National Policy on Disability

Government through the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development has a mandate to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs). According to Uganda Population and Housing Census(2002), one in every 25 persons has a disability and hence making it a development concern. Some of the disabilities include difficulty in seeing, hearing, speech, moving and learning. The underlying causes of disability include but not limited to communicable diseases, congenital abnormalities and injuries. The situation has been exacerbated by poverty, illiteracy and varying degrees of negative attitudes. The Government is mandated to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities and the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda stipulates the need to empower and provide equal opportunities to PWDs. Government has focused on provision of health services, community based rehabilitation, vocational training, Universal Primary Education as key measures to empower PWDs. This policy on disability will contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of People with Disabilities (PWDs) through expanding the scope of interventions. The interventions will necessitate PWDs themselves to participate in designing, managing, monitoring and evaluating initiatives that are meant to improve their well-being. It will also ensure that the central government, local authorities, CSOs, parents and caregivers involve PWDs. Disability issues transcend all sectors. Therefore, the Public sector, Ministries, Local Governments, CSOs, NGOs and other actors should use this policy as a framework to guide planning, resource allocation and implementation of interventions of PWDs. The process of developing this policy has been consultative and participatory involving cross-section of policy makers, implementers and beneficiaries. I would like to extend my appreciation to all, Government Ministries, Local authorities, Private sector, Civil Society Organisations, Communities and persons with disabilities for their contributions to this process. I wish to acknowledge the logistical support of development partners especially the Norwegian Association of the Disabled and International NGOs. I am convinced that the zeal exhibited during the development of this policy will continue into the implementation phase. This policy is an inherent of the Social Development Sector Strategic Investment Plan (SDIP) which is itself a framework for operationalising the Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP). Support and participation by all stakeholders is critical for successful implementation of this policy. I have no doubt therefore, that the policy address and redress the inequalities that PWDs experience in the society .