BORN Short Living Tall (BSLT) executive director Ntalasha Chisha has noted that persons with disabilities struggle to move around in the country.
Chisha has appealed to the government and other stakeholders – planners, commercial banks, and architectures and civil leaders to ensure that rights of people living with disabilities are enforced.
“The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol (A/RES/61/106) was adopted on 13th December 2006 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, and was opened for signature on 30 March 2007,” he stated. “We have noted with great concern that persons with disabilities struggle to move around in this nation. Buildings and transit stations have not been modified for easy accessibility for people who are differently abled. Persons with disabilities face discrimination and barriers that restrict them from participating in society on an equal basis with others. As a consequence they are denied rights to be included in the school system, employment, living independently in communities, free movements, as well as participation in sport and cultural activities.”
Chisha stated that the banking sector was not an exception as there was no provision in commercial banks to ensure that the differently abled were able to make transactions.
“Furthermore, commercial banks have not taken an initiative to ensure that they have ATM machines for people who are differently abled. We propose that specific bank counters and ATMS be designed for the disabled,” he stated.
Chisha stated that most public buildings including some government institutions do not have elevators thereby making it difficult for the disabled to access them.
He stated that transit stations and supermarkets were not disability friendly including sales counters which were not designed for people who are differently abled.
“With respect to a few articles that have being implemented we have to note that little progress has been done as the gap is huge. We will soon launch a programme where we will advocate implementation of legislations that protect the disabled. We will also be sensitising people about the rights of the disabled,” stated Chisha.