Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Busoga are calling on the government to reduce taxes on electronic devices, such as computers and smartphones, to enhance their participation in the digital realm. The leaders of PWDs stressed this concern during a media briefing at Jinja City Hall, emphasizing the need for effective digital access to raise awareness and market products.
The plea comes in anticipation of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 12, 2023, with the theme “The Role of Innovation in Disability Inclusion.” Ms. Elizabeth Kaynga, Executive Director of Integrated Disabled Women Activities (IDIWA), highlighted that disability inclusion in the digital environment is crucial for upholding human rights, sustainable development, and peace and security.
Ms. Kaynga explained that innovations often overlook the needs of PWDs, leading to limitations in access to information, opportunities, education, and financial resources. She stressed that improved access to Information, Communication, and Technology (ICT) would empower PWDs to develop innovative solutions, fight social exclusion, discrimination, and poverty, and mobilize for awareness campaigns on disability rights.
Annah Apalo, Chairperson of Busoga Gender-Based Violence Rights Network, pointed out the prevalent discrimination faced by PWDs in communities, limiting their abilities and capabilities. She encouraged active participation in the upcoming celebration at Busoga Square, where various PWD groups will showcase talents and demonstrations.
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities, observed annually on December 3, aims to shed light on the challenges faced by people with disabilities and promote their rights and well-being within society. With approximately 15% of the world’s population considered to have some form of disability, the day underscores the importance of inclusivity and equal opportunities.
This year’s national commemoration took place in Mbarara district, recognizing the significance of inclusivity and equal opportunities for PWDs. Ms. Kayanga emphasized the day’s importance in assessing the government’s contributions and challenges in providing services to disabled individuals, stating, “We can work towards breaking down barriers, challenging stereotypes, and promoting a more inclusive society where everyone can participate fully and equally.”