Thursday, May 3, 2018

Is Termination of Spina Bifida Pregnacies Right?

In our current world, termination (abortion) of pregnancies with spina bifida is becoming a norm as parents are lured into it right after prenatal tests. In most cases this happens after medical professionals present one side of the coin that predicts challenges of lifelong care for children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. In some cases parents are denied the chance of making their own decision independently.

Some countries have gone to an extent of legalizing this process. However, NO ONE can predict the quality of life that an individual with spina bifida and hydrocephalus can have. This fact therefore leaves a space for children with spina bifida to live and be who they are meant to be.

Abortion of pregnancies on basis of disability like spina bifida and down syndrome eliminates the aspect of diversity in our world, this is also a way of hiding issues instead of solving them. Existence of people with spina bifida and other disabilities provides creativity and innovation.

International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus has gathered a number of personal experiences of people with spina bifida and hydrocephalus and all the stories have one thing in common: Love for life

PS: Spina bifida is defect of the spinal cord that occurs a few days after conception

Life is divine!


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Barriers Towards Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities

There are many types of disabilities, some are visible while others are invisible. These disabilities are never an issue as they justify human diversity. The biggest issues are barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from being included in their communities.

Attitudinal barrier: This includes a negative perception of disability like discrimination, stigma and stereotypes. This barriers have misconceptions that tend to focus on inabilities instead of abilities for instance, when meeting a person with disability for the first time and you decide to ask "What happened to you?" that's an instant attitudinal barrier.
The concept of seeing disability as physical is also an attitudinal barrier that may leave out people with learning disabilities among others.

Physical barriers: These barriers come as a result of inaccessible infrastructure that hinder independence and mobility of persons with disabilities. This issue can be resolved by universal design in the architectural systems.

Communication barriers: These are obstacles towards effective communication and may include lack of easy read materials for persons with intellectual disabilities, lack of large print for people with visual impairments, lack of audio or braille material, lack of sign language interpreters for persons with hearing impairments and the use of disability unfriendly language.

Institutional barriers: These are obstacles within institutions these includes; the do's, don'ts, policies, bi-
laws and laws that prevent persons with disabilities from being included in their communities.

A barrier free society starts with you and me. Let's work towards it together.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Claiming Your Right as a Woman with Disability

Women with disabilities tend to get double discrimination; by the fact that they have  disabilities and secondly as women.This therefore makes them to be more vulnerable and marginalized in their communities.

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) provides legal measures that can protect, promote and fulfill rights of women with disabilities .

On 8th of March 2018 we commemorate international women day and  knowing certain factors can enable you to claim your right as a woman with disability:

  • Having a disability does not eliminate the fact that you are a woman;
  • Get registered as a person with disability by national disabled persons organizations;
  • Knowing legal framework that protect you locally, nationally and internationally;
  • Join women rights movements both for persons with disabilities and mainstream movements (unity is strength);
  • Grab opportunities that lie ahead of you;
  • Request reasonable  accommodation at work, learning institution, hospital and community;
  • Learn self defence tactics
  • Know where to seek help or to report when your rights have been violated;
  • And for the women with disabilities who have made it in life let's reach out by mentoring other women with disabilities.
Have a great women's day!

ps:photo of Carol Wanjira a young woman with spina bifida

Monday, February 26, 2018


United Nation's Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) is the most comprehensive law that focusses directly on the rights of person with disabilities. However, it can be quite complex for a lay person to understand its content due to many articles and legal jargons that it contains.

Article three of the convention provides general principles, in my opinion this is the 'heart' of the convention and it  helps us to demystify it. All the 49 articles are linked to this article. Knowing it can help persons with disabilities and different stakeholders in the society to claim rights and to work towards a barrier free society for people with disabilities.

What is the content of article three of UNCRPD?
  1. Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one's own choices, and independence of person,
  2. Non-discrimination,
  3. Full and effective participation and inclusion in society.
  4.  Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity,
  5.  Equality of opportunity,
  6. Accessibility,
  7. Equality between men and women,
  8. Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities.  
Have a great day as you continue working towards a better society!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018


Accessing services, work,  buildings and other social amenities are among huge challenges that affect  people with disabilities and prevent them from being productive in their communities. This can be solved by reasonable accommodation:

What is reasonable accommodation? 
  • Reasonable accommodation is necessary adjustment and or modifications to ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy and exercise their rights on equal basis with others. 
  • Reasonable accommodation can be achieved through request.
Most countries have ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) that makes it legal for service providers and communities to provide reasonable accommodation to persons with disabilities.
There is a misconception that reasonable accommodation has to do with accessing work place. it however goes beyond working environment. It should be holistic.

Example of reasonable accommodation includes:
  1. Provision of extra time and and extra learning materials to people with intellectual disabilities.
  2. Building of temporary and or permanent ramps in buildings to allow people with physical disabilities to access buildings.
  3. Provision Brailled documents and or voting cards to people with visual disabilities during electrol process.
  4. Communities and service providers availing sign language interpreters for people with hearing disabilities.
  5. Communities and service providers can also provide tactile interpreters to people who are deafblind.
To all people with disabilities remember to ask.