East Africa Center for Disability Law and Policy (EA-CDLP) is spearheading a survey intended to establish baselines on the employment situation of persons with disabilities in the public sector in Uganda. Together with National Council for Disability (NCD) and Disability Employment Rights Initiative (DERI), a data collection tool has been developed, and is currently being piloted. This survey will among other objectives, seek to: measure the extent to which responsible government institutions have utilized their mandate to protect and promote employment rights of persons with disabilities; determine levels of inclusion in recruitment and employment practices by government institutions; and, explore opportunities for inter-agency collaboration to promote employment of persons with disabilities.

The three institutions are seeking to make a case for the enforcement of the implementation of Section 13 of the 2006 Persons with Disabilities Act. The Section requires the Minister responsible for labour to determine a quota of persons with disabilities to be employed in the public sector. It is however, worthy to note that this part of the law has never been effected since 2006. This is coupled with the failure to effectively implement quotas in the private sector created by Section 17 of the same legislation.

This survey is partially premised on lessons learned by EA-CDLP’s Hassan Waddimba, while attending the Professional Fellows Program on Inclusive Disability Employment (PFP-IDE) at the University of Oklahoma in spring, this year. The PFP-IDE is an elite, highly selective international exchange program that trains emerging leaders from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda on how to advance equitable economic development by planning inclusive employment projects for their home countries. Fellows in this program learned about approaches that inform their efforts to strengthen access to employment for persons with disabilities. The PFP-IDE is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It is implemented by the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, the Institute for Community Inclusion-UMass Boston, and Humanity & Inclusion.

The early processes of this work are to benefit from the vast experience of Dr. Megan Peters, the Training Director for the Oklahoma Interdisciplinary Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (LEND) program; and the Director of Training and Education for the Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics section of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC). Dr. Peters mentored Hassan during the PFP-IDE.

Overall, this work is expected to initiate and promote mechanisms for regular collection, management and dissemination of data and information on the employment situation of persons with disabilities in the country.