Embu's deaf people have expressed disappointment with the county government over alleged discrimination in employment and award of tenders.
Deaf Empowerment Society of Kenya (Desk) CEO Jacob Ireri said members applications for tenders and employment opportunities have often been ignored.
Ireri said the society has skilled and competent members in various professional fields.
Of the society's 3,000 deaf people in Embu, only one per cent are in employment. The rest have been left to languish in poverty, Ireri said.
He said communication difficulties should not be used as a reason to deny tenders to deaf persons.
“The county government and other public institutions should know that disability is not inability. The deaf have the capacity to provide any service needed and thus they should be given an opportunity to serve the people,” Ireri said.
He offered to provide interpreters to ease communication with the deaf.
Ireri called said the county ought to allocate 30 percent of tenders and contracts to the youth, women and persons with disabilities as is required by the law.
He spoke at a press conference at the society's office in Embu town on Friday when he announced tenders for 167 items to the society.
He asked people with disabilities to apply. Ireri said poverty has locked out potential applicants from seeking tenders.
"Most people cannot afford the fees required for tender application," he said.
He at the same time lamented that the deaf who were interested in applying for tenders were unable to do so owing to poverty.
He said they lacked funds and thus hey could not even pay for the nonrefundable fees asked for during the tendering process.
Ireri asked the national and the county government to assist the deaf with financial assistance from the youth, women and other funds to enable them be self reliant and be able to seek tenders.
He also said other deaf people were ignorant over the need to apply for tenders and employment from the public institutions adding that the society has embarked on empowerment training to them on entrepreneurship.
Ireri said the Society which was working in partnership with various donors was also providing the deaf with tools of trade after the training them in order to enable them start businesses to uplift their stand of living.