- Maina said the move will enhance easier communication among all thus enabling those abled differently realise their full potential.
- It will also ensure their full participation in social-economic related obligations.
Kirinyaga Woman Rep Jane Maina has pledged to push for a bill to introduce mandatory teaching of sign language subject in all schools.
Her aim is to promote inclusivity and integration of persons with disability.
Maina said the move will enhance easier communication among all thus enabling those abled differently, particularly the deaf and dumb, realise their full potential as well as ensure their full participation in social-economic related obligations.
Speaking on Sunday, the Woman Rep said this will also bring an end to the unequal and discrimination treatment imposed on the group as it will equip knowledge to the abled bodied individuals on how to handle them.
She decried that ignorance to sign languages and lack of implementation of other affirmative actions have gravely contributed to the alienation of the group in many empowerment and employment-related opportunities thus slowing their economic progress.
“I believe if our children are taught how to communicate effectively with their abled differently peers, they will grow knowing that other people who cannot hear are not strangers. If there is anything that needs to be done to make the subject compulsory ,I will ensure I do so,” she said.
In addition, she called on the devolved units to streamline their services to accommodate the needs of the special group.
Maina was speaking in Kerugoya, Kirinyaga county during the culmination of an event to mark the international week of the deaf where she rallied parents to ensure their children, who suffer from hearing impairment, get an education.
“Do not shy away from taking your children who have special needs to school. Education is a basic right to all children and if there is a parent violating that rule, he or she should be held accountable. Residents who have information of those denying their children access to education should report to the authorities or inform my office for appropriate action,” she said.
As part of expanding her community-related duties to the underprivileged, the county MP further affirmed her commitment towards supporting the deaf pupils and students through overseeing an equal distribution of bursaries as well as lobbying for resources to fully equip the county based deaf school.
Besides, she challenged them to rise to the occasion and believe in their potential to change their lives and those around them. She encouraged them to do this by way of using their God given talents even as she urged them to form welfare groups which her office will partner with.
In the spirit of acting as an example, the first term MP further pledged to absorb into her office an abled differently individual who will be working as a staff.
“I believe you are gifted in so many ways. Do not let anyone make you feel inferior. Utilise the best of your ability. If you have an idea that will help your community, approach government offices or do written proposals. Through such engagement, we will be able to know the kind of challenges you are exposed to and how best to resolve them.”
In addition, she rallied them not to shy away from vying for leadership positions as their contribution is equally vital for a wholesome and a developed society.
Her sentiments come days after the swearing-in of Harrison Kariuki, a deaf MCA who was nominated to represent persons living with disabilities at the county assembly of Kirinyaga .