By Dr. Melckzedeck K. Osore
Participants in the Training. Front (L to R) Dr. Irene Githaiga (Senior Admin Officer), Ms Julliette Ruwa (NCPWD), Dr. Enock Wakwabi (Deputy Director KMFRI), Mr. George Kasera (NCPWD), Dr. Melckzedeck Osore (Principal Research Officer/Chair KMFRI Mainstreaming Committee). Back (L to R) Mr. Nyakundi Nyangoto (Chief Accountant/KMFRI), Mr. Patrick Mathendu (Princiupal Lab Technologist), Mr. Kennedy Ommala (Senior Human Resource Officer), Dr. Erick Okuku (Centre Director, Mombasa), Mr. Moses Okoth (Supply Chain Management Officer), Nicholas Njeru (Master Fisherman) and Mr. Lucas Mogire (Assistant Human Resource Officer). Not in Picture Ms. Judy Nyamvullah (Assistant Human Resource Officer).
Among the mandates of the National Council for People with Disabilities (NCPWD) is to facilitate disability mainstreaming in institutions. In this regard, the Council’s main objective is to promote Government institutions to embrace an atmosphere that addresses the needs and aspirations of People with Disabilities (PWDs) by creating all inclusive and accessible environments for them in all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
In an effort to address disability mainstreaming, the management of KMFRI organised a training for senior management and heads of departments on 28th June, 2019. The training was formally opened by the Deputy Director Dr. Enock Wakwabi on behalf or the Director of KMFRI and attended by the Chairman and members of the KMFRI Disability Mainstreaming Committee. The trainers from NCPWD were Ms Juliette Ruwa and Mr. Geeorge Kasera.
Disability Mainstreaming forms part of the indicators in the Performance Contracts of all MDAs. The essence of this is to anchor disability into government policies, plans and programmes to ensure that needs, aspirations and interests of PWDs are addressed. Deliberate efforts to recognize and acknowledge the various ways in which PWDs can contribute to the society is being addressed at various levels by MDAs.
Trainers from NCPWD recognized the effort made by KMFRI recently to improve infrastructural access and communication. Access to many offices at the KMFRI Headquarters in Mombasa is now easy with newly installed ramps, designated parking spaces and lifts. Staff designated to work at the reception area were recently trained in basic sign language in order to assist guests and customers suffering from impaired hearing.
Nevertheless, the trainers emphasized on various issues that require practice at the workplace in order to motivate PWD and encourage high performance.
“There is need to use appropriate affirmative phrases when addressing colleagues with disabilities. I wish to emphasis on the use of three common models of approach namely the Human Rights Model, Medical Model and Personal Tragedy Model”, Mr. Kasera stressed.
The trainers also highlighted the major categories of disability that staff in a work place such as KMFRI are most likely to encounter or experience at present or in the near future, and how they can be addressed.
Ms Ruwa encouraged members of the Institute’s Disability Mainstreaming Committee to Framework in order to address all levels of importance including: i) Recruitment , ii) Staffing, III) Training, IV) Deployment, V) Promotion and VI) Remuneration.