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A Study On Opportunities and Services for

Persons with Disabilities in Addis Ababa

ENDAN/CCM
2010
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations 4

1. Introduction 5

2. Background 7

3. Available Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities 16

3.1 State Measures  16

3.2 Trends in International Cooperation and Development  23

4. Available Services for Persons with Disabilities 25

5. Level of Utilization of Available Opportunities and Services 27

6. Challenges of PwDs in Using Available Opportunities and Services 29

7. Strategies to Expand Opportunities and Services 30

8. Strategies for Disseminating Information Regarding Available


Opportunities and Services 31

9. Conclusion and Implications 33

Conclusions 33

Implications for Project Implementation 34

Annexes 35

Annex A: List of Documents Reviewed 35

Annex B: List of Institutions and Persons Contacted  37


List of Tables
Table  1. Disability by Type and Percentage 12

Table  2. Disability Prevalence by Disability Type 13


List of Abbreviations

AAU Addis Ababa University

CBR Community-Based Rehabilitation

CCM Comitato Collaborazione Medica

CwDs Children with Disabilities

DPO Organizations of Persons with Disabilities /disabled person organization/

EC Ethiopian Calendar

ENDAN Ethiopian National Disability Action Network

ICF International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health

ILO International Labour Organization

MoLSA Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

NGO Non-governmental Organization

PwDs Persons with Disabilities

ToR Terms of Reference

TVET Technical and Vocational Education and Training

WHO World Health Organization

WwDs Women with Disabilities


1. Introduction

The need to make special provision for those members of the community who live through the
effects of disabilities has long been recognized in Ethiopia and beyond. Creation of special facilities
for the education, training and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities is regarded as being of
central importance in terms of improving the rights of a significant minority of the country’s
population.

Recent years have witnessed adoption of laws, policies, strategies, programs as well as issuance of
directives and circulars by the Federal government of Ethiopia, and to some extent by the Addis
Ababa City Administration, producing a range of opportunities and facilities for this segment of
the society.

The provision of a comprehensive range of facilities, services and opportunities for persons with
disabilities through education, vocational training, employment and support during adult life cannot
be a matter left for the government alone. Particularly, the provision and growth of services of
real quality requires the active co-operation of a large number of non-state actors at federal,
regional state, city and community levels, along with the involvement of families, professionals and
communities at large.

Indeed, for most persons with disabilities in Ethiopia, support and assistance comes mainly from
families and friends. However, the Federal government and the city administration provide a range
of services both directly and indirectly to support their inclusion. Civil society organizations
and the private sector also provide different preventive and rehabilitative services. Apart from
disability specific services, the government and civil society organizations attempt to mainstream
the needs of persons with disabilities (PwDs) in their plans, program and project interventions.

The services and opportunities made available are essential to enabling persons with disabilities
to live independently as respected and equal members of society. As it is elsewhere in other
parts of the developing world, however, available opportunities and services for PwDs in Ethiopia
are limited. It goes without saying that enabling all PwDs in the country fully participate in
social, economic, cultural and political lives cannot be done overnight. Full realization of such
task requires enormous resource including trained human power which the state and non-state
actors alone cannot afford at present. Progressively, however, state and non-state development
actors are creating conducive environment for PwDs especially in Addis Ababa where the bulk
of opportunities and services are concentrated. Nevertheless, PwDs in Addis Ababa are not fully
utilizing support services and opportunities made available for their benefit due to, inter alia, lack
of information. Experience of other countries suggests that service providers [for PwDs] often
concentrate on establishing and developing services, but give less thought to how persons with
disabilities find out about and access them.

Although there are researches conducted on various disability issues at the city and/or country
level, there remains a demonstrated gap in terms of effectively responding to the pressing need of
availing such information to PwDs. Most of the research works undertaken so far are theoretical
and not action oriented. The remaining available action-oriented studies also fail to fill the gap as
they are carried out with other objectives than of specifically providing complete and practical
information to PwDs on available services and facilities.

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Systematic collection, organization and dissemination of comprehensive and practical information
on available opportunities and services is thus hugely important at least for two reasons. First, it
is a crucial step in terms of creating a situation where PwDs can have effective access to available
resources, and ultimately facilitating their enablement towards an independent living. Second, it
helps stakeholders, particularly ENDAN members, better plan their interventions, coordinate
their efforts and avoid possible duplication as well as overlap of efforts.

