|DENIVA News - Uganda Since World Summit on Social Development - 1995 (DENIVA, 1999, 34 p.)|
From 20-24 June, 1999 the Uganda National Association of the Blind hosted the Second Africa Forum for the Blind under the theme Employment - a right to equal opportunity - Pointing to the next Century, the Forum made the following recommendations to the organised blind people of Africa.
Participants at the Second Africa Forum for the Blind held in Kampala
1. Organisations on their return to their countries should conduct an audit of disability legislation, mechanisms of interaction with government and employment related services and programmes. The purpose is the development of a plan of action to address the unacceptably high rate of unemployment among blind persons. The results of these audits should be shared with government national development and training agencies, the African Union of the Blind, and international NGOs, such as the IDP office and IDP partners.
2. Educational institutions represented at this Forum, such as KISE, UNISE, and departments of education should address the question of inadequate and inappropriate education being provided to blind children. This should include a curriculum review to ensure equality of content and strengthening of training in preparation for employment. In all educational programmes literacy is fundamental and for blind persons Braille is essential.
3. The new millennium will see an explosion of communication technology in Africa. Therefore, organisations of blind persons, governments and international partners must see to it that blind persons are not once again left at the bottom of the ladder, this will require that blind students receive appropriate computer education and that equipment be made available to provide access to information and opportunities for employment. The Forum supports development of intra-Africa linkages to the Internet.
4. The Forum recognises that the most disadvantaged blind persons frequently reside in rural areas where these services are least available. National Organisations should promote participation of blind persons in rural development programmes leading to employment and there should be sustained employment programmes to build fall involvement of blind persons in rural communities.
5. The Forum recommends that organisations of blind persons encourage women to pursue their special interests under the umbrella of national organisations and in addition encourage their participation in mainstreaming women's organisations.
6. The Africa Forum urges national organisations of blind persons to collaborate with deaf-blind persons and parents towards the development of an independent voice for the deaf-blind community. They should ensure that the interests of deaf-blind persons are catered for both within their own programmes and services as well as in any other programmes and services for disabled persons.
7. In support of all these actions the Africa Forum recommends that international partners collaborate with national and regional organisations to build a regional database of resources including training institutions and sources of materials and equipment to promote employment.