Yesterday morning, Deputy UK High Commissioner Susie Kitchens joined representatives from business as well as local and national government at the Nyali Sun Africa Beach Hotel in Mombasa to take part in a discussion on Disability Mainstreaming for Sustainable Development.
In the context of education, ‘mainstreaming’ is the practice of placing students with special education services in a general education classroom during specific time periods based on their skills.
Following an introduction by Chevening Kenya Alumni Associaition Chair Jane Gitau, Ms Kitchens told attendees that “for far too long people with disabilities have been excluded from the conversations that affect their lives and our communities. Marginalising a significant population group does not make economic sense.
“The UK is committed to supporting the Kenyan Government to deliver commitments made at the Global Disability Summit …. We have a strong partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection … organisations for, and of, people living with disability.
“We have worked with Sense International to train over 400 teachers and health professionals, so that students who are deaf or blind can receive a decent education.”
In Kenya, Sense International work with government and education institutions to improve access to appropriate education for people with deafblindness / Multi-sensory Impairment (MSI). As well as helping to train over 400 teachers and professionals, they have provided learning materials for the schools they work in, enabling students with deafblindness/MSI receive a high-quality education.
Sense International have also supported the construction of deafblind units in Nairobi and Kitui and transforming ten deafblind education centres into Deafblind Resource Centres that provide specialist assessments for all people with deafblindness. This is in addition to providing community-based education services, while continuing to provide a quality education for pupils at the centres.
Concluding her address, Ms Kitchens added that the UK has also supported refugees living with disabilities in the Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps which has enabled them to access livelihoods opportunities.