International Day of People with Disabilities [03 DECEMBER] Theme: “ Building Back Better: toward a Disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World”.EMPOWERING THE DISABLED IN A POST-COVID WORLD
The covid-19 pandemic has exposed the exclusion of people living with Disability. In the initial responses to the pandemic there was a serious risk that the needs of people with
disabilities would be overlooked. Lockdowns and fear of infection left people with disabilities stranded in their own homes without access to essential goods and services.Many lost their jobs and suffered financial losses due to the
economic impact of the pandemic. Some also suffered when their personal assistants and family members became quarantined or ill and no temporary support was available.
As countries and communities around the world observe the International Day of People with Disability, we celebrate the resilience of people with disabilities in Uganda in the face of the
continuing pandemic. At the same time as societies begin adapting to the new normal, we must seize opportunities to build back better with greater disability inclusion and ensure
that no one is left behind.The National Woman MP representing Persons with Disabilities,
Ms Safia Nalule Juuko has asked district task force for inclusion of persons with Disabilities in all the post COVID-19 programs.
“Persons with Disabilities work from hand to mouth and therefore need support in any post COVID-19 programs such as trade and grants. We would like our voices to be amplified that we don’t lag behind, Nalule said” She said during the lockdown persons with Disabilities have nearly been forgotten and only struggle to make ends meet. COVID-19 will not be the last crisis faced by our country, the government must sustain the momentum in mainstreaming disability inclusion as they shift gears from emergency response to long-term policy planning.
The success of countries in building back better and more inclusively will depend on the adoption of a whole-of-society
approach. The meaningful participation of people with Disabilities in issues affecting them, including representation in decision making mechanisms will be critical. Private sectors, people with Disabilities and their organizations
continue to work closely together to make the rights of People with Disabilities real as we build back better in a post COVID-19 world.
BY SHEEBA ANGASIRA