Wednesday, 20 June 2018
Quest for access to technology for disabled Kenyans. According to the “World report on disability-2011” by the World Bank and the World Health Organisation, there are 1 billion persons with disabilities worldwide, who constitutes 15% of the total global population. Of them, 80% live in developing countries and almost the same percentage live in extreme poverty conditions. Persons with disability (PWDs) exhibit the lowest health, education and economic outcomes. Our own home Kenya isn't far behind with over 1.5 million persons with disability according to Kenya population census 2009. Of which is a disputed figure by the Kenyan disability movement who claim it should be 6 million. . With poor implementation of Government policy and little access to affordable assistive technology solutions, disability has grown to be a largely unaddressed social challenge. One of the main facets of an inclusive society is equality of opportunity for all citizens – access to the same public resources and similar facilities. However, in the case of persons with disabilities, achieving this equality is a road paved with challenges. Accessibility in general refers to the ability of people with disabilities (PWD) to access products, services, environments etc. in their day to day life. With the global shift to “digital”, this accessibility gap has further widened. Technology can be a powerful enabler for them to overcome their physical limitations. Over the last few years, technology solutions like screen reading software, wheelchairs, walking aids etc. have helped assist PWDs in leading an independent life and aided their livelihood opportunities. While technology advancements continue to be beneficial most such innovations originate in the western world and have not developed with affordability as a critical factor. In recent years there has been a lot of momentum in this sector with organizations working towards both technological solutions and grass-root implementation. It is heartening to see them bring such energy and passion instead of the neglect it has faced for decades. In Kenya too, there is growing awareness towards the rights of persons with disability. Recognizing the fact that inclusion of persons with disability can be the cornerstone of a truly inclusive Kenya, my Dream is that the Kenyan government will one day launch the Accessible Kenya Campaign through the ministry of information and technology. Paul Mugambi is a senior policy consultant and commentator on social public discoes. firstname.lastname@example.org www.mugambipaul.com
Friday, 15 June 2018
Everyone has 'a moral imperative' to uphold the rights of persons with disabilities, says UN chief NEW YORK, 12 JUNE 2018 (UN NEWS CENTRE) --- Cementing and protecting the rights of around 1.5 billion people around the world in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a “moral imperative” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Tuesday. He was addressing a conference of signatories to the Convention at UN Headquarters in New York, describing it as one of the most widely-ratified international human rights treaties, which reaffirms that people with disabilities are entitled to the same treatment as everybody else. “But signing and ratifying the Convention is not enough. Implementation is essential,” Guterres said. “Societies must be organised so that all people, including those with disabilities, can exercise their rights freely.” The Secretary-General underscored that countries apply the Convention to their development policies, investments and legal systems, which is an important step “if we are to fulfil the central pledge of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: to leave no one behind.” “We cannot afford to ignore or marginalise the contributions of 1.5 billion people,” he stated, pointing out that more had to be done for people with disabilities to fully participate in society. People with disabilities still often face overt discrimination, stereotyping and lack of respect for their basic human rights – with women and girls disproportionately affected. “Every minute, more than 30 women are seriously injured or disabled during childbirth,” elaborated the UN chief. Moreover, women and girls with disabilities face multiple barriers to accessing education, health services and jobs. “Without women’s empowerment and gender equality, millions of women will continue to suffer from double discrimination based on both their gender and their disability,” he added. The Secretary-General spelled out the need for new approaches to work for and with people with disabilities, which include mainstreaming disability in national legislation and development strategies. “It will also be crucial to continue and expand the work that United Nations agencies are doing to support Governments and develop their capacity on these issues,” he maintained, elaborating on the need to strengthen policy frameworks and laws on disability, in line with the Convention and the 2030 Agenda. He concluded by noting that a comprehensive review would be looking at all aspects of how the Organization addresses disability, as well as informing a new UN Action Plan and an accountability framework “to help us aim higher and live up to our promises.” Signing through an interpreter, Colin Allen, Chair of the international Disability Alliance, spotlighted the strength of working collectively to achieve true and meaningful change. “For the people in this room, and for the more than one billion people we represent,” said Allen, “we are building a strong and solid platform that will propel us forward.” Catalina Devandas Aguilar, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities noted that while progress has been made, it is not reaching everyone in the same way. “There is a great demand for public interventions of better and higher quality,” she said, adding: “Only by working together will we fulfil our common goal of leaving no one behind.” “Together, we can remove barriers and raise awareness, so that people with disabilities can play a full part in every sphere of society, around the world”, she said.... Today 12 June 2018, the elections for 9 seats for the CRPD Committee took place on the first day of the 11th Conference of States Parties to the CRPD. IDA congratulates the re-elected and newly elected candidates, whose term will term will begin in 2019: list of 9 items • Ms Rosemary Kayess (Australia) • Ms Gertrude Fefoame (Ghana) • Mr Jonas Ruskus (Lithuania) • Mr Danlami Basharu (Nigeria) • Mi Yeon Kim (Republic of Korea) • Markus Schefer (Switzerland) • Ms Mara Gabrilli (Brazil) • Ms Risnawati Utami (Indonesia), and • Ms Amalia Gamio (Mexico). list end The election of the new 6 women and 3 men will lead to a composition of 12 men and 6 women on the CRPD Committee, for the period of 2019 and 2020, contributing to restore gender balance towards gender parity!
Sunday, 10 June 2018
Ability Sounds: Update on braille standards AKA viduta.: Interview with #jonothan, You may have read recently about a new universal standard for Braille displays adopted by the USB Implementers For...
Interview with #jonothan, You may have read recently about a new universal standard for Braille displays adopted by the USB Implementers Forum. This is an industry body comprising manufacturers and software developers who wish to move the USB specification forward. Participants include Microsoft, Apple and Google among many others. Freedom Scientific has been a part of the process that has led to the adoption of this standard. While we’re not yet able to give you all the answers to questions our customers have been asking about what this standard means for your Freedom Scientific product, we’re happy to bring you up to speed with developments and our thinking. What is the new standard? The new standard agreed by the USB Implementers Forum creates a specification which Braille display manufacturers and operating system developers can adopt, by which Braille displays are Human Interface Driver (HID) compliant. This means that, just like a keyboard or a mouse, when you plug your Braille display into a computer, the operating system will recognize that you’ve connected a Braille display. The Braille HID specification has prescribed keycodes for keys found on all Braille displays in the same way that the QWERTY HID specification has standard codes for alphanumeric and navigation keys. Each display manufacturer can also assign custom codes for keys found only on their displays. In this raw mode, it’s up to screen readers to map between what a key is and what it does, though for standard keys, this mapping will be the same for all displays. For the Braille HID standard to work, two things need to be true. The device needs to identify itself as a Braille display based on the new standard, and operating systems must support the new standard by including a compatible driver. What does this mean for Freedom Scientific? Freedom Scientific has an interest in this topic in two respects. We manufacture Braille display hardware, and we develop software that works with many Braille devices in addition to our own. We appreciate that there is interest in both whether our Focus displays will be compatible with the new HID driver, and whether JAWS will be compatible with HID displays. Will Focus Blue displays be HID-compatible? Yes. It is our intension to make at least our current generation of displays HID-compatible. This will involve an update to the firmware for the displays. At this time, we are unable to estimate when such an update will be available, but it is not imminent. Remember, it will also take some time for operating system manufacturers to include support for HID-compatible displays. It is a complex task, because we are also committed to ensuring that our hardware works with all existing operating systems currently supported by our displays, including operating systems that may not receive an update incorporating support for this new standard. We do, however, absolutely appreciate the value of, for example, being able to connect a Focus Blue display to a PC running Narrator during Windows set-up, before it’s possible to install JAWS. Will JAWS support HID-compatible displays? Yes. Ultimately, we expect that you will be able to connect any HID-compatible Braille display to JAWS and get Braille. It is possible that this support will be rolled out as an alternative to, rather than a replacement for, our current secure Braille initiative, similar to the way you can choose to use a SAPI text-to-speech engine that is not quite as responsive as the voices that have been optimized specifically for JAWS. Long-term Braille customers will know that some years ago, we entered into partnerships with Braille display manufacturers to significantly improve the quality of Braille support in JAWS. As part of that partnership, once a driver has been signed by us, we take full responsibility for supporting your Braille experience with JAWS. It has improved the user experience a lot, and eliminated any ambiguity about who customers should call for support. Because JAWS includes functions well beyond those specified in the new HID standard, we must continue to work through how we ensure maximum compatibility with a wide range of devices, while continuing to offer the most powerful, robust Braille support in the industry. Conclusion Much work lies ahead on implementation of the HID standard, and we’ll keep you posted. Rest assured that we’ll be moving forward seeking to facilitate user choice while ensuring we preserve the quality and reliability of Braille in JAWS you’ve come to expect. www.mugambipaul.com
Sunday, 3 June 2018
“Those who seek Me diligently will find Me.” Isaiah 45:19 (NKJV) Father, In the midst of great spiritual darkness we seek Your light; In the midst of abounding sin we seek Your righteousness; In the midst of conflicting voices we seek Your truth; In the midst of confusion and growing perplexity we seek Your wisdom; In the midst of self-centeredness and personal gain we seek Your glory; In the midst of insecurity and uncertainty we seek Your hope; In the midst of difficulty and increasing needs we seek Your provision; In the midst of illnesses and weakness we seek Your wholeness; In the midst of worries and deepening restlessness we seek Your peace. In the midst of selfishness and injustice we seek Your kingdom. In the midst of ruined lives and broken spirits we seek Your healing; In the midst of hurting hearts we seek Your love. Thank You, Father, for your assurance that those who seek You will also find You.
