UoN Launches Disability Mainstreaming Strategy to Foster Inclusivity

UoN Launches Disability Mainstreaming Strategy to Foster Inclusivity

The University of Nairobi launched the Disability Mainstreaming Strategy on the International Day of People with Disability celebrations, on 4th December, 2023. This strategy aims to promote an enabling environment for effective and efficient service delivery to Persons with Disabilities in the University Community. The strategies are anchored in four themes; Accessibility of physical, digital & social environment, Capacity building, Research & Innovation and Increased participation of Staff and Students with disabilities in University Processes.

The event emphasized the University's dedication to fostering a setting where persons with disabilities can achieve excellence. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama’s address accentuated that the UoN Disability Mainstreaming Strategy seeks to achieve excellence in disability inclusion. “The University of Nairobi has prioritized the Persons with Disability to come and study at the university”. He echoed Archimedes of Syracuse, “Give me a lever long enough, and a fulcrum on which to place it and I shall move the world. I believe in the role of universities in providing all of us with a fulcrum, that is education, where we can be able to move the world”.

Moreover, the chief guest’s address, Hon. Dr. Isaac Mwaura- Government spokesperson, emphasized the limitless potential of persons with disabilities and their ability to thrive when provided with an inclusive environment.  Dr. Mwaura highlighted the vitality of the themes of the Disability Mainstreaming Strategies. “This reflects a holistic approach towards creating an environment that fosters empowerment and equal opportunities for all”, he commented. He also commended the university for its contributions in fostering disability inclusivity. “Today we witness yet another milestone to the unveiling of the University of Nairobi disability strategy for the next five years, the true testament of the institution’s commitment to fostering an environment where every individual can thrive regardless of their abilities”, he declared.

The University of Nairobi has taken monumental strides in championing inclusivity of persons with disability. “We have made tremendous achievement including being the 1st University to have a disability inclusion policy”, said Prof. Collins Odote, the Chair of the Disability Mainstreaming Strategy. Prof. Odote advocated for the sensitization of disabilities in learning institutions targeting staff and students stressing the role of research, innovation and capacity building as the key pillars for sustainable disability inclusion.

To further the conversation, the panel discussions focused on the prerequisites for holistic participation of Persons with Disabilities in higher education. The panelists talked about the challenges experienced by Persons with Disabilities in educational institutions. “The biggest problem is that disability still continues to be a designated corner rather than being dispersed to every department”, said Dr. Reginal Oduor, persons with disability instructor and Senior Lecturer at UoN. Dr. Oduor pointed out that the University of Nairobi is supporting People with Disability by facilitating accessibility to resources that make them “able”. He continued to say, “Lets promote accessibility, in this case accessibility is making things usable by Persons with Disability”.

The event underscored the universities commitment to creating an inclusive and accessible educational environment for all to realize full potential. “Disability is no limitation”.

Click on the link to watch the video on Disability Inclusivity Policy.