Institutions ill prepared for learners with special needs

Ms. Cherono (left) with Prof. Imbuga (centre) and Dr. Mangira shortly after the opening of the workshop

Many institutions of higher learning in Kenya are not responsive to the needs of learners living with disabilities. The Director of Special Needs Education, Maria Cherono added that such learners who also face stigma from the general society often find it hard to transition into universities and colleges due to lack of requisite learning infrastructure.

The Director said Kenya had made a number of commitments to integrate learners with special needs at all levels; and urged stakeholders to make necessary adjustments for the learners.

“Inclusion is a global agenda and must be a matter of priority for all our institutions. Critical facilities like libraries are still located in upper floors in some universities, without proper access structures,” Cherono challenged.

Cherono spoke on Tuesday March 27, 2018 at the JKUAT Nairobi CBD Campus where she gave a keynote address to a workshop on collaborative learning and disability inclusion.

The workshop that was organized by the Special Needs Committee of the Kenya Library and Information Services Consortium (KLISC) aimed to sensitize Kenyan librarians and researchers on key issues concerning provision of library services to persons living with disabilities.

Prof. Kavulya makes his remarks during the opening session of the forum

Vice Chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga said JKUAT was constantly working to improve the wellbeing of special needs learners including access to physical and electronic resources.

The University, she added, placed emphasis on each learner and urged the participants to implement the ideas shared during the workshop.

KLISC Chairman, Prof. Kavulya said the Consortium was established in 2004 with the objective to promote access to scientific information for teaching, research and policy making in Kenya.

JKUAT Librarian, Dr. Roselyne Mangira, who chairs the SNC said the event was supported by International Network for Availability of Scientific Publications. The three-day event comes to a close on Thursday March 29, 2018.