By Amoto Ndiewo
Dr. Habat Sheikh Abdi has called on people to dispel the notion that people with disabilities are cursed, saying it is a medical condition that we all have a responsibility to understand.
Speaking during the launch of the fourth annual Conference for Parental Empowerment and Engagement of Children with Special Needs on Wednesday, November 23 at the Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE) headquarters, Former Director of Education and Expert in Special Needs Education said that people assume disabled persons are only those who are born with it.
He said that disability can catch up with anybody at any age or period.
“One can lose sight at any time or be disabled at any time. It is paramount for us to understand how that life has to go on if we are affected by disability in one way or another,” he said.
Dr. Abdi pointed out that, like those with terminal diseases, some disabled persons opt to live in denial rather than accept the situation.
The Director noted that KISE was initially set up to train tutors to teach learners with special needs.
“Initially, we used to have trainings at Highridge and Kamwenje Teachers Colleges but once the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) chipped in and availed funds with the help of the government, the National Assessment Centre was established at KISE headquarters for training special needs tutors,” he said.
He concluded by calling on the government to construct more assessment centres.
Outgoing Principal Secretary (PS) in the State Department of Early Learning and Basic Education Julius Jwan lauded the government for incorporating Information Communication and Technology (ICT) in the education and training of special needs tutors.