In view of this, ENDAN and CCM commissioned this assessment to document available
opportunities and services in the Addis Ababa City Administration. The assessment is an
initial step towards creating and maintaining a comprehensive database of non-governmental,
governmental and private institutions engaged in providing services for PwDs in Addis Ababa,
as well as of government policies, programs, laws, strategies, directives and circulars, which all
together create opportunities for PwDs in the city. Although the present study is limited in scope
to Addis Ababa, the results have broader implications. Specifically, discussion about opportunities
primarily concerns opportunities created by the federal government, and hence has country wide
relevance. In addition, major issues addressed by the study with respect to, for instance, challenges
faced by PwDs are widely applicable to PwDs irrespective of their place of residence.

The general objective of this research is to produce a catalogue which contains opportunities and
the services PwDs have in Addis. The specific objectives of the research are:
• To explore and produce a catalogue of the opportunities and services that PwDs have in
Addis
• To share information with organizations which the consultant/researcher will contact
• To develop possible strategy/mechanisms of disseminating information regarding the
opportunities and service available in the future
• To briefly describe challenges that PwDs face on getting opportunities and services
available to them

To achieve the objectives, both qualitative and quantitative information was collected from primary
and secondary sources through various methods including the following:
• Review of regulatory documents, policies, strategies, programs and reports of earlier
studies (see Annex A for the list of documents consulted).
• Key informant interviews with management and technical staff of relevant institutions and
interviews with PwDs in groups (list attached as Annex B) using checklist of questions
prepared for each group of stakeholder.

Results of the study are presented in two volumes. This document provides some background
information on the sate of disability issues and discusses existing opportunities and services
available for PwDs in the city. It also presents the challenges commonly faced by PwDs and
suggests mechanisms to disseminate the information to various target groups. The other volume,
which is presented separately, provides the basic information on institutions rendering services
to PwDs.

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2. Background

To put the research in context, background information on the subject of disability in general, and in
Ethiopia in particular, is given in this section. The section presents general information on opportunities
and services availed for persons with disabilities; the situation of persons with disabilities in the country
and as well as the country’s policy, regulatory and institutional frameworks pertinent to disability issues. As
a prelude to this, the concept of ‘disability’ is briefly discussed to establish common understanding.

Conceptual framework

Since disability is a relative concept, it’s no wonder that it is differently understood according to cultures,
attitudes and prevailing social norms. Notwithstanding the concept’s relative nature, the need to have a
framework for understanding and analyzing disability was felt decades ago and efforts made towards this
have produced different frameworks or models. Identified models of disability are: the medical model, the
charity model, the social model and the bio-psychosocial model.

Of these models, the medical and social models have long been debated and impacted on the evolution of
the concept of disability. Different eras in world disability movement witness prominence of one model
over the other.

The medical model is a traditionally held view according to which disability is an individual person’s
medical condition in need of cure, rehabilitation and adaptation to society. In this model, focus is placed
on limitations to do daily activities within the home, such as ability to walk or ability to dress oneself; as
such enabling persons with disabilities do the stated activities is equated with making them reach their
maximum potential.

On the other hand, the charity model of disability views persons with disabilities as helpless who need to
be cared. Since this model presumes persons with disabilities as dependent beings, it emphasizes on doing
things for them rather than making sure that they have the resources to do it for themselves.

In contrast to the medical and charity models, the social model of disability underscores inclusion or
participation of persons with disabilities in society. It considers environmental or social factors as reasons
for persons with disabilities’ exclusion or marginalization in society.Therefore, according to this model, the
barrier for persons with disabilities participation in society is the society in which they live. The society
does not provide for the needs of persons with disabilities (inaccessible buildings, no brail books, no sign
language interpreter, etc.) and thus disables the person by not allowing for their inclusion. The challenge is
for the society to adjust or to accommodate PwDs.