Wednesday, 30 May 2018
Blind Student Earns M.D. #guest writer by Sharon Cohen article by Sharon Cohen, is not the first blind person to earn a medical degree, nor the second, or even the third. Nevertheless, the article is inspiring, and it contains fascinating and useful details that can inspire and inform parents and teachers who may have never considered medicine or the sciences as a potential career path for blind youngsters. Here it is: The young medical student was nervous as he slid the soft, thin tube down into the patient�s windpipe. It was a delicate maneuver and he knew he had to get it right. Tim Cordes leaned over the patient as his professor and a team of others closely monitored his every step. Carefully, he positioned the tube, waiting for the special signal that oxygen was flowing. The anesthesia machine was set to emit musical tones to confirm the tube was in the trachea and carbon dioxide was present. Soon, Cordes heard the sounds. He double-checked with a stethoscope. All was okay. He had completed the intubation. Several times over two weeks, Cordes performed this difficult task at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. His professor, Dr. George Arndt, marveled at his student�s skills. �He was one-hundred percent,� the doctor says. �He did it better than the people who could see.� Tim Cordes is blind. He has mastered much in his twenty-eight years: Jujitsu. Biochemistry. Water-skiing. Musical composition. Any one of these accomplishments would be impressive. Together, they�re dazzling. And now, there�s more luster for his gold-plated resume with a new title: Doctor. Cordes has earned his M.D. In a world where skeptics always seem to be saying, stop, this isn�t something a blind person should be doing, it was one more barrier overcome. There are only a handful of blind doctors in this country. But Cordes makes it clear he could not have joined this elite club alone. �I signed on with a bunch of real team players that decided that things are only impossible until they�re done,� he says. That�s modesty speaking. Cordes finished medical school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the top sixth of his class (he received just one B), earning honors, accolades, and admirers along the way. �He was confident, he was professional, he was respectful, and he was a great listener,� says Sandy Roof, a nurse practitioner who worked with Cordes as part of a training program in a small-town clinic. Without sight, Cordes had to learn how to identify clusters of spaghetti-thin nerves and vessels in cadavers, study X-rays, read EKGs and patient charts, examine slides showing slices of the brain, diagnose rashes, and more. He used a variety of special tools, including raised line drawings, a computer that simultaneously reads into his earpiece whatever he types, a visual describer, a portable printer that allowed him to write notes for patient charts, and a device called an Optacon that has a small camera with vibrating pins that allow his fingers to feel images. �It was kind of whatever worked,� Cordes says. �Sometimes you can psych yourself out and anticipate problems that don�t materialize. You can sit there and plan for every contingency or you just go out and do things. That was the best way.� That�s been his philosophy much of his life. Cordes was just five months old when he was diagnosed with Leber�s disease. He wore glasses by age two, and gradually lost his sight. At age sixteen, when his peers were getting their car keys, he took his first steps with a guide dog. Still, blindness didn�t stop him. He wrestled and earned a black belt in tae kwon do and jujitsu. An academic whiz, he graduated as valedictorian at the University of Notre Dame as a crowd of 10,000 gave him a standing ovation. Cordes finished medical school in December but still is working on his Ph.D., studying the structure of a protein in a bacterium that causes pneumonia and other infections. Though he spends ten to twelve hours a day in the lab, Cordes also carried the Olympic torch when it made its way through Wisconsin in 2002 (he runs four miles twice a week) and has managed to give a few motivational speeches and accept an award or two. He�s even found time to fall in love; he�s engaged to a medical school student. But Tim Cordes doesn�t want to be cast as the noble hero of a Hallmark special. �I just think that you deal with what you�re dealt,� he says. �I�ve just been trying to do the best with what I�ve got. I don�t think that�s any different than anybody else.� He also shuns suggestions his IQ leaves his peers in the dust. �I just work hard and study,� he says. �If you�re not modest, you�re probably overestimating yourself.� Through the years, plenty of people have underestimated Cordes. That was especially true when he applied for medical school and was rejected by several universities, despite glowing references, two years of antibiotics research, and a 3.99 undergraduate average as a biochemistry major. Even when Wisconsin-Madison accepted him, Cordes says, he knew there was �some healthy skepticism.� But, he adds, �the people I worked with were top notch and really gave me a chance.� The dean of the medical school, Dr. Philip Farrell, says the faculty determined early on that Cordes would have �a successful experience. Once you decide that, it�s only a question of options and choices.� Farrell worried a bit how Cordes might fare in the hospital settings, but says he needn�t have. �We�ve learned from him as much as he�s learned from us. One should never assume that any student is going to have a barrier, an obstacle, that they can�t overcome,� he says. Sandy Roof, the nurse practitioner who worked with Cordes in a clinic in the town of Waterloo, wondered about that. �My first reaction was the same as others�: How can he possibly see and treat patients?� she says. �I was skeptical, but within a short time I realized he was very capable, very sensitive.� She recalls watching him examine a patient with a rash, feel the area, ask the appropriate questions, and come up with a correct diagnosis. �He didn�t try and sell himself,� Roof adds. �He just did what needed to be done.� Cordes says he thinks people accepted him because most of his training was in a teaching hospital, where he blended in with other medical students. One patient apparently didn�t even realize the young man treating him was blind. Cordes grins as he recalls examining a seven-year-old while making the hospital rounds with Vance, his German shepherd guide dog. The next day, he saw the boy�s father, who said, �I think you did a great job. [But] when my son got out, he asked me, �What�s the dog for?�� With his sandy hair and choirboy�s face, Cordes became a familiar sight with Vance at the university hospital. The two were so good at navigating the maze of hallways that interns would sometimes ask Cordes for the quickest route to a particular destination. Some professors say Cordes compensates for his lack of sight with his other senses especially his incredible sense of touch. �He can pick up things with his hands you and I wouldn�t pick up like vibrations,� says Arndt, the anesthesiology professor. Cordes says some of his most valuable lessons came from doctors who believed in showing rather than telling. �You can describe what it feels like to put your hand on the aorta and feel someone�s blood flowing through it,� he says, his face lighting up, �but until you feel it, you really don�t get a sense of what that�s like.� Dr. Yolanda Becker, assistant professor of surgery who performs transplants, noticed that Cordes had a talent for finding veins. �I tell the students, �you have to feel them; you just can�t look.� For Tim, that was not an option.� Becker soon became one more member of Tim Cordes� fan club. �He was a breath of fresh air,� she says. �He appreciated the fact people took time with him to feel the pulse, feel the grafts, feel where the kidneys are. He asked very good questions.� Cordes� training included observing surgery, helping treat psychiatric patients at a veteran�s hospital, and traveling beyond the hospital walls to the rural corners of Wisconsin. For six weeks, he experienced the front lines of medicine with Dr. Ben Schmidt, accompanying him from house calls to the hospital, tending to everything from heart trouble to chicken scratches. They took time, too, to indulge Cordes� passion for cars. Cordes, who reads Road & Track and Car and Driver magazines faithfully, is a Porsche fan. Knowing that, an internist in Schmidt�s clinic brought her husband�s metallic gray Turbo 911 to work one day. Schmidt took the wheel, roaring down the road with Cordes in the passenger seat, his keen hearing detecting the sounds of the valves opening up. Cordes also enjoys camping and canoeing with his fiancée, Blue-leaf Hannah (her exotic first name comes from a character in Centennial, a James Michener novel). They met when both interviewed for medical school. �I was just mostly curious how he was going to do it,� she says. �I must have asked him a million questions.� �I figured she was just sizing up the competition,� he teases. She was impressed. �He was smart and pretty modest,� she says. �Handsome, too,� he adds. �Yes, handsome,� she laughs. They began dating and will marry this fall. It�s a match made for Mensa. Hannah is now in medical school. She already has a Ph.D. in pharmacology; her dissertation was on a human protein implicated in heart disease called thrombospondin. �Too long for a Scrabble game,� Cordes jokes. The two have talked about starting a research lab together someday. Looking back on medical school, Cordes says he savored the chance to help deliver babies and observe surgery, things he�s probably not going to do again. �I just made it a point to treasure them while I had them,� he says. He once thought he�d become a researcher but is now considering psychiatry and internal medicine. �The surprise for me was how much I liked dealing with the human side,� he says. �It took a little work to get over. I�m kind of a shy guy.� Cordes plans to attend graduation ceremonies in May. For now, he�s humble about his latest milestone. �I might be the front man in the show but there were a lot of people involved,� he says. �Everybody was giving a good effort for me and I wanted to do right by them.� for this and much more. check out my website www.mugambipaul.com
Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Everyone’s so busy these days! We wake up, we go to work, we have to stop by Time Warner after work to drop off that old router, then an old friend wants to catch up, then our boss surprises us by letting us know we need to turn in that report tonight, and by then it’s 11 PM and when are you going to have any time to work out or work on that startup idea you had? At least, it seems that way. When you ask folks if they’d like to spend time together, we all hear the same thing: “I don’t have the time.” It’s possible they’re telling a white lie to get out of spending time with you. That they do have the time, but they’d rather spend it getting some work done, so they have more time to spend with someone else, later. But if that’s the case, there are an awful lot of people around telling that white lie. I suspect that we’re not all telling lies to each other; we’re telling a lie to ourselves. The lie is that we don’t have enough time to do everything. So, whatever gets added to the calendar first is what gets done. The fact of the matter is, we all have the same amount of time. Elon Musk runs three billion dollar companies with the same twenty-four hours you use to drop clothes off at the dry cleaner and grab a sandwich at Wendy’s. If you aren’t able to do what you want to be done in that twenty-four hours, the problem isn’t your calendar; it’s you. That’s the secret this headline promised. But it needs to be explaining. What does it mean that you’re the problem? Well, if you’re complaining that you never have enough time, you’re probably packing your day with high-time, low-reward activities. Most people in Kenya do. In fact, many such activities in Kenya are considered valuable. Activities like: list of 4 items •Stopping in on social media. Most folks pause throughout their day here or there to message someone, send some snapchats, scroll down their Twitter feed — but combined, these take up 3.8 hours of your day. That is four solid hours you could be spending with friends, reading that book you have sitting on your nightstand, or finishing up that home improvement project. (If you want to learn how much time you as an individual waste on social media, RescueTime can tell you). •On a related note, pulling out your phone. What can feel like five minutes of wasting time can often be upwards of fifteen minutes (or more). For the average Kenyan, this adds up to four hours of the day. There is some overlap between phone and social media use — but not as much as you hope. And it turns out most of us underestimate our phone use. To see how much time you spend on your phone, download an app that will tell you. •Driving. Driving to and from work is a necessary evil, but many people waste a lot more time driving around running unimportant errands. In the age of Masoko by Safaricom, jumuia upcoming uber the most significant way to waste time is driving half an hour to a store and back to buy something that can be packaged and shipped to your house (for less money, I might add). Many major grocery chains also offer grocery services where they pick the items off the shelves for you. All you have to do is show up at the store and have them load the bags into your car. This can save you multiple hours a day of driving. •Puttering around. This includes activities like: Standing in front of your fridge, staring into its depths as if it has the answers to life’s great questions. Sitting in front of the TV and watching whatever it happens to be playing for a few minutes. Staring into your closet wondering what clothes to wear for today. These activities have little to no value in your life, and yet they take up valuable mental energy. list That bulleted list makes it seem so simple. Most of these time-wasting activities are easy to spot. It’s so easy for me to sit here and write “stop doing these things!” And yet, people still do these things. Why? We’re forced to conclude that it isn’t the wasted time that concerns people. In my case, I spend time running errands because there is nothing, in particular, I’d rather be doing. So the problem isn’t that I don’t have enough time; it’s that I don’t have the will to do something else. But if we’re wasting time, turning off our brains, why not go whole hog? Regarding relaxing, spending two hours watching a movie is always more rewarding then spending two hours browsing low-performing HuffPo articles. I suspect that it is because we are not willing to turn off. There is a pressure in Kenyan culture to go-go-go, to be doing, creating, achieving. There is no space in Kenyan culture for relaxation, for watching a movie. Sure, we do these things, but we always say we’re doing these things with a tone of apology. There’s an implicit understanding that the ‘ideal’ action is to be working, and that relaxing is an unwanted but necessary part of existence, like getting sick or having bowel movements. It’s regrettable that Kenyans feel ashamed of this because relaxation is as sweet and valuable a part of life as work. When we feel ashamed of relaxation, we try to squeeze it out of our phones at work or social media at home, like teenage students trying to gossip when the teacher’s back is turned. There is no teacher. We are in charge of ourselves. It’s time to let ourselves know that it’s okay to take a break. This is how people waste their time. Instead of working, or relaxing, people drift off and spend their time in between. It slips away from them without their knowledge. Then they come out of the trance, dazed and blinking, wondering where the hell the day has gone. In previous ages, it wasn’t possible to fritter a day away this way. The farm needed working, the meat needed curing, the goat needed milking, and a million other things. On top of that, there were no phones or internet. If you weren’t working, you were staring at a blank wall. If your only other choice is crushing boredom, it’s pretty easy to choose work. In this day and age, it is the frittering which is so easy. Notifications blink and pop and bounce on our devices and the devices of everyone else around you. Other people bob their heads, ducking in and out of their phone like it’s their only source of air. It’s hard to resist the urge when everyone else is doing it as well. My call to action is this: permit yourself not to be doing. If you are going to be doing, do — don’t waste time on social media or driving around or standing in front of the mirror wondering which shirt you’re going to wear. And if you don’t want to, don’t — put on your nightie and rewatch House M.D. for the seventh time. Whatever you do, don’t waste time doing neither. you can visit my new website www.new.mugambipaul.com
Friday, 4 May 2018
The handshake from a blind perspective: #the white cane miles: As usual you know Mpofu namba 1 I love Public transport not that it’s the best but that’s how social and economic lifeline is. Mostly when I travel to town or to far distances I love the busses. They are full of intrigs. We have the famous preachers who would like the Blind like me to evaporate from the world we become “Sighted” As though we the Blind have requested so! Anyway there might be those Blind guyhs who are debatably praying for miracles but am not one of them. The equating of blind with ignorant and the automatic assumption that we need and want fixing cause great harm to those of us who are blind. It makes us into beings who always need charity and have nothing to offer in return other than gratitude. My God doesn’t think that way. God created me and I believe (at least on good days) that I too am “wonderfully made.” This view of disability leaves me free to use my talents to love others and work for justice instead of waiting to be healed in this world or the next. That’s why I remain Chief Disability soldier.on the other hand, some religious fanatics emphasize on the following extracts: One of the major root causes for the discriminatory acts against PWD in Kenya is religion-related. Theological interpretations of disability have significantly shaped the ways in which society relates to PWD. The Bible is intermingled with texts that have been interpreted in oppressive ways and together these continue to reinforce the marginalization and exclusion of PWD in the social, economic, political, and religious life of the society. Eiesland (1994:73-74) identifies three theological themes that have created obstacles for PWD. The first is conflating disability with sin. The belief that disability indicates punishment for wrongdoing and mars the divine image in humans has often barred those with disabilities from positions of leadership or stigmatized them for their presumed lack of faith. The second theme views disability as virtuous suffering. Disability has been identified as suffering that must be endured in order to purify the righteous, a teaching that encourages passive acceptance of social barriers for the sake of obedience to God. The third theme perceives PWD as cases of charity. Although charitable activity for PWD is at times a means of creating justice, it subverts justice when it segregates PWD from society and keeps PWD out of the public eye rather than empowering them for full social, economic, and political participation. The outcome of all these themes is what Eiesland (1994) has referred to as a "disabling theology." The Bible, which is the major source of Christian theology, illuminates this further. anyway let me return to my issue Blindness (or any disability) has its difficulties: • I have to ask again and again for what I need from others • There’s a bubble around me in public such that people hesitate to approach me • It costs more to buy adaptive equipment than regular gizmos. • Sometimes I’m discriminated against. I deal with the frustrations daily which consumes more energy than not being blind. But there are also the positives of being blind: • Humorous things happen as I interact with a sighted world. • I’m more aware of the interdependence of us all. • I know that many people are helpful most of the time. • I get to have an intelligent being, my white cane AKA “fimbo yangu” plus my latest Soundscape app, by my side as I walk through life. • The frustrations both from the blindness and from interacting with “spiritually blind” people make me stronger. list end If you feel compelled to share your good news about the future as you understand it where the blind see, or if you want to pray for my sight to be restored, please consider doing the following first: list of 3 items • Get to know me and my world before you decide how to make it better. • If we’ve discussed faith and we’re at the level of knowing each other where you’d be comfortable with me praying for you, then feel free to ask if I’ll pray for you and offer to pray for me as well. • Then ask how you can pray for me and do the praying from my perspective of needs. I may ask for healing, for strength to fight discrimination or for patience to deal kindly with others’ responses to my disability. If I ask for something you don’t agree with, like a driverless car that’s too expensive and might malfunction and bring us all to Heaven before our time, pray for more accessible transportation options instead e.g crossing in Thika road or westlands. This is my real Handshake movement. If you want to share your best guesses about Heaven, listen to mine as well. Maybe together we can make a little Heaven on earth where both the sighted and the blind understand that we all are wonderfully made and have gifts to share. this is the real handshake!
Thursday, 19 April 2018
This company wants to replace braille with a controversial new font Meet ELIA, a new tactile reading system.
