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Government cites digital inclusion as enabler for PWDs to access jobs

Philip Thigo, the Special Envoy on Technology in the Executive Office of the President

Philip Thigo, the Special Envoy on Technology in the Executive Office of the President, has highlighted digital inclusion as an enabler for people with disabilities to access jobs and enterprise opportunities being presented by technology.

Speaking during the Inclusive Africa Conference 2024 that is being held in Nairobi, Thigo noted that currently over 96pc of websites do not have digital accessibility, which locks out Ksh.8 trillion of global business value that would accrue to digital accessibility.

Channel 1

Justice Dr. K.I. Laibuta, Judge of the Court of Appeal and Chair of the Board of Directors, inABLE, said that as a society, we need to invest in higher education for the youth living with disabilities as well as mobilise resources to address challenges inhibiting digital inclusion for people living with disabilities.

Justice Dr. K.I. Laibuta, Judge of the Court of Appeal and Chair of the Board of Directors, inABLE

On her part, Irene Kirika, the Executive Director of inABLE,  noted that 15pc of the African 1.4 billion population, which is identified as people living with disabilities is at risk of being left behind, stressing the need to invest in youth with disabilities to unlock the future of inclusion.

“We aspire to a future where disability inclusion will be seamless. Where digital accessibility will be part of the basic service delivery without the need for special considerations. She added.

Irene Kirika Executive Director inABLE

While calling for equal opportunities for all, Kirika stressed that people with disabilities are not looking for pity but a fair chance. “People with disabilities are looking for equal opportunities and a fair chance to independently participate in everyday life, including access to education and employment opportunities.”

Nominated Senator Crystal Asige said there was a need for more disability inclusion champions, including political leaders, to influence policy and decisions.

She called on the media to change the narrative of how they report disability stories to offer opportunities for differently abled people, as she pointed out the steps she has taken in advocating for persons living with disabilities at the National Senate.

Nominated Senator Crystal Asige

“We are one step forward in terms of inclusion, as I have been able to embed and anchor the ICT KEBS standards that launched in 2022 in my role as a Senator,” Asige added.

The Inclusive Africa Conference will further showcase over 20 digital accessibility and assistive technology innovations, some of which are in the final stages of approval for the European Union market.

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