Kenya Will Have New Disability Law
November 10, 2003
NAIROBI, KENYA--Kenya's Parliament is expected to pass a national Persons with Disabilities Bill Tuesday which would guarantee basic civil rights and fight discrimination, The Nation news service reported.
The proposed law would establish a National Council for Persons with Disability with 27 members, 20 of whom must have a disability. The panel would be charged with developing policies to ensure rights of people with disabilities and to advise the government on ways to prevent discrimination.
The measure, which was debated in Parliament for most of last week, will likely go through some changes before it becomes law.
Several MPs (Members of Parliament) and disability groups want the measure to concentrate on guaranteeing rights to education, medical care, employment, financial resources, architectural accessibility, legal assistance and technologies to help them become more independent.
One lawmaker commented that because Kenya has had so few resources for people with disabilities in the past, the country is in a unique position to build services that will best serve them from the start.
In a discussion about requiring government agencies to hire a certain percentage of their employees with disabilities, Moses Wetangula cautioned against creating "enclaves of such workers".
"As we create facilities for the disabled, the cardinal point must be to make them feel they are part and parcel of the society," Wetangula said.