National Council of Persons with Disabilities (NCPD)
The National Council for Persons with Disabilities was set up in December 2004 following the enactment of The Persons with Disabilities Act (PWD) 2003.The Council is a semi-autonomous government agency under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development. Members are nominees of organisations of persons with disabilities, key government ministries, the Office of the Attorney General, Federation of Kenya Employers and the Central Organisation of Trade Unions. A non-executive chairperson heads the board. The day-to- day activities are run by a secretariat under a director.
The Council intends to formulate policies designed to achieve equal opportunities for persons with disabilities by ensuring that they obtain education and employment and participate fully in sporting, recreational and cultural activities. They also intend to recommend measures to prevent discrimination against PWD and put into place operation schemes and projects for self-employment or regular or sheltered employment for the generation of income by PWD.
National Development Fund for Persons with Disabilities
The Persons with Disabilities Act 2003 sections 32-34 as a complementary arm of the National Disability Council established the National Development Fund for Persons with Disabilities. The fund aims to eradicate the link between poverty and disability by providing financial support to organisations and individuals. The fund currently supports the following categories:
- Devices and service to improve mobility and access, which includes wheelchairs, crutches, surgical shoes, hearing aid and white cane. One can apply for an assistive device through one of the organisations working in partner- ship with the Fund, which include the Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK) and the Jaipur Foot Workshop and PCA Kikuyu workshop. One can also go directly to the fund only when the item is not provided by one of the listed partner organisations.
- Providing scholarships for persons with disabilities who wish to pursue education but cannot do so because of financial difficulties
- Economic empowerment and revolving fund: This helps groups of persons with disabilities to set up small businesses or revolving fund schemes. Groups should complete the Economic Empowerment and Revolving Fund application form and submit it to their local District Gender and Social Development officer.
- Infrastructure and equipment – assistance or social care and educational institutions that provide services to persons with disabilities.
- Cash transfers: Provides support for house- holds of persons with severe disabilities who are in extreme poverty
The Government set aside Kshs200 million in the 2010/2011 financial year for the Fund to cater for a 1.4 million estimated population of persons with disabilities. The fund has improved the life of the beneficiaries. The Mombasa Development for the disabled initiative, for example, received Kshs600,000 from the fund in 2011. They started the project by securing premises at Ndoho Market Building in Ganjoni Estate, Mombasa.
The board of trustees has approved the new application handbook, which contains guide- lines on how to apply for funds. It has been designed to clarify how decisions are made at the fund to make it easier to apply. Currently, District Gender and Social Development Officers are being trained on the new application, monitoring and reporting procedures.
National Ability Awards
In October, 2011, the Government launched an award to honour persons who have contributed greatly to the welfare of persons living with dis- abilities. The awards will recognise people living with disabilities, stakeholders, groups and corporations within the community who have strived to eliminate barriers that impede participation of persons with disabilities.
- Lifetime achievement award to recognise a person who has advanced rights of persons with disabilities over a prolonged period of ti
- Youth ability award will recognise a young person aged between 12 and 25 years who has overcome disability and/or advanced the rights of persons with disabilities.
- Community leader award will recognise a person who has worked so hard at the local grassroots level to make a difference to the quality of persons with disabilities in their community.
- Corporate leadership award will recognise private sector corporations that have improved access to their business for their disabled customers and/or created increased employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.
- Social inclusion award will recognises organisations for persons with disabilities, schools, universities, employment and training providers, NGOs, capacity building and advocacy that have shown leadership by enabling equal participation and given persons with disabilities a vital voice.
- Infrastructure, building and transportation award will recognise a county, constituency, town- ship, municipality or an architect, developer, builder, or a group that has removed barriers and created easy access allowing for the full inclusion of persons with disabilities through public infrastructure changes and made life just a little easier through disability friendly transportation.
- Sport, health and well being award will recognises sport, health and well being programmes/services that create access for persons with disabilities.
- Media ability award will recognise outstanding creative individuals, organisations or media projects that encourage a better, more tolerant and inclusive world for disabled and marginalised groups of people This award will provide role models of creative brilliance to which others can aspire.
The National ability award is part of the Government’s celebration of International Day of Persons With Disability on every December 3.
Rights of persons with disability
Kenya is one of the few countries in Africa that has passed an Act of Parliament to provide for persons with disabilities. In addition, Kenya signed and ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2007 and 2008 respectively. The Government has taken progressive steps towards incorporating disability issues and concerns into national institutions and programmes.
One of the key steps is enshrined in the Kenya Vision 2030 based on the principle that, “Kenya as a society cannot develop if it does not address existing inequalities in terms of income, health and other living conditions as it affects different groups like persons with disabilities, older per- sons, children and women.” To that extent, the Kenya Vision 2030 includes equity as a recurrent principle in social, economic and political programmes.
It is in light of this commitment that the Government is in the process of promoting dis- ability mainstreaming in all sector policies and programmes All ministries and State corporations are expected to come up with annual targets to mainstream disability as a strategy for achieving equality for people with disabilities. The following have been achieved so far:
- Development of a Draft National Disability Policy, which seeks to eliminate disparities in service provisions and also ensure that services are available to all citizens with dis- abilities.
- The enactment of the Persons with Disability Act providing for the rights, rehabilitation and equalisation of opportunities.
- The establishment of the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD).
- Disability was captured as a key indicator in the 2009 National Population and Housing Census
- The establishment of the African Rehabilitation Institute (ARI) in Kenya in 2009 to facilitate coordination of capacity building and technical skills of PWDs. ARI was inaugurated in February, 201
- Kenya signed and ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Per- sons with Disabilities in March 2007 and May 2008, respectively.
- Domestication of the Continental Plan of Action (CPA) of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities and the setting up of a National Decade Steering Committee to serve as a focal point for the implementation of the National Plan
- The national survey conducted by the National Coordinating Agency for Population and Development in collaboration with Kenya National Bureau of Statistics and the ministry in 2007, which indicated
- Women Development Fund has set aside 10 per cent in every constituency to go to women with disabilities.
- The Government celebrates the International Day of PWDS on every December
- Enhanced collaboration and net- working at national and grassroots levels in the provision of skills and assistive devices to PWDs.
- Establishment of the National Development Fund (NDF) for PWDs, aimed at promoting business entrepreneurship, and the government disbursement of Kshs200 million in the 2009/2010 financial year, towards the kitty as a social protection intervention aimed at improving PWDs status and their bargaining power at household level
- The institutionalisation of disability in the public sector through the Public Service Reforms and Results Based Management initiatives. Beginning the 2009/2010 financial year, disability management is a key target in performance contracting and in all sector policies and programmes. This will ensure dignity and self-worth for PWDs in Kenya.
- The National Council of Persons with Disabilities carried out a baseline survey in 2011 on the employment of persons with dis- abilities in the public service to establish compliance with the reservation of five per cent of all casual, emergency and contractual positions in employment in the public and private sectors for PWDs.