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Special needs people want own institution established

People  living  with Disabilities in Kiambu County want the country’s first ever free public education institution for people with special needs built  within  the  county.

The  Chairperson of the Kiambu County Disability Network (KCDN), Rahab Wambui said the whole country has no public school exclusive  for  special needs people and yet there were qualified specialists and teachers in the country.

“What  exists  are  only units for such people within public schools and specific schools for such people,” she said, while explaining how the  government  had only put in place small sections within some public schools to cater for people with special needs instead of a complete  institution for them.

The  issue  apparently arose during the last week Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) to unify Citizen in an engagement forum that was held at Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology.

Speaking  to KNA in Kiambu town on Tuesday, Ms. Wambui  and her colleagues told the meeting that they needed a centre where all their children could learn and interact with one another.

“We want a centre that would cater for every special child and not a specific category as that was discrimination. “Be it autism, down syndrome, deaf or blind, all children suffering from such conditions could all learn from the same institution to help them appreciate one another,” she said.

During  a  topic  on  inclusivity, the leader expressed that there was a serious need to set up a unique institution and place all the experts who  could even handle people with multiple disability.

Inclusivity  was  cited  as the most disregarded challenge in the community and participants called for immediate attention.

The  other  challenges  discussed included devolution, corruption, divisive elections, ethnic antagonistic competition, safety and security, shared prosperity, responsibility and rights and lack of national ethos.

However, education  was not the group’s only issue. They also had a problem with the current medical structure.

Magdalene  Kariuki,  who represented the people with disability (PWDs) of Kiambaa sub-county said that they also want free medical services.

On  matters  governance, the Kiambu PLWDs claimed that it was unfair that they were represented by people not suffering from disability themselves  as  they were able bodied. Moreover, the 5 per cent set aside for the PLWDs by the national government in accordance with the  constitution, was too low and still did not reach them especially within the county.

They  were optimistic that their issues would be addressed soon.

By  Kingsley  Wanjohi

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