The model which established the framework for contemporary understanding of disability is the bio-
psychosocial model. This approach acknowledges the significance of addressing both the medical and
social dimensions of disability and as such views disability as multi-dimensional phenomena. Disability is
understood as a product of interaction between a person’s certain conditions and his or her physical, social,
and attitudinal barriers. According to this model, medical and rehabilitative interventions are important
in addressing body-level aspects of disability, i.e. impairments and limitations in a person’s capacity to
perform actions; while at the same time environmental and social interventions are essential to deal with
restrictions in a person’s participation in educational, economic, social, cultural and political activities.1

1 World Health Organization /United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific,
TRAINING MANUAL on DISABILITY STATISTICS (WHO/UNESCAP, 2008), p. 14
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Box 1: ICF Conceptualization of disability2
Disability is the umbrella term for any or all of: an impairment of body structure or function,
a limitation in activities, or a restriction in participation. The key components of disability are
defined as follows:
• Body functions are the physiological functions of body systems (including psychological
functions).
• Body structures are anatomical parts of the body such as organs, limbs and their
components.
• Impairments are problems in body function and structure, such as significant deviation
or loss.
• Activity is the execution of a task or action by an individual.
• Participation is involvement in a life situation.
• Activity limitations are difficulties an individual may have in executing activities.
• Participation restrictions are problems an individual may experience in involvement
in life situations.
• Environmental factors make up the physical, social and attitudinal environment in
which people live and conduct their lives. These are recorded as either facilitators
or barriers (both on a 5-point scale) to indicate the effect they have on the person’s
functioning.
The bio-psychosocial model is the World Health Organization’s (WHO) framework for understanding
disability and has formed the basis for the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health
(ICF). The identification of opportunities and services available for PwDs in this study follows this holistic
model.

Prevalence of Disability and Situation of Persons with Disabilities

Adequate and accurate information on the prevalence and situation of PwDs in Addis Ababa is indispensable
for assessing availability of opportunities and services for PwDs in the city. Considering the significant
implication such information has on the findings of the research, as part of data collection activity of this
research significant efforts were made to produce numerical and qualitative information on the prevalence
and situation of PwDs. Accordingly, various research works have been assessed. These research works
made by various organizations and individuals however fail to provide comprehensive information which
is acceptable by all. It is no wonder therefore that Tirussew concluded, information on the prevalence and
situation of PwDs in the country “are fragmentary, incomplete and sometimes misleading”3. In particular,
available numerical information on the prevalence of disability is inconsistent and comprehensive numerical
information on situation of PwDs has yet to be developed. This section therefore examines numerical
information on the prevalence of disability in the country and the city and secondly provides generalized
and qualitative information on the situation of PwDs in the country.

Prevalence of Disability

According to the World Health Organization estimates, 10 percent of a developing country’s population
has some type of disability, and 80 per cent of the world’s persons with disabilities live in the developing
world. Among them, 20 per cent is estimated to live in urban areas.

2 World Health Organization (2002) Towards a Common Language for Functioning, Disability and Health The
International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). WHO/EIP/GPE/CAS/01.3 Geneva, World Health
Organization, pp. 10-12
3 Tirussew Teferra, Disability in Ethiopia: Issues, Insights and Implications (2005, Addis Ababa Printing
Press), p. 2
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“The number of PwDs is increasing due to population growth, aging, emergence of chronic diseases and medical
advances that preserve and prolong life.”4 As the United Nations Expert group noted, an even more increase in the
number of PwDs can be imagined in Ethiopia “due to poverty, ignorance, war, famine and drought coupled with
unavailability of adequate preventive and rehabilitative services”.5

Review of literature shows that WHO’s estimates are the often cited sources in determining the prevalence
of disability in developing countries. Moreover, it is observed that some international organizations and
international aid agencies working on disability issues use these figures in their work. In the course of
collecting data for the research, many institutions contacted for interview are noticed frequently using
WHO’s figures as a standard for measuring the prevalence of disability in the country, despite the fact that
there are census and survey reports containing country specific information on the prevalence of disability
in Ethiopia.

Questions surrounding the reliability of information from domestically available census and survey reports
might explain NGOs in Ethiopia apparent preference for WHO’s figure. However, it should be pointed out
here that WHO’s figures have yet to be substantiated by statistical methods, as collecting internationally
comparable data on disability is difficult. As we shall see in detail later in this section, the issue of international
comparability of disability statistics or data is controversial not only in Ethiopia but also across the world.
In providing information on the prevalence of disability in the country, this Section will provide estimates
from domestically available data sources, in addition to figures based on WHO estimates.

