Gender ministry warns against faking disability
“If you are a PWD, and you cannot prove that you have the disability, you will not get this money. ” ...
The Ministry of Gender, Labour, and social development has warned able-bodied people to desist from faking disabilities in order to access government grants.
“So far, we have come across five people in a particular group of People with Disabilities, (PWDs) faking to have invisible disabilities such as hearing impairment” the senior gerontologist in the Gender ministry, Lydia Kiwumulo said.
Kiwumulo disclosed that when they went to Kisoro to monitor the grant, they realized that one of the groups of PWDs had a person who was pretending to be deaf. During interactions, when she mentioned that some members don’t seem to have a disability, the person pretending to have a hearing impairment responded immediately saying they all had disabilities.
To enable genuine PWDs access the grant, Kiwumulo emphasised that, “if you are a PWD, and you cannot prove that you have the disability, you will not get this money. Also, if one of the members in the PWD group does not have a disability, the whole group will not access the money.”
She made the remarks during the annual disability forum organized by the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda, (NUDIPU) at Hotel Africana in Kampala.
Ambrose Murangira (left), Disability inclusion specialist interacts with Sarah Bugoosi (centre), Education ministry Commissioner of Special Needs Education as Barry Oluoch (right), sign language interpreter. Photo by Juliet Kasirye
The Annual Disability Forum (ADF) aimed to provide an opportunity for decision-makers to engage in discussions with PWDs and Organizations of Persons with Disabilities on key challenges affecting Persons with invisible and marginalized disabilities.
In addition, the forum also aimed to generate a practical way forward in response to the issues in regard to the protection and promotion of the rights of Persons with invisible and marginalized Disabilities in the post COVID-19 era.
The forum, organized under the theme, not all disabilities are visible: “A call for stronger action during the post-Covid era” sought to focus on disabilities that are complex in nature and are further coupled with stigma and discrimination attached to disability.
The Commissioner of Special Needs Education in the Education ministry, Sarah Bugoosi, acknowledged that it is not only PWDs with invisible disabilities who were affected by Covid-19 but learners with disabilities have also been affected more.
“Though Government provided other forms of learning such as using the televisions and radios, not all PWDs have benefited from the radio lessons especially those with hearing and visual impairment,” Bugoosi stated.
The chairperson of NUDIPU, Mpindi Bumali, said many of the persons with invisible disabilities are denied access to opportunities such as employment, education, and social interaction due to their unseen disabilities and severe vulnerability.
“We call for action by government, civil society and public to pay attention to the most marginalized disability categories by designing programmes that will empower them to effectively participate in the development processes,” Bumali said.