AAU Observes International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Addis Ababa University (AAU) Special Needs Support Center (SNSC) celebrated the 29th nationally and the 30th worldwide annual commemoration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities at College of Natural and Computational Science on the 30th of December 2021.

The day was observed with a theme of ‘Leadership and Participation of Persons with Disabilities toward an Inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable Post-COVID-19 World’, highlighting the challenges, barriers and opportunities that people with disabilities have been facing during the pandemic.

Yirgashewa Bekele (PhD), Director for SNSC, in her welcoming remarks appreciated AAU’s commitment to improve inclusiveness at every step as a manifestation of justice, equality and modernity.

Alemayehu Teklemariam (PhD), from Department of Special Needs Education, presented the concept of inclusiveness, experiences and challenges of higher education institutions towards achieving it.

According to Dr. Alemayehu, the concept of disability is not only an impairment of visual, hearing, physical or mental health but also an activity limitation and participation restriction as a result of community or government lack of commitment to accommodate people with disabilities in different aspects.

Though there are several problems in most higher learning institutions related to disabilities, AAU has been doing its best and gone through a great stride to address the obstacles by establishing SNSC 15 years ago, Dr. Alemayehu stated.

According to Dr. Alemayehu, irrespective of the challenges in the higher learning, inclusive education is enabling students’ full participation in meaningful interaction, involvement, giving valued recognition for their potentials by removing of the barriers, encouraging their presence with equality as well as equity and support for the achievement of all learners including disabilities.

The annual observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities was proclaimed in 1992 by United Nations General Assembly and the day is observed on the 3rd of December every year to promote the rights of people with disabilities and to raise awareness around their well-being.

In liaison with observing the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Special Needs Support Centre (SNSC) of AAU, awarded certificates to 48 University admin staff members who have been trained in basic sign language usage.

Reporter: Tsion Aysheshim

Photo: Andualem Aseffa

Editor: Abraham Girmay