The research which will include household surveys and analysis of existing policies and laws in regard to the rights of disabled people
Makerere University and the University College of London have won a grant worth £150,000 (Sh663m) from a UK charity for a study on the barriers to aspirations of disabled people to harness their potential and live good lives.
The study which is being undertaken by Makerere University's school of social sciences, National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU) with support from the University College of London officials will be concluded in 2018.
The research which will include household surveys and analysis of existing policies and laws in regard to the rights of disabled people seeks to establish the impediments to ambitions of disabled people to attain education, social protection, employment and health services.
Dr. Julius Omona, a senior lecturer at Makerere University's school of social sciences, said a myriad of gaps have already been identified in the policies and laws during the preliminary stage of the study funded by UK's Leonard Cheshire Disability. Makerere and the University College of London submitted a joint proposal for the study.
People with disabilities, he explained, are not treated as special categories of persons under the existing laws and policies yet disabled individuals cannot compete favourably with the non-disabled ones in several aspects.
Omona told New Vision on Saturday that similar studies that are also funded by the same charity are being undertaken in Namibia, Kenya and Sierra Leone. The study will build on previous similar studies.
Omona, a lead researcher, cited some of the laws and policies that have so far been reviewed as the Education Act 2008, Business, Technical, Vocational Education and Training (BTVET) strategic plan 2011-2020, Special Needs education policy, national employment policy 2011, Employment Act 2006 and Labour Unions Act 2006.
Others are national social protection policy 2016, national youth policy 2011, national policy for older persons 2009, national HIV prevention strategy and the second national health policy 2010.
"While the disabled people are mentioned in some polices, there is no mention of them in others. We want to study and identity the gaps in our policy and legal framework in regard to people with disabilities and make necessary recommendations," Omona said.
The executive director of NUDIPU, Edson Ngirabakunzi, said the survey findings will inform their advocacy work and influence policy change.
The researchers are expected to interview disabled people in August for the study and carry out a household survey that will involve about 1,200 families with and without disabled members in 2017.
"This is a very good research study because it touches social protection which is one of our major concerns. We will be able to tell if disabled people are being left out in these safety nets and propose recommendations," Ngirabakunzi added.