PROJECT CITIZEN PARTICIPATION FOR ALL IS LAUNCHED
On July 7, 2016 National Council Personals with Disabilities in collaboration with Federation Handicap International Rwanda launched the project called “Citizen Participation for All. The objectives of the project are to identify the barriers faced by Persons with Disabilities and vulnerable people, support actions for removing obstacles that may exclude PWDs from participating in elections and being elected due to their disability and to establish election systems that are fully accessible to Persons with Disabilities.
During the project launch a presentation on the accessibility assessment for Persons with Disabilities and vulnerable people in connection with the February and March, 2016 local leaders’ elections in Nyamasheke and Gasabo districts was made. This showed the barriers facing Persons with Disabilities including: lack of data to identify Persons with Disabilities to ensure so there wouldn’t be any discrimination of PWDs.The proposal if is for the National Electoral Commission identify PwDs from the Voters’ Register. Thus, they can prepare tools and equipment to assist PwDs during elections, based on the number of PwDs registered. For persons with hearing and visual impairment, they do not have any communication aids at any election sites. , In order to resolve issues of this nature,he project suggests: Information resources of the National Electoral Commission should be adapted to the needs of people with hearing and visual impairment, information should be provided in braille, devices for magnifying text and methods enabling the information to be heard in audio format. Persons with visual impairment always need to be guided through the electoral process but they prefer someone of their choice and not necessarily under the age of 14..
During the assessment of Persons with Disabilities and vulnerable people at the February and March 2016 local leaders’ elections in Nyamasheke and Gasabo districts, there were no assistive materials for Persons with severe Disability and elderly people. In Nyamasheke District, the big challenge for elders and Persons with physical Disabilities was to reach the election centers because of high mountains and hills in the District. Availability of materials and equipment including benches and wheel chairs to alleviate tiredness of vulnerable people in general was also poor.
The Executive Secretary of NCPD NDAYISABA Emmanuel said that the project is very valuable because when barriers are removed the participation of Persons with Disability and vulnerable people in political and public life will be improved.