The annual observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities was proclaimed in 1992, by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3. The observance of the Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic, and cultural life.
The University of Nairobi for the first time held these celebrations at Taifa Hall and the great court. The celebrations started on 1st Dec 2021 to 3rd Dec 2021. The guest of honor during the launch was Mr. Hassan Harun the director of the National Council for Persons with Disabilities Kenya.
There were various activities taking place which included: registration of Persons with Disabilities by the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (K), free eye screening by UoN medical students, free screening of non-communicable diseases by experts, a Braille presentation by Kenya Society for the Blind, and games for persons with disabilities such as goalball and sitting volleyball. There were exhibitions from other organizations such as Riziki and Uraia. Mr. Hassan who launched the celebrations stated that employees with disabilities are very important and were going to be recognized worldwide on 3rd Dec.
In Kenya, the main event took place at the KICC and was graced by none other than the President Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta. The Vice-chancellor was represented by Professor Made Demesi Dean Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. Professor Made emphasized on inclusivity and nondiscrimination of PWDs at the University.
COVID 19 vaccination was also provided for those that had not had the jab. This was Jensen which is a one-off and was meant specifically for PWDs. The celebrations were crowned with a webinar on various topics covering disability and COVID 19 experiences in higher learning. The theme of this year’s celebrations was fighting for rights in the post-COVID era.
The Library was represented by the Chairperson disability mainstreaming committee Miss Evelyn Anambo, who is also a representative of PWDs in the central committee. She also wears another hat as the Secretary-General of PWD employees at the University: University of Nairobi Employees with Disabilities Association (UNEDA).
International Day of Persons with Disabilities (UN Webpage) - https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/international-day-of-persons-with-disabilities-3-december.html