Disparities that affect people with disabilities in Kenya
Wawire, N. H. W.
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Improving access to quality health care, education, training, and equal opportunities in all spheres of life for. People with Disabilities (PWDs) continue to be a major concern to both the government and all stakeholders. As theKenyan economy goes through economic hard times, the effects are more pronouncedfor PWDs since they suffer discrimination and are denied equal access to the available resources. They not only represent that critical segment of the marginalised population but also face special problems as a result of their disabilities. They are among the poorest of the poor. Most of them eke out their livelihood through begging with a few lucky ones surviving on handouts, selling of charity sweepstake tickets and engaging in petty trade like shoe shining and repair. A small number of them are able to get lower cadre jobs like telephone operation. Most of these people do not know theirfundamental rights and live in a state of hopelessness and despair. They are disadvantaged in terms of buildings, schools, transport system, housing and other physical structures that are not designed with the requirements of the People with Disabilities in mind. Thepaper highlights various disparities that affect PWDs in Kenya. It identifies causes of disability that give rise to differences in labour, capital resource ownership and infrastructure designs, between PWDs and people without disabilities. It then assesses how these differences contribute to the socio-economic predicament in which PWDs find themselves. Recommendations of minimizing disparities that affect this cadre of people are then drawn.