Meet ELIA, a new tactile reading system. Learning to read and write was a challenge for Louis Braille. While many kids struggle to read, Braille was blinded at the age of three by an infection following an accident in his father’s leathering workshop. Unable to see words on the page, his best chance at literacy was at his fingertips—literally. Frustrated by existing communication options (most blind people used the Haüy system, where Latin letters were embossed in paper), Braille set about developing his own tactile writing system when he was still a child. By the age of 15, he’d created a simple, efficient system of dots and spaces contained in compact cells that allowed a reader to comprehend each letter in a single touch. Since its creation in 1829, braille has remained the predominant tactile communication system in the world. It’s been modified for dozens of languages and allowed countless people to read and write. But braille, which is read by fewer than 10 percent of blind or visually impaired people, is far from perfect. That’s why, almost 200 years after braille was created, Andrew Chepaitis decided to disrupt it. Chepaitis is the president and CEO of ELIA. For almost 20 years, he and his colleagues have been developing a new tactile learning system that was more intuitive and accessible than braille. “The reason Braille used dots was because the easiest way to create a tactile alphabet was to take the point of a pen and push into a piece of paper,” says Chepaitis. “That was great. That was a revolution.” But, he argues, technology has advanced beyond pen and paper, so tactile fonts should, too. Chepaitis has thrown out braille’s dots in favor of a system of raised symbols form from curved and straight lines. Whereas braille was loosely based on a military code, ELIA mimics the shape of typical English characters wherever possible. An ELIA C looks almost identical to the C seen in the standard alphabet, except the ELIA C rises above the paper. But for a letter like W, which a tactile reader could trace in many directions (is it a V? Two Vs? One W?), ELIA has completely transformed the character. In the ELIA system, a W is a small box with a triangle wedge at the bottom, essentially a simplification of the switchback in a standard W. After six years of sustained research on 175,000 participants, ELIA launched its Kickstarter campaign on April 18 to bring attention to their work and raise funds to produce its tactile reading frames. The company also announced it would release a customized HP Inkjet printer for ELIA fonts this fall. A specialized HP Inkjet printer, the machine stimulates a chemical reaction that puffs up the paper in all the right places, allowing a blind reader to feel the letters on the page. With this new technology, Chepaitis hopes to rectify a number of the problems he sees with existing tactile codes. While thousands of people say braille has changed their lives, on a purely statistical level, the code’s impact has been rather limited. Of the 8.4 million people in the United States with a visual impairment, only about 100,000 read braille. Those who are literate in braille are more likely to graduate high school and to secure employment. But the rest of the population continues to struggle.“Most of those who read braille were born blind,” Chepaitis says, “while 99 percent of people who are blind lose their vision later in life.” Unfortunately, it’s harder to learn braille later. The National Federation of the Blind offers courses on braille and other tools for the visually impaired. Each course lasts six to nine months. In that time, the federation says, most people become comfortable using braille in their everyday life, but some will continue to struggle with speed and comprehension. And some never learn braille at all. By building on the standard alphabet, ELIA hopes to meet people who go blind later in life where they’re at. “For them, they’ve invested years in learning the normal alphabet,” Chepaitis says. But the ELIA team has implemented other innovations in the hopes of making their alphabet easier to use, too. ELIA’s font is bigger than standard braille, because the company’s research suggested enhancing the size of the font even by a few millimeters increases reading speeds. The space between each letter is also expanded, again for clarity. These changes mean that, unlike braille, ELIA letters cannot always be read in a single swipe of the finger. But the company says that shouldn’t be a hindrance: the new tactile reading system can be learned in as little as three hours. For all the sweat, tears, and special ink that have gone into ELIA, the system’s success isn’t guaranteed. “I’m not going to sugarcoat it: We are braille advocates in the National Federation of the Blind,” says Chris Danielsen, the federation’s director of public relations. While he thinks ELIA may prove helpful to some individuals, Danielsen remains skeptical of efforts to replace braille. ELIA argues its larger fonts and spacing are better for reading comprehension, but Danielsen contends one of braille’s best attributes is that each letter can be determined in a single touch. There’s also the matter of accessibility when it comes to writing. Right now, people who rely on braille have roughly three options. They can write with an inexpensive stylus, which the federation sells them for just $10 a pop; lug around a six-keyed “brailler”, which is essentially a tactile typewriter; or invest in a specialized printer. ELIA’s own system is a specialized HP Inkjet printer, which debuts later this year. While Chepaitis is excited about the breakthrough design, Danielsen is worried about the price. A $10 stylus is more cost-effective than an inkjet printer, which currently retails around $200 in its standard form. “I can only expect—and respect—people who disagree with us and argue this is not a worthwhile endeavor,” Chepaitis says. Still, he continues to believe ELIA’s potential for good dramatically outweighs the negatives. Chepaitis intends for the ELIA system will increase accessibility and reading speeds among users. He also hopes the printer, which took years of development on its own, to improve tactile photo printing. While braille can communicate some of the contours of an image, like the details of a map, ELIA’s puff ink may have more success. If all goes well kids with visual impairments wouldn’t just read the words in their textbooks—they’d get to feel charts, diagrams, and illustrations. Most of all, Chepaitis sees ELIA as a way of bringing families together. Even if a person with severe visual impairments learns braille, their sighted family members continue to struggle to learn and communicate with them. Because ELIA is based on a standard English alphabet, it can be read both with the fingers and with the eyes. As a result, the company says it's even easier for sighted people to learn than for the visually impaired. “[If] your mom is losing her vision, and she puts the labels on her canned goods, you can read them, too,” Chepaitis says. Whatever becomes of ELIA, one thing seems certain: Braille probably wouldn’t have minded the friendly competition. He once said, “Access to communication in the widest sense is access to knowledge.” For all the resistance it’s received, ELIA is nothing if not a widening of the communication options for the blind and visually impaired. ni hayo tu kwa sasa for more log on www.mugambipaul.com
Wednesday, 18 April 2018
We know about the gender pay gap. But what about the disability pay gap? | #Frances Ryan | Opinion |
Forcing companies to disclose their gender pay gap has been like pulling back the curtain. For the first time, we’re seeing the real picture behind the often-secretive world of pay: one in which every industry from academia and local councils to FTSE companies is underpaying women. As part of this, it has been refreshing to see the impact of race and class on the gender gap discussed, despite the fact the gender audit didn’t include these factors. But disability hasn’t been mentioned at all. In the UK, there is no complex breakdown of disability pay like the gender pay investigation has provided but what we know shows stark inequality. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) 2017 report found that the disability pay gap – the difference between what non-disabled and disabled workers earn – is 13.6%. On top of that, disabled people are significantly more likely to be unemployed, lose a job and be in low-waged work than non-disabled people. We’re also routinely given fewer responsibilities at work and turned down for promotion, or refused the job in the first place Disabled people have been painted as workshy, but what is attributed to choice is largely a product of circumstance Being a disabled woman in the climate of the gender pay gap, then, is like being hit from two sides. Disabled men – particularly those from minority ethnic backgrounds – aren’t immune either, in some ways losing the gender advantage afforded to white non-disabled men. Disabled men from the Bangladeshi community, for example, experience a pay gap of a staggering 56% (compared with non-disabled white British men), according to the EHRC. How can bosses get away with this? As Suzanne Moore points out, women’s unequal pay is justified in a myriad ways: from us not trying for competitive roles, to being “too caring”. Similarly far-fetched excuses are used when it comes to disabled people. Longstanding prejudice around disability – that we are pitiable, stupid or a burden – creates a climate that permits keeping disabled people in low-waged, junior roles. Even the chancellor, Philip Hammond, last year implied disabled workers were less productive, while the idea we should be paid less than non-disabled people is a persistently mainstream opinion (in 2014, the then welfare minister David Freud suggested disabled workers may be “worth” about £2 an hour ). The message is often, “Forget equal pay – if you’re disabled, you should be grateful for having a job at all. In recent years, disabled people have routinely been painted as workshy by politicians and the media, but what is attributed to choice is largely a product of circumstance. Disabled people are more likely to work part-time, in part because of their health needs, exacerbated by the fact that flexible working is often frowned upon by employers. The benefits system, meanwhile, often penalises people too ill for a full-time job but who take on a few hours a week. I’ve always worked full-time but because I need more time off sick or to rest, as well as later starts, I know my earning potential is dwarfed by my non-disabled counterparts. Until we acknowledge the problem, we can’t do anything to fix it. John Lewis, for example, is using the gender pay gap news to talk to their employees about flexible working and barriers to job sharing at management level. This is fantastic and would be ideal if it was to look at how these two measures – perfectly suited to many with health problems – would help disabled employees too. But to really tackle the disability pay gap, we need to look at the wider structural inequalities facing disabled people. We often have to live in inaccessible housing, are cut off from accessible public transport, and are excluded from education, which means a disproportionate number of disabled people don’t get qualifications. (Even qualifications aren’t enough: a graduate with a work-limiting disability is more likely to not have a job than an unqualified person with no disability.) Rather than measures to improve things, the government is currently creating extra barriers: hundreds of people have had their car, which they need to get to the office, removed because of benefit cuts; funds that provide in-work support such as sign language interpreters for deaf people have been reduced; and huge cuts in social care budgets have resulted in disabled people losing the assistant who helps them get dressed in the morning. The gender pay audit means the silence around unequal incomes is finally being broken. Inequality, we are shown, can no longer be hushed away or buried under excuses. Now’s the time to bring disabled workers into the conversation. #ni hayo tu kwa sasa.
