The number of people living with disability in the world stand at one billion and 0.9 million in Kenya according to the 2019 census.
The International day of disabled persons is celebrated on December 3 ever year. It’s day where we remember and celebrate each and every person who has a disability.
Children are considered a blessing and when a woman is pregnant their only wish is to have children who are healthy but when fate decided to play a cruel trick they can only learn how to live with. Bringing forth to the world a child with disability is not any woman’s wish. The reactions for these women is self loathe as they consider themselves incapable of doing anything right but the worst thing is the society which has certain expectations.
In Africa, there are communities who believe that giving birth to children with disabilities is bad luck and any woman who does this is scorned and looked down upon. Some are abandoned immediately after giving birth by their husband’s families and even friends.
The stigmatization that the families with disabled member and people with disability go through is unimaginable. The courage and strength that they need to have in order to stand up for their kids and take their place in the same society that scorns them is a lot. They have to change almost every aspect of their lives including diet to accommodate the lifestyle of the new addition to their families. These families especially from low income areas and people require a lot of support as their income cannot support their expense considering the demands of the new member who has disability.
In Kenya, the government has set up a council that deals with matters concerning the people with disabilities. The National Council for people with disability (N.C.P.W.D) has been tasked with all matters that may involve people with disabilities, from distribution fund through the National Development For People With Disability (N.D.F.P.W.D, to providing assistive devices such wheelchairs, braille, braces, crutches , hearing aids, prosthetic arms and legs, surgical boots etc., it also provides economic empowerment that provides training and grants for people with disabilities and their self-help groups. They provide guidance to them in hopes of making them independent and give them the ability to generate their own income. The education assistance from primary though secondary and vocational colleges and universities that aims at making them more knowledgeable and independent in the society.
People living with disability have proved their worth time and again by doing what others thought they couldn’t. They have gone against the odds to prove that they are in fact able to conquer everything and proving the phrase “Disability is not Inability”. The remaining step is for each and every one of us is to accept and appreciate these people living with disabilities and provide them with the same respect as we would other who have no disabilities.
Change begins in our minds and for those families with members who have special needs they should be happy and be comforted by the fact that they are a special families.