Disability Awareness Campaign

SPARK Innovate Director Bernard Chiira, presenting during UDIN meeting
PWDs with Disability Inclusion officer
Open day for VI at TUC

In the first quarter of the program, Tangaza University exposed students to sports with persons with disabilities and training. Between June to November, the students participated in different awareness campaigns organized by Tangaza University College, Kenya Society for the Blind and Lugha Ishara Organisation. The students interacted with a big number of persons with disabilities for them to know that persons with disabilities can live a normal life like any other person.

The first event was climbing Mt. Longonot.  It was a three-hour going up the mountain and three hours coming down. The blind and deaf persons kept the pace; those on crutches did not go to the top. The thing is everybody tried and finally we had a celebration together.

Tangaza University students appreciated the fact that they had an opportunity to walk alongside people with disabilities. In their reflection when we got to the university was that they had never had such an opportunity. They could not believe that they could mingle with people with disabilities. This was a great learning moment, which brought about individuals’ transformation of our students.

The second event was on baby signing competition. The event took place at Gertrude hospital ground. Our students got an opportunity to mingle with parents, guardians, caregivers of children with hearing impairment. Some of our students could use sign language and so they could communicate to children. It dawned to them that most parents, guardians and caregivers could not communicate to the children.

The games and competition for the day made our students to discover that children with hearing impairment at an early age experience language deprivation. They only study sign language when they join school at age five. This means that the children with hearing problems during their formation years are deprived the opportunity to learn the language.

The two events contributed to a change of mind-set for our students and because of that, majority of them have choses the elective course, the Disability Study Course, taught at Tangaza University College by the Disability Inclusion Officer to learn more on Disability inclusion.

 

Achievements (Results) – Disability Awareness Campaign – two events

Exposing university students to persons with disability facilitates awareness and change of mind-set.

The students appreciate those with disabilities within the universities and they are willing to assist them.

Change of attitude is clear and the student’s leadership is involving students with disabilities in all events in the university unlike before.

The students are willing to volunteer in any event involving persons with disability and support them.

 The event has created more desire for students to more sports, intervarsity debate and other activities to uphold disability inclusion in the institutions of higher learning.

 

 Lessons Learnt

  • Accelerating Disability Inclusion in the Institution of Higher Education is possible and this is a journey, which has begun.
  • Disability Inclusion training in higher education do have a great impact and this leads to a change of mind set; it generates right attitudes towards persons with disability.
  • Improving information system in the library through accessible technology improves the learner’s performance, which contributes to independent living in the higher education institutions.
  • Curriculum accessibility is key in higher education institutions. This improves the learning environment of students with disability automatically. This has been very successful at Tangaza University college though the process is still on-going
  • Another lesson learnt was the immediate discovery of the willingness of staff, lecturers and students to learn more about disability inclusion.
  • Open day at Tangaza University College to interact with other invited potential students with disability has a huge impact. The open day allows the potential students with disabilities to interact with our facility and inform us on what we need to change. It has worked well so far.

Learners without disability should be given more opportunities to interact with people with disabilities because it enables them to change their mind towards persons with disability. This demonstrated itself during the two disability awareness campaign events.