Uganda to commemorate the International Day for Persons with Disabilities tomorrow Friday
Uganda will tomorrow 3rd December, join the rest of the world to celebrate the International Day for Persons with Disabilities and acknowledge the capabilities of Persons with Disabilities in contributing towards the development of the country.
Addressing reporters at Uganda Media Centre this morning, Hon Asamo Hellen the State Minister for Disability Affairs said that the day is also commemorated to create awareness on the importance of promoting equality and full participation of Persons with Disabilities in social life as well as development.
The other reason for celebrating the day is to emphasize the importance of promoting equality and full participation of Persons with Disabilities in social life and development.
The day is also used by Government to take stock of the achievements made in serving the PWDs, the challenges encountered and comes up with a way forward for serving them better.
The Persons with Disabilities Act 2020 defines disability as, A substantial functional limitation of a person's daily life activities caused by physical, mental or sensory impairment and environment barriers, resulting in limited participation in society on equal basis with others and includes an impairment.
Schedule 3 of the Persons with Disabilities Act, 2020 provides for disability categories/ impairments to include: Physical disability caused by cerebral palsy, amputation of a limb, paralysis or deformity, hearing disability including deafness and hard of hearing disability, visual disability including blindness and low vision disability as well as deaf and blind disability. The other forms of disability are mental disability including psychiatric disability and learning disability, little people, albinism and multiple disabilities.
According to Uganda Bureau of statistics (UBOS) Disability monographic study of 2019, Disability prevalence stood at 14% (15% Female and 12 % Male) of the 40.3 Million Population of Uganda at the time. This translates to about 5,642,000 Ugandans with disabilities.
According to the same UBOS report, multiple disabilities (where majority of invisible categories of disability fall), constitute 36% (1.4 million) of Persons with Disabilities. Disability was found to increase significantly with age, and disability among people aged 85 years and above was found to be at 71%.
“I wish to state that Government is committed to addressing the concerns and needs that come with the increased number of Persons with Disabilities through eliminating all forms of neglect, abuse and violence as provided for under Article 32 and 35 of the Constitution while promoting recognition of their contribution to national development” Minister Asamo says.
This year’s commemorations are under the theme "Leadership and Participation of Persons with Disabilities, Towards an Inclusive, Accessible and sustainable Post COVID19". The domesticated/national theme is "Not All Disabilities Are Visible: A Call for a stronger post COVID19 Agenda".
Hon Asamo says the theme was selected to draw attention to the fact that many times invisible disabilities (hydrocephalus, Autism, Mental disability, albinism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy and deafblind) are not always profiled like others such as blindness, physical disability, among others.
She noted that the theme is in line with the principle of leaving no one behind as highlighted in SDG, NDPIII, among other frameworks. The minister further urged the general public to participate in the District commemorations and interact with persons with Disabilities to better understand their concerns.