Acting DFID Country Director tells summit that disability inclusion in Kenya can be a reality within our generation

Sarah Montgomery at Kenya Satellite Disability event
DFID KenyaActing Country Director, Sarah Montgomery speaking at Kenya's Satellite Disability event. Photo: Facebook/UKinKenya

Yesterday, the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) were among those attending the Kenya Satellite Disability Summit event ahead of July’s Global Disability Summit in London which was announced by Deputy High Commissioner Susie Kitchens earlier this week.

Speaking at the summit, Acting Country Director for the DFID in Kenya, Sarah Montgomery, said she welcomed Kenya’s progress on disability inclusion, including “excellent initiatives” supported by the Kenyan government.

“For far too long people with disabilities have been excluded from conversation on policies and actions that affect them, and in broader national dialogue. Today provides a platform for a national conversation to agree what the level of ambition for disability inclusion should be. It will identify what commitments should be taken to London in four very important areas – (1) tackling stigma and discrimination; (2) inclusive education; (3) economic empowerment; and (4) technology and innovation”.

She added that the forthcoming disability summit will allow countries to share experiences and make further progress to support people with disabilities everywhere.

Globally, an estimated one billion people have a disability, of which 800 million live in developing countries. In these countries, disability is both a cause and consequence of poverty and people often face significant barriers that prevent them from participating fully in society, including getting a quality education and employment.

1st Global Disability Summit

The UK and Kenya are co-hosting the 1st Global Disability Summit in London this July alongside the International Disability Alliance. International partners will use the event to discuss challenges and how to deliver real, lasting change for people with disabilities.

Taking place at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, the summit will bring together over 600 delegates from governments, donors, private sector organisations and charities to address the inclusion of people with disabilities in the poorest countries in the world and act as the starting point for global change on this neglected issue.

The summit aims to secure commitments from around the world to improve the lives of people with disabilities and will showcase best practice and evidence, including how technology and innovation can be harnessed to unlock the potential of people with disabilities.

Disability Summit
Wairimu, a form three student, explained to pre- summit participants the difficulties she has to undergo in accessing facilities including chairs and staircases even in schools because of height. Photo: Facebook/UKinKenya

It will aim to mobilise global action to break down these barriers, ensuring that people with disabilities can fulfil their rights.

In addition to the summit, there will also be a Civil Society Forum which is scheduled to take place on 23 July at the same venue.

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