I stand tall to raise my voice as a #LetMeLearn campaign supporter, focusing on children and youth with disabilities. This group deserves unrivaled access to opportunities in the educational arena, where learning takes the centre stage. The right to education is a fundamental right as enshrined in key doctrines within my country, like the Constitution, the Persons with Disabilities Act and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). The provisions set in these statutes grant these learners the authority to advance their education to the levels they fully desire.
My clarion call on the #LetMeLearn Campaign is firstly to key and pertinent stakeholders: you need to ensure that all the barriers are removed to enable my cohort to learn with ease. The state and non-state actors all have a responsibility to undertake to enable children and youth with disabilities to quench their academic thirst and to enable them to accomplish their life-long goals. They must be granted the space and an amicable environment to pursue their dreams without any iota of solace because they deserve it.
As a community, we all have specific roles to undertake to hasten the call for full inclusion in our learning institutions ranging, from working on infrastructural accessibility, full resource provision, talent and skill development, essential manpower facilitation, professional development, enhancing disability-inclusive policies and interventions in the respective systems. Our futures matter and we’re are blessed with outstanding abilities to make our ambitions work and our purpose in life count. We deserve no sympathy but opportunities and challenges to make us grow.
These players must endeavor to make the assistive devices and various equipments accessible to my fraternity, tax-free and at a lower cost to enable their affordability without much constraint. Let’s hasten the information, communication and technological systems to be inclusive during consumption and relay or dispatch of such information for a community that is informed and is fully empowered. The facilities in our institutions should be enhanced to fit our diverse needs because learning is not reserved for a classroom only, but also in the field as our talents and skills needs to be fully utilized. It can only happen when #LetMeLearn Campaign fully works.
Joseph Owino, 23 years old, Kenya
Student and Youth Leader
Chairperson; University and College Students With Special Needs Association of Kenya (UCSSNAK)
This blog was submitted as part of the #LetMeLearn campaign special call for entries.
-Anthony J. D'Angelo