Thursday, 5 April 2018
CSUN, the annual Assistive Technology Conference, took place this month in sunny San Diego, and again, I participated "virtually," listening to podcastsvia victor stream reader. For readers unfamiliar, CSUN is often a conference where new products, updates, and ideas are first launched in the world of Assistive Technology (AT). Orbit Reader 20 The continued enthusiasm for refreshable braille displays—both low-cost and tablet sized—got my attention. These are not new this year. CSUN attendees will be tantalized by the Orbit Reader 20’s promise of a 20 cell braille display for under $500 and frustrated by the fitful start and stop of production to iron out the kinks. If that is not tempting enough in itself, the Canute by Bristol Braille Technology, a nonprofit based in the U.K., is a nine line, 360 cell braille display, marketed as an e-reader, much like a Kindle. Refreshable Braille Displays Not a New Concept Refreshable braille displays are certainly not new, the first, called BRAILLEX, was developed over 40 years ago, and the technology has changed little since that time. Small pins are pushed up and down mechanically to create the dots in a braille cell. Devices that have braille displays often have as few as 12 to 20 cells on the display. Larger displays of 80 cells are available, but for many, they are cost prohibitive. Typically, a braille cell of six or eight dots depicts one to two characters in a word. As a result, the reader reads several words on the display and refreshes the display to read the next set of words. Historically, both the technology and relatively small market have contributed to the high cost of refreshable braille displays. The Canute The Canute has been in development since 2012, and this is not its first demonstration at CSUN. The difference this year is that this is the 13th prototype and the one that will shortly begin pilot testing with a group of users prior to an anticipated release later this year. A press release issued in January 2018 suggested the retail price may be around $700! Canute by Bristol Braille In brief, the Canute will render braille files (BRF) stored on an SD card in much the same way a sighted reader would open a digital book on a Kindle. Because the Canute will have nine lines of braille with 40 cells in each line, reading on the Canute will be much more like reading from a full page of braille. The Orbit Reader 20 By contrast, the Orbit Reader 20 has a smaller single line of 20 cell braille and offers some limited editing of braille files. Like the Canute, its primary function is to provide a low-cost, portable electronic braille reader. Increasing Access to Braille Around the World What is most compelling about these braille displays and the other ongoing braille projects whose goal is low-cost electronic braille is how likely these devices will increase access to braille around the world. At its most basic level, braille can be created on any heavier stock paper using a slate and stylus that costs less than $15. It is the considerable cost of embossing multi-page documents on electronic braille embossers that cost thousands of dollars or the higher cost of recreating textbooks for students in braille on paper that has dramatically undermined braille in the digital age. For many educators and agencies who work with individual with vision loss, the alternative to teaching and reading braille has been audiobooks and text-to-speech on phones, tablets, and computers. While these alternatives are wonderful tools for accessing print, research suggests that interacting with words, grammar, and spelling with braille and print result in a higher level of literacy than that attained solely through audio tools. Ultimately, these braille displays may reduce the reliance on a braille embosser to produce paper braille and some braille textbooks. It is worth noting that, unlike the Orbit Reader, the Canute currently utilizes a six-dot braille cell which works well for literary braille but will prevent it from being a useful tool for the eight-dot braille (Nemeth code) commonly used in science, mathematics, or computing notation. Additionally, both products have placed a priority on off-the-shelf parts to keep costs low and, presumably, make repairs cheaper and easier. Moving Braille Literacy Forward It is products like the Canute and Orbit Reader 20 that are heralding in a new, market niche for reduced cost braille displays and a consensus among the low vision and blind community that this is a priority for moving braille literacy and braille technology forward. With products like the Orbit Reader and the Canute working their way to the market, both educators and rehab professionals will have access to a greater variety of braille alternatives for readers who are blind or low vision. In a recent interview with ACB Radio Tek Tak Talk, Bill Boules, Blind Rehab Specialist, pointed out that many school-age students with low vision miss the opportunity to learn braille, which may be a more efficient way for them to read because of funding restraints, limited access to braille materials, or a lack of qualified teachers of students with visual impairments. The availability of textbooks and easy access to digital braille from a low-cost refreshable braille device may encourage the use of braille for those students who are able to see print but unable to use it as efficiently as they might use braille to read. Low-cost braille is here, and the newer technology has a few bugs to sort out, but it is here to stay and will dramatically increase reader’s access to braille. Imagine for a moment, what might happen if the braille e-readers become as popular and available among braille readers as the Kindle? #Kenya will join this league soon! the ministry of education has a long way to go to ensure blind persons like me are able to access information on time and available just like the sighted peers. www.mugambipaul.com
Tuesday, 3 April 2018
The world grieves the demise of Stephen Hawking, who lived with a motor neuron disease for practically all his adult life. Prof Hawking had a prominent career in astrophysics. He defeated not only conventional knowledge but also disability. In the foreword to the World Report on Disability by Unicef, he attributed this to his access to medical care and the fact that his house and workplace had been made accessible to him. Computer experts supported him with a communication system and a speech synthesiser that allowed him to compose lectures and papers and to communicate with relative ease. The International Paralympics Committee (IPC) paid tribute to Prof Hawking during the closing ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Paralympics last month. The IPC president lauded him as an “extraordinary man and a pioneer for all people with an impairment around the world. He embodied the word ability more than anyone.” Prof Hawking was a living testimony of the heights that a person with disability can rise to if given the opportunity to do so. Have we given Kenyans with disabilities this opportunity? What is the situation in Kenya? INCONSISTENT LAWS AND POLICIES A few years ago, I encountered an amazing centre for children with disabilities in Ongata Rongai. The Orione Centre houses close to 100 mentally disabled children. It is beautifully constructed and maintained. One sees a lot of love and sacrifice behind each wall. At this facility, these children, who had been rejected by their families and society, found a purpose in life. They learn to cultivate a shamba, to sign, to laugh and to love. But Orione also faced a dramatic reality. Laws and policies are largely inconsistent and not executed. Our care of people with disabilities has so far been a mere wish, an unfulfilled desire. In Kenya, the rights of the disabled are enshrined in three main laws. First, the 2010 Constitution. Second, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities adopted by the United Nations in 2006 and ratified by Kenya in 2008. Third, the Persons with Disabilities Act of 2003, which is a legal framework for access to services and inclusion. Additionally, the disabled are mentioned in at least 65 other Acts of Parliament, dealing with basic rights, education, equality of opportunity, sexual offenses, the right to vote, etc. SIGN LANGUAGE CO-ANCHOR The Constitution mentions the term “disability/disabilities” at least 15 times. It is defined to include “any physical, sensory, mental, psychological or other impairment, condition or illness that has, or is perceived by significant sectors of the community to have, a substantial or long-term effect on an individual’s ability to carry out ordinary day-to-day activities.” The Constitution requires the state to promote the development and use of sign language, Braille and other communication formats and technologies accessible to people with disabilities. It has become quite common for the main television networks to have a sign language co-anchor during news broadcasts. While this is an important step in the right direction, I wonder whether the tiny window that usually appears at the bottom right corner is adequate for the targeted audience. Maybe this solution was appropriate for the long-gone analogue times. I sometimes wonder if this approach may be turning the deaf people blind from squinting at their TV screens during the entire news broadcast. Some innovation is definitely necessary to ensure that at least the popular TV shows are accessible to the deaf. EASY ACCESSIBILITY The Constitution imposes a duty on all State organs and public officers to address the needs of vulnerable groups within society, including the disabled. While the needs of the disabled are varied and on a wide spectrum, there is no excuse for the absence of a legislative and policy framework on this aspect of our society. How many public buildings and offices, even within the city of Nairobi, are easily accessible to the disabled? And by easy accessibility, one would think of appropriate ramps, “functional” elevators, sufficient reserved parking slots, dedicated service stations/counters, reserved washrooms, etc. If the traffic light system were allowed to work in the streets, there would be a need for sound devices to assist the blind in crossing roads. As things stand now, a blind man in Nairobi is a dead man walking. The state should not discriminate directly or indirectly against any person on any ground, including disability. A person with disability is entitled under the Constitution to be treated with dignity and respect and to be addressed and referred to in a manner that is not demeaning. MATERIALS AND DEVICES People with disabilities are entitled to access educational institutions and facilities for the disabled that are integrated into society to the extent compatible with the interests of the person. They are also entitled to reasonable access to all places, public transport and information and appropriate means of communication. Further, they are entitled to access materials and devices to overcome constraints arising from their disability. The Constitution also requires the State to ensure the progressive implementation of the principle that at least five per cent of members of the public in elective and appointive bodies are people with disabilities. According to a 2014 survey conducted by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) Jitolee, one in every 10 Kenyans below the age of 21 is disabled. The survey also indicated that more than 16 per cent of children with disabilities were out of school while 18.4 per cent of children and youth with disabilities were either total or partial orphans. The most prevalent condition was multiple disabilities at 31 per cent, visual impairment at 20 per cent, hearing impairment at 10 per cent and physical impairment at nine per cent. In another national survey for people with disabilities conducted in 2015, more than three million people in Kenya were living with disabilities. PLIGHT UNADDRESSED The Constitution contains a great promise for the disabled but sadly the plight of such people continues to be left unaddressed. There is a lot that our society needs to work on, including implementation of legal and policy frameworks to facilitate access to health, education and services for them. There are some pretty innovative solutions that have been implemented in some cities across the world that could work in Kenya. For instance, Seattle has a sidewalk mapping app that has details on ramps and dropped kerbs, making it easier for people with disabilities to navigate easily. Singapore launched its universal design principles drawn by its Building Construction Authority in 2007. The principles have encouraged accessibility. In Sonoma County, California, a housing project was specifically designed to address the special needs of people living with autism who are hypersensitive to sound, light and movement. The fittings and décor in the homes reduce sensory stimulation and clutter while noise is kept to the minimum, courtesy of thoughtful design. We may have many Hawkings in Kenya and in East Africa. We will never know, unless we give them a chance. The time has come to harmonise disability laws, policy and reality…to walk the talk and put hand to broom, sweeping away any inconsistencies in our laws and our practices. this article was written by Dr Louise Franceschi
Monday, 2 April 2018