From domestic data sources three documents are considered, namely the 1994 and the 2007 Population
and Housing Census Reports of the Central Statistical Agency (CSA) and the Baseline Survey on Disability
in Ethiopia conducted in 1995 by Institute of Educational Research, Addis Ababa University. Indeed,
Population and Housing Census Reports, and for that matter other statistical reports produced by the
CSA, are official sources on statistical information in the country. Although the 2007 Census Report is an
update of the 1994 Census Report, the 1994 Census Report will be considered as the latter helps in clearly
understanding the problem on disability statistics in the country.Though not as recent as the 2007 Census
Report, AAU’s Survey Report will also be briefly considered not only because it is regarded as one of the
first “major undertakings” in the country on disability information, but also for same reason as the 1994
Census Report. The Section begins by providing information on the prevalence of disability in the country
based on WHO estimates.

Given Ethiopia’s current total population figure which is 73,750,9326, the number of PwDs that live in
the country based on WHO’s 10 per cent estimate is more than 7.37 million. Of the 7.37 PwDs in the
country, about 5.9 million of them live in rural areas and the remaining about 1.47 million live in cities. If
WHO’s estimate is similarly adopted for determining prevalence of disability in Addis Ababa, the number
of PwDs living in the city is about 273,955, i.e. 10 per cent of the city’s estimated 2,739,551 population7.
According to WHO’s estimates, the number of persons who have some form of disability in the country
is significant. Suffice to say about WHO estimates, now the three domestic data sources will be examined
in chronological order.

The first of the three reports to be examined is the 1994 Census Report. According to this Report of the country’s
53 million total population 988,885, or 1.85% of the total population, were PwDs. Distribution of disability in rural
and urban areas was 83% and 17%. The report further reveals that in Addis Ababa there were 45,936 PwDs which
is 2.18% of the city’s 2,100,031 total population. The Report thus provides different figures than the ones generated
based on WHO’s estimate. Particularly, disability prevalence figure the 1994 Census Report provides is thus much
less than WHO’s 10 percent figure. However, this Report is thought to have underestimated the number of PwDs in
the country.8
4 World Health Organization, Global Programming Note 2006-2007: Call for Resource Mobilization and
Engagement Opportunities (2006, WHO). p. 1
5 United Nations, United Nations Expert Group Meeting on Disability-sensitive Policy and Programme
Monitoring and Evaluation-Country Paper: Ethiopia(UNHQ, New York, 3-5 December 2001). Section D
6 Central Statistical Agency, Population and Housing Census,(CSA, 2007). p.7
7 Id. p. 177
8 International Labour Office, Employment of People with Disabilities: The Impact of Legislation (East
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The 1994 Census contains country and Addis Ababa level disability information disaggregated by disability
type at. Table 1 shows disability prevalence by type in Addis Ababa.

Table  1. Disability by Type and Percentage

Disability Type Prevalence Percentage

Visually 12,888 28%


Physically 15,320 33.3%
Hearing 6,402 13.9%
Mental 5,912 12.8%
Leprosy 2,673 5.8%
Multiple 1,887 4.1%
Others 854 1.8%
Total 45,936
Source: CSA 1994 Census Report

Domestic data source that comes after the 1994 Census report is the 1995 Survey Report. Though
produced within similar timeframe as the 1994 Census Report, the Survey report provides different
disability prevalence figure than the Census Report. According to the Survey Report, the country’s
disability prevalence figure is 2.95%. Indeed, the 2.95% figure is higher than the 1.85% figure generated by
the 1994 Census Report, yet it is much lower than WHO estimate. As shown in Chart 1 provided below,
the Survey Report contains distribution of disability according to disability type. It should be noted here
that disability type classification used in the Survey Report is different from that used in the Census report,
the two Reports data on prevalence of disability by disability type is not comparable.

Figure  1. 1995 Survey Report on the Prevalence of Disability by Type at the National Level

Speech and Behavioral Multiple


Language Problem, Disability,
Cognitive
Imapairmen 2.40% 2%
Disability, t, 2.40%
6.50% Motor
Disorder,
41.20%

Visual
Impairment,
30.40%

Hearing
Impairment
, 14.90%

Africa)–Ethiopia Country Paper (ILO, 2004). p.3

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The third domestic data source to be examined is the 2007 Census Report. Compared to the other
domestic data sources considered, the 2007 Census Report is produced recently, and as such contains
most recent information available on disability prevalence in the country. According to the Report, the
number of PwDs in the country is 805,492 which is 1.09% of the country’s 73,750,932 total population.
Disability prevalence figure the 2007 Census Report provides is not only much lower than WHO’s 10%
estimate, but also is lower than the 1994 Census Report and the 1995 Survey Report provided. Same
report further reveals that women account for about 47% of PwDs whereas men account for about 53%.

