By Martin Masinde
The National Council of Persons with Disability has welcomed a new legislation that aims at restructuring the council.
The Executive Director of NCPD Harun Hassan said this will raise the platform to the voiceless and invisible.
“Definitely, with one of the goals of the Bill being to restructure the Council, questions linger on its form and function once the Bill is assented into law. What is clear though, is that the Council’s key objective of disability mainstreaming will only grow stronger to the benefit of PWDs”
Mr Harun spoke to The Times online at the sidelines of the First Deaf blindness Africa Conference which is currently underway at the Kenya Institute of Special Education under the prudent leadership of the Director General Dr. Norman Kiogora.
One of the key benefits in the restructured law is the decentralization of the Director of Medical Services (DMS) signature from Nairobi to county directors of health.
The draft Bill dictates rights to women, children, youth and senior citizens through aligning it with Article 54 of the Constitution.
There are also provisions on safety of PWDs during emergency situations, as well as free disability medical assessments in all public institutions.
Again, the Bill grants the council additional powers to recommend prosecution against any infringements on disability rights — through appointment of an inspector.
Like every law, it might not meet all the expectations and aspirations of the public. However, it is an improvement on the current Act, and a step forward in mainstreaming and championing disability rights in Kenya, with future generations expected to continue improving it as was done by our elders in the disability movement.
Definitely, with one of the goals of the Bill being to restructure the council, questions linger on its form and function once the Bill is assented into law. What is clear though, is that the council’s key objective of disability mainstreaming will only grow stronger to the benefit of PWDs.
As a beacon of hope in the continent, we always endeavour to punch above our weight, measuring our works against the best in the world.