Staff of Advance Afrika Trained on Disability Inclusion
In September 2018, Light for the World trained Advance Afrika staff on disability inclusion in Kampala, Uganda. The training focused on how to become a more inclusive organization, understanding the ACAP framework (Access, Communication, Attitude and Participation) and how this framework can be applied to projects and programmes. This enlightened the staff on how to relate with persons with disability in the work environment.
Ali Muzamil is a Project Assistant of Advance Afrika based in the West Nile sub region and is visually impaired. Alli is 28 years old, he was born blind and he is single. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Makerere University in 2017. Ali joined Advance Afrika in 2015 as a volunteer. Since 2017, he has actively supported the successful implementation of the “Socio Economic Empowerment of Female Inmates in West Nile” and “Empowering Local Communities to prevent violence against Women and Children in West Nile”. Ali is a good debater with excellent mobilization skills and relates well with the communities in Arua and Koboko districts.
From the training, staff learnt to address people with disabilities by their names and not their disabilities. The team treats Ali with dignity and respect. A staff member explains:
“Before the training on disability inclusion, we were not conscious on how to communicate with Ali and what he expected. For example, many times it was assumed that Ali could not do anything on his own without any support, for instance if he needed to move to the next room”.
Since the training, staff is more aware on how to work and engage with Ali. If one is presenting a picture or an illustration, it is described. When one is talking to Ali and chooses to leave the room, they let him know rather than simply moving out. Ali is involved in capacity training, staff meetings, project design and implementation. His views and contributions are acknowledged and considered. He is able to access different office rooms and some facilities at the different work spaces on his own and with minimal support.
The staff is now more inclusive of persons with disability in Civic Engagement Alliance program interventions. This has improved the perceptions and attitudes of staff, as they are now more inclusive of persons from marginalized groups, especially persons with disability. To Ali, this training boosted his confidence and he continues to show gratitude to the organization for recognizing his needs and appreciate his efforts of the work done in communities.
In conclusion, staff have learnt to appreciate the differences amongst themselves and collectively work together with Ali to achieve his dreams and the objectives of the organization.