President Uhuru Kenyatta has made affordable healthcare one of his Big Four Agenda for his final term. This wouldn’t have come at a better time since the world is heading towards universal healthcare. Universal healthcare focuses on access to quality services for citizens of all social classes. This requires bold discussions around the key pillars of an effective health system as defined by World Health Organisation. A well-functioning health system responds in a balanced way to a population’s needs and expectations by: Improving the health status of individuals, families and communities; defending the population against what threatens its health; protecting people against the financial consequences of ill-health; providing equitable access to people-centred care; making it possible for people to participate in decisions affecting their health and health system. The WHO has identified six key components of a well-functioning health system as: Leadership and governance, health financing, human resources for health, health information systems, essential medical products and technologies, service delivery. All this components must perform optimally for the realisation of Universal Health care access. In health financing Kenya ranks position 140 out of 190 in the WHO Ranking of the World's Health Systems. The difference between us and leading countries is health financing. This has greatly affected other components such as human resources, essential medical products and technologies and, ultimately, service delivery. The WHO provides for minimum staffing norms, which were customised in the August 2014 Human Resources for Health Staffing Norms and Standards by the Ministry of Health. This was to be achieved by employment of 12,000 health workers per year for four years, but the government has since employed only 15,000 in four years. As the period for the staffing guidelines expire at the end of year, we are nowhere near compliance with minimum staffing standards. According to the guidelines, we were supposed to have 16,278 clinical officers, 13,141 doctors and 38,315 nurses in public health sector employment against the current 6,000 clinical officers, 5000 doctors and 25,000 nurses. We are nowhere close the 50 per cent minimum staffing standards. This may be a contributor to the medical errors recently at Kenyatta National Hospital, where staff are overworked and fatigued. The ideal minimum health worker to population ratio should be 23 health workers to 10,000 Kenyans or 40 clinical officers per 100,000 Kenyans, 32 doctors per 100,000 Kenyans or 95 nurses per 100,000 Kenyans. The shortage of essential medical products in our public facilities is one that cannot be ignored. Kenyans fly to India for cancer treatment and many patients die waiting for the only radiation machine at KNH that sometimes breaks down for weeks. Most patients visiting county hospitals are forced to buy drugs from private chemists as medicines are out of stock most of the time, coupled with long queuing hours to see a clinician. Access to highest attainable standards of health is a constitutional right under Article 43 ( 1 )(a) and therefore Kenyans have a right to ask their elected leaders to account on facilitation. The government through parliament should increase health financing in the 2018-19 budget to at least 10 per cent to ensure the human resources for health staffing norms and standards are met and that essential medical products and technologies are optimised to ensure equitable access of health care services to all Kenyans. www.mugambipaul.com for more
Sunday, 1 April 2018
Unless you are able to see the future, there is no way you can fully control the path of your career. There are way too many factors that you simply can’t control. Things like economic trends, the political environment, advances in technology – not to mention personal life events, like getting married, divorced, or having children – all have the potential to influence choices that you make about your career. There are, however, a few things you can do that will put you in a good position for success, regardless of what life throws at you. Do Some Reflection One of the most important things you can do as part of mapping a career is to really understand yourself. Learn to recognise your strengths and weaknesses. What do you like doing? What are you passionate about? What is the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning? What are your values and beliefs – the things that you will never compromise, no matter what? Think about your skills, knowledge and experience. What skills do you have that are transferrable between different jobs? What specialised skills have you gained? What are your dreams and aspirations?Consider how you can capitalise on your strengths and overcome any weaknesses you might have identified. It’s important to understand what it is you want out of a career too. Not everybody has aspirations to be a high powered executive. Think about what is important for you to be happy in your work. Maybe you want flexibility so that you balance family obligations. Perhaps it’s important to you to be doing a job that helps people or that somehow gives back to the community. Remember – we spend almost one third of our lives working, so it’s important that we do work that is fulfilling and makes us happy.Your self-reflection might take a bit of time – it’s a lot to think about! It’s helpful to spend time considering these elements and writing them down. Make lists of the things you discover about yourself and the sorts of things you’d like to do. Writing things down is very beneficial to clarifying the direction in which you’d like take your career. Consider your Options Once you have a better understanding of your strengths, values and aspirations, it’s time to start thinking about the types of jobs that will suit you. This can be quite tricky, as the jobs we may have thought we’d like don’t always match with our strengths, skills, and preferences. It’s hugely important to consider any potential career in the context of your values, beliefs and personality. Check out various employment websites and job advertisements online to get an understanding of the types of jobs available. If there are particular types of organisations that you think you’d like to work for as a result of your personal reflection, check if they advertise their job vacancies on their company website. You might even consider reaching out to an organisation to ask them the sorts of things they look for in their employees. Or even offer to volunteer to get a feel for what it would be like to work there.It can also be helpful to talk to a careers counsellor or coach when considering your options. They won’t find you a job or tell you exactly what career path you should follow. But, they will work with you to help you identify what sort of roles fit with the skills, values and beliefs you have identified in your self-reflection exercise.Add your list of potential jobs or careers to you lists from your self-reflection exercise, and review all the information regularly – at least once or twice a year – to see what has changed and check your progression. Set Goals Once you have considered the career options available to you and identified what direction you want to take, it’s time to start setting some goals. Set ‘SMART’ objectives to accomplish your short and long term goals. There are a few variations of what SMART objectives should address, but the important thing is to set them so that you can measure your progress - measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound.S – Identify your goal clearly and specifically. Make them significant, and stretchingM – Make your goals meaningful, motivational and measurable. Make sure they include clear criteria to determine progress and accomplishment.A – Your goals should be action-orientated and attainable. There should be a 50 percent or greater chance of success.R – Ensure goals are realistic, rewarding, result-orientated and relevant to you personally.T –Set specific timeframes for your goals and ensure they are tangible and trackable. Map Your Path Developing your career really is a journey. Map your pathway just like you would any other adventure. Identify your starting point and your preferred ‘destination’, (i.e. what you want to achieve with your career), and figure out what you need to do to get there. What are the milestones you need to arrive at along the way, and how will you make progress towards each?A careers counsellor coach can be really helpful for mapping your path. They are terrific for helping you build a career roadmap, supporting you to create long term goals and the milestones you need to achieve in order to accomplish your them. They will also help keep you accountable to the goals you have set. Be Flexible One of the few things in life that is certain is change. When thinking about your career, be open to change and diverting your path to accommodate opportunities and challenges that pop up. The world in which we live is changing constantly, and as you continue to learn and grow and gain more experience, your preferences and the options available to you will shift accordingly. Part of being a successful professional is the ability to remain nimble, flexible, and responsive to your surrounding environment. Be open to new experiences and opportunities as they arise. You never know where something unexpected might lead. Reference www.mugambipaul.com https://hbr.org/2012/11/a-better-way-to-plan-your-care https://www.livecareer.com/quintessential/career-planning-tips http://www.careercentre.dtwd.wa.gov.au/CareerPlanning/Pages/CareerPlanning-4StepPlanningProcess.aspx http://careers.vic.gov.au/exploration/a-fair-workplace https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-reasons-you-really-do-need-a-career-coach
Tuesday, 27 March 2018
It is amazing how God can turn around events in a twinkle of an eye to bring to pass His divine order. God knows what to do and when to do it. He changes times and seasons, the world in its entirety are in the palm of His hands. God knows how to influence situations and arrange events to work for your good. The story of Queen Esther, Mordecai and The Jews is one of those thought-provoking and encouraging stories that, celebrates the Almightiness of God. It takes a chronological order which explores how God arranges situations and events to His own glory. Sometimes, you might wonder why things are not happening smoothly and speedily as you planned them to be, even when you are on a right path and relationship with God. Mordecai probably felt the same way. He refused to bow down to Haman, who came after him and his kindred, to wipe them off from the face of the earth. While it lasted, Haman succeeded in all his plans to kill the Jews, and even made gallows, where Mordecai would be hanged. Through the episodes, God seemed silent, and watched Haman almost winning over His own people. Are you wondering why God seems calm to your plights and challenges? You wonder why the enemy seems to be having an upper hand over you when you have a greater God in heaven. You see, before everything you are passing through began, God has already arranged a way of escape for you. For the Jews, God caused queen Vashti to refuse the royal order, so that Queen Esther will take her place. God foresaw the wickedness of Haman. Thus, Queen Esther needed to be in the palace at that time, in order to plead the case of the Jews before the King. How amazing is our awesome Father! The same God who prevailed for His children in the time past, is still God today. He sees all you are going through, He has not forgotten you. Only do your part by being faithful and obedient, then leave the rest to Him. God waited for Shadrack ,Meshach and Abednego to be thrown into the fiery furnace of Nebuchadnezzar, so He can prove Isaiah 43:2 to the entire world – “when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned…” God allowed Daniel to be thrown into the lion’s den to show that – “The earth is of the Lord and the fullness thereof, the world and all that is in it” – Psalm 24:1 Beloved, God knows you by name. He knows every strand of hair on your head. Let the peace of God come into your heart now, and be sure that God knows and understands all you are going through. Trust His plans, He will surely bring you out unhurt.
Monday, 19 March 2018
the Lack of water In Kenya AKA ukosefu wa maji this came up in my mind today! “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.” Matthew 10:42 block quote end today Monday 19th March 2018 the year of our Lord we were having Dinner with friends at a Lion's club meeting. I introduced a discussion on the desperate shortage of clean water in so many parts of Kenya today. my thoughts are driven by the devastating unforgiving mother nature who has left more unconserved water and later Kenyans we shall be crying hunger. Globally, persons with disabilities make up 15 percent of the world’s population, 80 percent of whom lives in poverty. Nearly 36% of the global population lacks access to sanitation and 884 million people lack access to clean drinking water, which more often affects the poorest communities. Thus, approximately 177 million persons with disabilities are adversely affected and without access to clean water and sanitation come to think of it — world health organization and the UN estimates 25–37 million people die every year because of contaminated water. Next time you drink a glass of water or take a sip of bottled water, pray for the families who must drink water that could bring on disease and death. Pray for the mothers and children. What can we as people of the world do? Jesus said even one cup of water given to a little one would be rewarded. 1. PRAY. Each time you have a glass of water, pray for the success of the organizations that are attempting to drill wells to supply clean water. 2. RESEARCH. Become informed and inform others. Use your coffee time to recruit others to pray and give. 3. GIVE. Every dollar counts. Jesus talked about one cup of water. He talked about a widow giving a mite. giving is part of humanity and making a world a better place.am greatly inspired by the Achilles and Lion club members. A widow once brought a paltry little offering to the temple, but in Jesus’ economy, she out gave the wealthy, because she gave all she had. God continue opening my paths and I will continue impacting to lives. www.mugambipaul.com Question: What are some ways that you can encourage yourself to give more freely?
