The first International Day of Persons with Disabilities celebrations at the University of Nairobi was held on 3rd December 2021 with run up activities held on 1st December and 2nd December 2021. The Celebrations were held in collaboration with the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD), Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa (OSIEA) and the Kenya Society for the Blind (KSB). The main objectives of the celebrations was to showcase the leadership role of the University in Disability Inclusion during the COVID-19 pandemic, to identify strategies for increased participation of persons with disability in higher education post Covid-19 pandemic, to enhance disability awareness and to provide a platform for networking between the University Community and the key stakeholders within the “disability space”.
The celebrations were launched on 1st December 2021 by the Executive Director, National Council for Persons with Disabilities Mr. Harun Hassan in a ceremony that entailed key note address by the University Management, Inclusive sports i.e. goalball, registration of Persons with Disabilities by NCPWD and free Eye Screening jointly conducted by Ophthalmology Unit from Faculty of Health Sciences and KSB. The run up activities provided an opportunity for enhanced disability awareness and inclusion.
During the celebrations, sixty two persons with disabilities were registered by NCPWD, Fifty four people received free eye screening services, ten organizations conducted exhibition of disability support services and products, over 15 Persons with disabilities were vaccinated against COVID -19, about 350 people attended a webinar on disability inclusion in higher education and over twenty five students with disabilities from various Faculties in the held a networking session to deliberate on various issues that affect their academic and student life in general.
The event saw key stakeholders such as NCPWD identifying opportunities for collaboration with the University in advancing disability research and knowledge generation and awareness to increase evidence base on disability issues. Other opportunities to be explored with other strategic partners include provision of braille facilities and assistive technologies and advancing civic education.