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Government commended for crafting disability-friendly policies

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Story by Wellington Makonese

Government has been commended for establishing a framework that ensures the inclusion of persons with disabilities.

Zimbabwe became the first country to enact a disability-inclusive Act in 1992 and followed up through infrastructure development in schools and establishing a quota for the constituency in spheres of politics.

These have been welcomed as a success of the inclusive development policies by the government which is geared towards realising a balanced society at a time Deaf Zimbabwe Trust is commemorating its 10th anniversary.

“After advocating for the finalisation and operationalisation of the inclusive education policy, to date we have 16 Schools in Mabvuku, Tafara and Epworth that have developed disability inclusion plans. In terms of empowerment, 1 203 youths have benefited in areas of access to finance, skills development and employment creation opportunities,” noted Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s Commissioner Kudzai Shava.

The inclusion of sign language in the education syllabi has eased communication challenges.

“We are grateful that years of work have placed us on the map to be self-sufficient which should be the final hurdle,” a beneficiary said.

Another said, “We hope that the finalisation of sign language syllabi will increase the operationalisation of sign language in Zimbabwe.”

A parent said, “I’m grateful to be a parent of one of the students who is to be the first deaf student doing journalism; it’s a milestone.”

In 2021, President Emmerson Mnangagwa launched the National Disability Policy to show the government’s commitment to fulfilling, promoting, protecting and respecting the rights of persons with disabilities.