Thursday, 15 March 2018
Blind woman takes Commonwealth Bank to court over 'inaccessible' EFTPOS machines AKa Kenyan banks should learn:
By the Specialist Reporting Team's #Naomi Selvaratnam and consumer affairs reporter #Sarah Farnsworth Would you trust a stranger with your bank PIN? It's a question Nadia Mattiazzo is forced to ask herself daily. Key points: · Commonwealth Bank facing lawsuit alleging discrimination over touchscreen EFTPOS machines · Blind and vision-impaired people say terminals are virtually impossible for them to use because they don't have tactile keypad · Lawsuit follows 18 months of unsuccessful negotiations with the bank Ms Mattiazzo is blind and relies on her guide dog, Olympia, to navigate through parts of everyday life. But now, even a simple trip to the shops or a local cafe fills her with anxiety. Since the introduction of the Commonwealth Bank's "Albert" EFTPOS machine more than two years ago, Ms Mattiazzo said she felt vulnerable while paying for purchases. There are more than 88,000 Albert machines across Australia and they are entirely touchscreen. Blind and vision-impaired users say the terminals are virtually impossible for them to use because they don't have a tactile keypad. For Ms Mattiazzo, the machines demonstrate how some parts of society are still out-of-touch with people with special needs. "Today's world is becoming more accessible to people with disabilities — the technology is already there," she said. "I can hold down a job because my computer is accessible, I can withdraw cash from an ATM because my bank has keypads on their machines. But I can't buy a coffee." Ms Mattiazzo said, at times, she has been forced to give her PIN to cashiers to process a payment on her behalf. This breaches the terms and conditions of her contract with her bank, and leaves her feeling vulnerable. "In situations where you've ordered something and the item has been prepared, unless I'm prepared to walk out of the business and make a scene by doing that, what do I do?" she asked. Albert machines 'a bad design they need to fix' Ms Mattiazzo has joined forces with former Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes and has lodged a lawsuit against the Commonwealth Bank, alleging discrimination. In today's day and age … accessibility is so important and is being considered in so many areas," she said. "We have ramps into buildings, we have accessible technology, we have iPhones, which have an absolute accessibility feature built into them. It's really disappointing to know that there are things being developed that don't have that consideration." The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) is representing Nadia Mattaizzo in the case, which will be heard in the Federal Circuit Court. The group's CEO, Jonathan Hunyor, said the Albert machines prevented vision-impaired and blind users from conducting transactions safely. "Often technologies are introduced without the question being asked: can it be used by everyone in our community?" Mr Hunyor said. "Often accessibility is an afterthought. And that's the problem we're having here, where we say the Commonwealth Bank hasn't got the design right from the beginning, and that makes it a bad design that they need to fix." Vision-impaired users 'can listen to PIN instructions' The lawsuit follows 18 months of unsuccessful negotiations with the Commonwealth Bank over the machines after a complaint to the Human Rights Commission by advocacy group Blind Citizens Australia and PIAC. In a statement, a Commonwealth Bank spokesperson said it worked "collaboratively with both our technology partners, accessibility specialists and individuals with a range of vision loss to deliver the current accessibility". The spokesperson added the Albert machine contained an accessibility feature that enabled vision-impaired users to listen to instructions to enter their PIN. However, chief executive of Blind Citizens Australia, Emma Bennison, who is blind, said the feature was often unhelpful to vision-impaired users. "It's terribly anxiety provoking," she said. "I was in a coffee shop the other day, holding up the queue trying to enter my PIN and I found it incredibly distressing because the people behind me didn't know what I was doing, all they saw was me struggling to pay my bill. "They probably thought that I didn't have enough money, but in fact I was trying to listen to this tutorial just so I could enter my PIN. It's just ridiculous." Ms Bennison said many users were forced to give their PIN to friends or cashiers to complete a transaction after unsuccessfully trying to follow the accessibility tutorial. "Imagine what it would be like for a sighted person to take the numbers off a device and asking them to enter their PIN. That's what it's like for people who are blind or vision-impaired," she said. "I think it makes people firstly, very anxious when they're having to hold up a queue listening to a tutorial that tells them how to do something that last week they could do with a device with a keypad. "Now they have to listen to this tutorial, hold up a queue, and then in many cases find that they still can't enter their PIN." for this and much more be on the look www.mugambipaul.com
Wednesday, 14 March 2018
“I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.” Psalm 119:15 There are times when solitude is better than community, and silence is wiser than speech. We will be better Christians if we take more time to be “alone” with God, and gathering spiritual strength through meditation on His Word, so that we will be refreshed to work in His service. We should take time to ponder God’s word, because then we get real nourishment out of it. Truth is something like a cluster of grapes on the vine: if we want wine, we must work for it; we must press and squeeze it many times. The worker’s feet must come down joyfully upon the bunches, or else the juice will not flow. They must stomp the grapes well, or else much of the precious liquid will be wasted. So likewise we must, by meditation, work at God’s clusters of truth, if we really want to grow through God’s wisdom. Our bodies are not sustained just by putting food into our mouths. The process which supplies our muscle, nerves, and bones is the process of digestion. By digestion the outward food becomes absorbed into our bodies. Likewise, our souls don’t become well-nourished merely by listening to this and that, to part here and there of divine truth. Hearing, reading, and learning require inwardly digesting to be useful, and this digesting of the truth requires meditating upon it. We may wonder why some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make slow advances in their spiritual walk? It’s because they do not thoughtfully meditate on God’s Word. They love the wheat, but they do not grind it. They would eat the corn, but they will not go into the field to gather it. The fruit hangs upon the tree, but they will not pluck it. The water flows at their feet, but they will not stoop to drink it. It's very easy to live most of your life on autopilot, rarely using the power of your conscious mind to shape events as you wish them to be. You have the power to create a better quality of life, moment to moment, every single day. Harness the power of your conscious mind, your will, your intention, your expectation, and direct it toward outcomes that thrill you. CHOOSE to make today a great day. INTEND to see things that inspire and amaze you. EXPECT the universe to help you create more abundance, love, peace, well-being, and harmony in your life. Acknowledging and using your power keeps it strong. :-)
Saturday, 10 March 2018
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”. Hebrews 11:6 Faith is woven throughout the everyday fabric of my life, in the big and small circumstances, in the hard and perplexing uncertainties, and in the quiet moments when God is calling my name, drawing me near and asking me to follow wherever He leads. I will choose faith because this is what God desires. God wants us to have Faith. He wants us to Trust. He requires that we Wait. He wants us to Believe. He requires us to Wait patiently on Him. All of this works with our obedience in following God, and our obedience in following Him in what He has called us to do – which is His purpose in us. We will accomplish more through our faith than through anything else, such as works, abilities, talents, and degrees. Our faith is the outward demonstration of a heart that completely trusts God and believes He will do for us what we cannot do in our own strength. David could not kill Goliath in his own strength. That was God’s power in the slingshot and in the stone that hit Goliath. It was David’s faith and God’s power. Joshua and his army could not make the Jericho wall fall down with shouting and trumpets, but they demonstrated faith and obedience – and God in His power brought down the city wall. It takes faith to navigate our lives as each day comes with challenges that force us to choose to live by faith and trust in God, or the alternative, trust ourselves and the world around us. Some days rise up like giants before us. Do we believe that God will defeat the giants for us? It takes faith to believe He will and I want to make every effort to live out that kind of faith. I want to live a faith that pleases God. "If you act for self-gain then no good can come of it. If you act selflessly, then you act well for all and you must not be afraid." -- Rand Miller
Tuesday, 6 March 2018
why Persons with disabilities in Kenya risk being left out in county government plans AKA sababu za walemavu kubakia nyuma.
At the top of the new county governments’ ‘To Do’ list, as required by law, is strategic planning. The County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP), a provision of the County Governments Act, 2012, is, effectively, the devolved unit’s strategic plan. It ought to show well-defined goals and objectives, a costed implementation plan, framework for monitoring and evaluation, as well as clear reporting mechanisms. It is the CIDP, then, that informs the county’s annual budget. Unfortunately, there is a real danger that persons with disabilities needs will not be adequately factored in the CIDPs and subsequent annual budgets. Those who make public policy decisions in Kenya in the disability sector are afew and may lack relevant technical skills and even persons with disabilities in the public sector are not adequately involved in the processes thus demeaning “Nothing about us with us” The public service commission report 2014 showed that only less than 1 % are employees with disabilities yet its mandatory at list 5 % should be individuals with disabilities. ALIENATING GROUP We must do all we can to ensure that the needs of the persons with disabilities are adequately considered in the county plans. After all, they are the single-largest demographic majority hgroup in Kenya: 15 % of the Kenyan population are persons with disabilities according to world report 2011. To eliminate the possibility of alienating this potentially most productive group, decision makers and other stakeholders at the county level must take deliberate steps to ensure that the persons with disabilities are at the front and centre of development plans. Granted, persons with disabilities in Kenya face many challenges, some of which are, however, not within the mandate of counties. The National Persons with disabilities Policy (2006) plus the national disability action plan 2015 which is under review, identifies two struggles the persons with disabilities face that counties can resolve: Health challenges and limited access to economic opportunities. CIDPs ought to address these. The best way to ensure this is to have persons with disabilities on board. A good starting point would be to deliberately include disability -friendly information formats and channels in information campaigns targeting to educate communities about participation in the county development planning. Access t information is a right and government needs to invest in accessible formats like braille, audio formats etc Any county government interested in reaching to persons with disabilities need to ensure all the time accessible formats are availed. As we head into the second round of devolution in Kenya, county governments and other stakeholders must meaningfully engage the persons with disabilities for programmes and decision making to address their needs by ensuring that they participate in planning.
