The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) is a global event celebrated every 3rd of December. This year, Kenya marked this day with a presidential address at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC). The theme of the event was; Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 world.

Kenya Society for the Blind attended the event that saw H.E Hon Uhuru Kenyatta, the Chief Guest and Keynote speaker, reflect on the journey towards disability inclusion and also state the areas that needed improvement. In the history of IDPD celebrations, this year’s was the first.

In his speech, the President issued the following directives;

  1. The Attorney General, Ministry of Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizens Affairs and Special Programmes should hasten the process of reviewing the Persons with Disabilities Act 2003 and have the bill enacted by Parliament during the life of the current Parliament.
  2. The Ministry of Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizens Affairs and Special Programmes should ensure the process of registration of persons with disabilities under the new registration system is provided at NO COST. The president also appealed to county governments to consider waiving the cost of assessment in gazetted health facilities, which is a requirement for registration.
  3. The Ministry of Health to fast track the integration of rehabilitation services at all levels of Kenya’s Healthcare system including the Universal Health Coverage policies.
  4. The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education should ensure progressive increase in human resource for rehabilitation at the national and county level, and also support institutions of higher learning to develop capacity for training of rehabilitation personnel.

The President launched the New Digital Registration System developed by the National Council for Persons With Disabilities (NCPWD) this year, aimed at addressing data gaps and curbing cases of fraud. The system also offers a new generation disability identification card with security features to prevent potential fraud and ensure the right people get registered.

The President also launched the Status Report on Disability Inclusion in Kenya 2021.

To commemorate this event in style and provide entertainment, Gusa Nafsi was contracted to perform during the International Day of People with Disabilities. Gusa Nafsi is an 8-piece Kenyan Contemporary, old school and progressive music band from Nairobi, Kenya. The band was formed in July 2021 as a project to promote the welfare of person’s with visual impairment by The Kenya Society for the Blind.