3rd December 2020 is the International Day of Persons With Disabilities (IDPD) ;
The United Nations says that disability inclusion is an essential condition to upholding human rights, sustainable development and peace and security. It is also central to the promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to leave no one behind.
In Uganda an estimated 12% of the population have a Disability, yet 22% of unemployed Ugandans have a disability.
Research has continually indicated that persons with disabilities have fewer opportunities for employment. This is an important factor in understanding the high level of poverty among the People with disabilities.
The 2009/10, national survey found that poverty rates in households where there was a person with disability were 35% higher. The corona virus measures of 2020 drastically disrupted the functioning of both formal and informal employment and so the current unemployment and poverty rates among Persons With Disabilities are likely to be higher than shown by the most recent data.
The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the lives of most people on earth in one way or another.
The negative societal effects Covid-19 has wrought all over the world have, in many cases been even more profound when viewed through the lens of Persons With Disabilities and these impacts have been aggravated even further in countries dealing poor economic growth.
For persons with physical disabilities the ability to achieve economic security and independence has very often been a goal kept out of reach by a variety of societal assumptions about their ability – or – inability to reliably fulfil professional requirements, their perceived rate of health related absences or a host of other preconceptions.
Now just as these misconceptions are starting to be proven wrong by Persons With Disabilities more often entering the work place of their countries;
The economic impact of the pandemic on the global and local economies could be devastating for their collective progress.
What is necessary to stop this temporary barrier from becoming a long term regression is the commitment from all sectors of society, governments, employers, educational institutions, health care providers, among others – in countries all over the world to continue prioritizing Disability Inclusion efforts.
This is not only essential to create opportunities for Persons With Disabilities, but it will also benefit societies, economies, businesses etc., by bringing the vast potential of a population estimated at over 1 billion people into the fold.
Disability Inclusion will survive the Corona Virus Pandemic only if everyone believes it is a necessary societal evolution and act accordingly to support it’s growth.
If this can happen, not only will People With Disabilities transcend the societal impacts of COVID-19 but the countries, businesses, universities and organizations that Push for their Inclusion will grow and improve as well.
Director of Programmes