability related issues in the University. He further added that as part of the committee’s mandate, they should ensure 5% of employment is reserved for PWDs, reasonable accommodation to PWDs in relation to employee support service delivery, promote continuous awareness creation on disability to form positive attitudes towards persons with disabilities and submit standardized quarterly disability mainstreaming progress reports to the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) and implement the recommendations thereof.


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Prof. Lilechi Baraza making his presentation


 Additionally, the Director, Research and Postgraduate Support, Prof. Peter Bukhala, through his presentation ‘Higher Education Status for Persons with Disabilities: Socio- economic Challenges in Public Universities in Kenya’, noted that there is a strong bi-directional link between poverty and disability. Poverty may cause disability through malnutrition, poor healthcare and dangerous living conditions. People with Disabilities have higher rates of poverty compared to those without. He further requested the University Management to facilitate to the maximum extent possible the provision of assistive devices, appliances and other equipment to persons with disability.


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Dr. Phitalis Were making his presentation at the Disability workshop


One of the facilitators, Dr. Phitalis Were, urged the committee members to advocate and lobby for assistance to students with disabilities informed of scholarships, loan, fees subsidies and establishment of common courses on Disability Mainstreaming.  He reminded them that it is their duty to voice disability related issues to the University Management for implementation, putting in place measures and programs that address needs, interests, and aspirations of PWDs.

Representing the People with Disability at MMUST, Prof. Jacob Wakhungu commended the University for achieving disability mainstreaming through establishment of structures and systems that ensure persons with disabilities access information and services.

Other notable personalities present at the workshop included, the Director SPIIC, Prof. John Muoma, the Coordinator AIDS Control, Gender and Disability Mainstreaming Unit, Prof. Gladys Mengich, the Registrar Planning Research and Innovation, Prof. Alice Ndiema, Prof. Orata, Director Corporate Communications and Marketing, Dr. Lydia Anyonje and University Engineer, Dr. Eng. Rotich.


By Linet Owuor and Charity Idaya

Photos by Charity Idaya