A few days ago I met with the impressive Mr. Apollo Mukasa (pictured above) who works for the Uganda National Physical Disabilities (UNAPD). He has been working in coalition with other advocates including the outspoken, brilliant lawyer, Francis Onyango (pictured with me below) to formalize guidelines for accessibility. Uganda has demonstrated a commitment to increasing the standard of living for persons with disabilities (PWDs) by passing the Persons with Disabilities Act in 2006 and approving of the UN Convention on the Rights and Dignity of PWDs in 2008. PWDs are also guaranteed seats at every level of government including 5 in parliament. However, in general private and government buildings lack basic accessibility accommodations, especially for persons with spinal cord injuries.
“What does Apollo do if there is no wheelchair ramp? I must be carried in like a baby to my formal meeting. It is undignified. This must change in Uganda.”
The Building Control Bill has been approved by the Ugandan Cabinet and will proceed to parliament for a vote. If PWD advocates can add the accessibility standards guideline to the bill this would be an incredible victory. Uganda would become a leader in Africa for persons with disabilities.
Posted By Christine Marie Carlson
Posted Jun 21st, 2010