Saturday, 3 March 2018
Inclusion of People with Disabilities in Kenya 1 Kenyan National Bureau of Statistics, http://www.cbs.go.ke/, accessed on 28 February 2018. Women and men with disabilities can and want to be productive members of society. In both developed and developing countries, promoting more inclusive societies and employment opportunities for people with disabilities requires improved access to basic education, vocational training relevant to labour market needs and jobs suited to their skills, interests and abilities, with adaptations as needed. Many societies are also recognizing the need to dismantle other barriers - making the physical environment more accessible, providing information in a variety of formats, and challenging attitudes and mistaken assumptions about people with disabilities. There is no recent data on the situation of people with disabilities in Kenya. Some numbers are available, although these do not give an accurate picture of the number of disabled people living in the country. Applying the WHO recommended 15 per cent to today’s Kenyan population of approximately 41 million1 would indicate that there may be some 6 million disabled people. Many disabled people in Kenya, as in most developing countries in the world, live in poverty, have limited opportunities for accessing education, health, suitable housing and employment opportunities. The Government of Kenya has adopted a number of laws and policies pertaining to people with disabilities, including their right to productive and decent work and basic services. They include: 2010 Constitution of Kenya, which was promulgated in 27th August explicitly prohibits discrimination on the grounds of health status and disability. 2 3 • The Persons with Disabilities Act, 2003, is a comprehensive law covering rights, rehabilitation and equal opportunities for people with disabilities. It created the National Council of Persons with Disabilities as a statutory organ to oversee the welfare of persons with disabilities. The Law also requires that both public and private sector employers reserve 5 per cent of jobs for disabled persons. It needs a whole repeal to reflect and be in line with the new constitution and the UNCRPD. • The National Security Act, (Chapter 258, Laws of Kenya), mentions invalidity benefits for worker incapacitated before the established retirement age. • National Social Security Fund Act, 1965 (No. 5 of 1997), amended 2001, contains a provision which states that physical and mental disabilities shall not be considered as leading to work incapacity. • The Workmen’s Compensation Act, (Chapter 236, Laws of Kenya), recognizes disability but only where it has been acquired during and in the course of work. • 2014 basic education act , crucial to the attainment of universal primary education, removes all levies that previously prevented children especially those from poor economic backgrounds from accessing education. The scheme has been extended to special education and schools for children with disabilities, through the provision of additional funding to meet the needs of children with disabilities in schools. • National Development Plan (2002- 2008), focused on strengthening vocational rehabilitation centres for people with mental and physical disabilities and affirmative action in areas of employment, vocational training and education. • Vision 2030, provides a long-term development framework and initiatives aimed at sustaining rapid economic growth and tackling poverty. The plan follows soon after the implementation of the Economic Recovery Strategy (ERS), 2003-2007. Under Vision 2030, Kenya hopes to become a globally competitive and prosperous nation with a high quality of life by 2030. Other legislation to promote opportunities for people with disabilities has been drafted. These include: --The labor act 2007 which aims to combat discrimination faced by various groups, including people with disabilities. The act also prohibits employers from paying employees differently for work of equal value. -- The Draft National Disability Policy, which operationalizes the Persons with Disabilities Act 2003 by providing guidelines for the implementation of the Act. --The 2014 Special Needs Education Policy, which provides a roadmap for the education of children with disabilities. --The Social Protection Policy. About 46 per cent of all Kenyans live below the poverty line while 19 per cent live in extreme poverty. This draft policy aims at cushioning the most vulnerable citizens against the ravages of poverty. The policy also identifies orphans and vulnerable children, persons with disabilities and older persons as the priority targets for social protection. Key ministries and agencies responsible for disability issues The Ministry of labor social security and children services is the focal point for disability issues in Kenya. Among its many services, the Ministry is responsible for 12 rural rehabilitation centres throughout the country and Nairobi’s Industrial Rehabilitation Centre, which trains persons with disabilities for jobs. The National Rehabilitation Committee of the Department of Social Services also provides for vocational rehabilitation services. It is decentralized into 49 District Rehabilitation Centres. Activities undertaken by the centres are part of the National Rehabilitation Programme, which was established to provide persons with disabilities with the opportunity to acquire employable skills. The National Council for Persons with Disabilities, the official arm of the government on disability issues, is under the Ministry of labor social security and children services. Education The Ministry of Education supports placement of children with disabilities mainstream schools. Other significant bodies: --The Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE), a government institution established in 1986, with the aim of meeting the educational needs of disabled children, youth and adults. --The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, established through an Act of parliament, monitors abuse of human rights in Kenya. Key international standards on disability and their status • International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation, 1958, (No. 111). Status: ratified, May 2001. • ILO Convention Concerning Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons), 1983, (No. 159). Status: ratified, 27 March 1990. • United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006) and Optional Protocol. Status: ratified on 19 May 2008. Kenya works to implement the Action Plan established for the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities, extended to December 2019. Currently there is an action plan 2015 on accessibility and establishment of UNCRPD monitoring group in Kenya. 4 The role of the ILO The primary goal of the ILO today is to promote opportunities for everyone, including people with disabilities, to obtain decent and productive work, based on the principles of freedom, equity, security and human dignity. The ILO works to achieve its goals of decent work for all through promoting labour standards, advocacy, knowledge building and technical cooperation services and partnerships, both within the ILO and externally. The Kenya Decent Work Country programme establishes the framework for delivery of ILO action. In Kenya, a current ILO technical cooperation project on disability is “Promoting Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities through a Disability Inclusion Support Service” (INCLUDE). The project built capacity at regional and national levels to effectively support the full participation of women entrepreneurs with disabilities in entrepreneurship development activities conducted under the ILO’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Development and Gender Equality (WEDGE) programme. INCLUDE also involves advocacy and awareness-raising activities to promote decent work for persons with disabilities. This ended in 2005 The way forward Productive and decent work enables people with disabilities to realize their aspirations, improve their living conditions and participate more actively in society. Ensuring a disability perspective in all aspects of policy and labour legislation, effective implementation and enforcement of existing disability laws and policies and providing for equal employment opportunities and training are among the factors that contribute to the reduction of poverty and to the social and economic inclusion of people with disabilities in Kenya. Skills and Employability www.mugambipaul.com
Thursday, 1 March 2018
On 30th of Jan, a woman (her alias name is Yoko Sato) in her 60s with intellectual difficulties brought her case to court to ask for an apology and compensation because she was sterilised forcibly by the govenment when she was 15. This is the first lawsuit in Japan for the forced sterilisation without consent. I believe it is a big step forward. For more than twenty years, some survivors including Junko IIzuka (alias name) who brought her human rights case to the Japan Federetion of Bar of Associations in 2015) , have asked for an apology and compensation. However, the records seem to have been destroyed and not found in hospital nor in the local governments. It was too difficult for survivors to move to the lawsuit without such records. The Japanese government has been inactive in finding,keeping and disclosing the records of sterilisation. Last year,a woman in her 60s (Yoko Sato) and her family (Michiko Sato) contacted Mr. Niisato, a lawyer who supported Ms. IIzuka to bring human rights case to the Japan Federation of Bar Associations. Fortunately, some records were kept in Miyagi prefectual government which proved Ms. Sato was sterilised under the Eugenic Law. It is the first case in which records of survivors who spoke up were discovered. In these kinds of lawsuits, the documents for evidence were owned and kept by governments, which made it difficult for survivors to sue. The Japanese government has been ignoring the matter even though UN Human Rights Comittees have already issued recommendations for compensation several times since 1998. After Ms.Sato brought her case to court, the media such as newspapers and internet news began to broadcast about forced sterlisation under the Eugenic Law. Some documents discovered by journalists show an active role by the Ministry of Health in implementation of the Eugenic Law. The government's attitude is slightly changing now. Some in the government think they cannot ignore the matter any longer. It is good but at the same time, I am very afraid of how the compensation framework will be made. I think involvement of survivors is critical when the compensation framework is made because the process of involvement is effective for recovery of survivors.But it is not certain. To what extent must victims be covered? Inmates of the institutions for Hansen disease were asked to sign the consent of sterilisation when they got married. They agreed but they had no options. The most important thing is we have to change the system so as not to happen again. To do so, it is necessary to investigate deeply why and how the matter happened. I would like to know how the compensation programmes are done in other countries which compensation programme has been made already and what is the best way. If there is anyone who has good knowledge about the compensation practice for survivors, please let me know. Naoko Kawaguchi The followings are news articles on the matter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Va49ZEzneV Japan TImes https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/01/30/national/crime-legal/woman-sues-government-japan-forced-sterilization-scrapped-eugenics-law/#.WnJyzojFKUk BBC http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-42877227 BioEdge https://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/first-compensation-claim-for-compulsory-sterilisation-in-japan/12578 Followings are related Articles ■Documents on sterilizations of people with disabilities found in Kanagawa YOKOHAMA -- Official documents recording the reasons and other backgrounds for a… (2017/11/18) https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20171118/p2a/00m/0na/020000c ■Kobe hospital under fire for publication submission lauding past forced sterilizations KOBE -- Hyogo Prefectural Kobe Children's Hospital is under fire from over 45 or… (2017/11/1) https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20171101/p2a/00m/0na/018000c ■Official docs support disabled woman's claim about 1972 forced sterilization SENDAI -- A woman with an intellectual disability is thought to have undergone f… (2017/7/27) https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170727/p2a/00m/0na/016000c ■Lawyer group seeks gov't apology, redress for victims of former sterilization law The Japan Federation of Bar Associations disclosed a written statement on Feb. 2… (2017/2/23) https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170223/p2a/00m/0na/009000c ■UN committee urges Japanese gov't to compensate forcibly sterilized disabled women The United Nations' Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women… (2016/3/14) https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160314/p2a/00m/0na/017000c ■Disabled Japanese women headed to Geneva to testify on mistreatment before U.N. Committee Kumiko Fujiwara of Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, is one among many Japanese women with… (2016/2/5) https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160205/p2a/00m/0na/015000c