Churches advised to carter for people with special needs

Religious institutions should provide public amenities to persons living with disability in their congregations.

During an event to mark people living with special needs Sabbath at Tumaini SDA church in Kiambu Sunday, guests who graced the occasion said most upcoming religious institutions did not provide facilities for persons living with disability.

They cited lack of ramps as a challenge to worshippers on wheelchairs pointing out that designers should consider people with disability when planning buildings.

Elizabeth Omwenga who is visually impaired told the congregation many institutions did not factor in challenges faced by persons with disability when commissioning buildings.

Omwenga said people with special needs continued to suffer whenever they visited some institutions of worship because all structures were meant for normal people.

She noted that most of those who were physically or visually impaired did not require assistance in mobility if appropriate structures were provided.

Mrs. Omwenga noted that some school heads had denied people with special needs opportunity to teach in their schools unless referred by those who knew them well.

I teach History and CRE but I am now in the house because no head teacher can allow me to teach in their school until I get a TSC appointment she told the congregation.

Pastor Jared Otieno moved the congregation when he narrated his ordeal of having been admitted in hospital for six years when he was only 15 years.

He said his family abandoned him in hospital and although Kenyatta National hospital having waived his medical bill it still wanted him transferred to a hospital in Kisumu.

Pastor Jared called on families with children who had special needs to stop discriminating against them as they too had constitutional rights, like other Kenyans. He advised such families to seek assistance in necessary institutions.

A journalist with KBC Radio Ms. Princess Mohammed said people living with disability did not need sympathy but exposure and assistance like other people.

The journalist said most of the people living with disability were too smart to be underrated and they should be given opportunities by all institutions regardless of the severity of their condition.

She regretted that many employers looked down upon her colleagues before giving them an opportunity to perform which she said was wrong.

Source: Kenya News Agency