In addition to information at country level, the 2007 Census Report also provides information at Addis
Ababa level. Of the city’s 2,739,551 total population the Report shows that 32,630 i.e., 1.19% are PwDs.
Women account for about 45% of the city’s PwDs population while males account for the remaining about
55%. The following Table-2 shows the Report’s statistical information disaggregated by disability type.

Table  2. Disability Prevalence by Disability Type

Disability Type Country Level Addis Ababa Level Prevalence


Prevalence by Percentage Prevalence by Percentage
Disability Type Disability Type
Non-functional lower limbs, 160,172 20% 11,820 33%
Standing, Walking
Difficulty Seeing 154,634 19% 4,149 12%
Blind 94,015 12% 3,090 9%
Other 75,845 9% 2,807 8%
Difficulty Hearing 73,632 9% 2,929 8%
Non-functional upper limbs, 60,341 8% 2807 8%
Gripping, Handling
Body Movement Difficulty 48, 384 6% 2,404 7%

Deaf and Unable to Speak 45,939 6% 1,273 4%

Learning Difficulty 41,487 5% 2550 7%

Deaf 27,288 3% 600 2%

Difficulty Speaking 12,572 2% 475 1%

Unable to Speak 11,183 1% 309 1%

Total 805,492 32,630

Source –CSA 2007 Report

Generally, disability statistics or database produced in developing countries is noted as having generated a
much less disability figure than WHO’s 10% estimate. 1.85%, 1.09% and 2.95% prevalence figure the 1994
and 2007 Census Reports and the 1995 Survey Report reinforce the statement. While there are many
reasons given to explain such a huge discrepancy, the following four are considered the main reasons
in Ethiopia’s context. One is negative attitude towards disability and PwDs prevalent in some cultures,
which makes parents reluctant to disclose PwD family member when contacted for census or surveys,
for example. The second reason is absence of an established system for detecting persons with invisible
or less visible disabilities coupled with parents and communities low level awareness on these types of

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disabilities. The low technical competency of survey or census takers is the third reason given.9 The fourth
and major reason forwarded relates to the relative nature of the concept “disability” and the implications
it has in disability collection. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine internationally comparable disability data in the
absence of a common operational definition of disability that guides countries like Ethiopia in measuring
and collection of disability information.

The fourth reason is forwarded not only to explain the discrepancy between WHO’s estimates and
domestic data sources, but also to explain inconsistency of figures observed between domestic data
sources. As noted before, information the three domestic sources provide on the prevalence of disability in
the country is inconsistent. Inconsistency of figure is observed even between data produced within similar
timeframe. Such inconsistency is mainly explained by differences in conceptualizing disability as well as in
measurements and classifications used for collecting disability data.

Since various statistical data cite different figures on prevalence of disability in the country, it is unlikely that
any the three sources can be treated with certainty. It is no wonder therefore that disability prevalence
data the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ministry of Education (MoE) cite in respect to certain disability
types significantly differ from data generated by the Census and Survey reports.10

Understanding the need for producing internationally comparable disability statistics or data, WHO is
now leading an international effort aimed at providing “a unified and standard language and framework”
for understanding disability and for measurement and collection of information. This standard which the
WHO re-launched in 2001 is now called the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and
Health (ICF). If fully and meaningfully implemented by all nations, ICF is believed to help produce consistent
and internationally comparable disability data.

To date, actors involved in collecting disability data in Ethiopia have not fully used ICF as a framework in
their work. The fundamental question surrounding the reliability of disability information in the country
will continue to be unanswered. If the question has to be answered soon and also the country is able to
reap the benefits of adopting it, ICF should be adopted as sooner than later.

Indeed, the issue of disability statistics is too wide and too deep to be dealt with in this research. Suffice to
say for now that when considering data sources the reader should always bear in mind the issue.

Though disability statistics is, and continue to be, a controversial issue in the country, there are good
enough information (numerical and otherwise) available to start action.

The Condition of Persons with Disabilities

Compared to information regarding other vulnerable groups such as women and children, information
on the situation of PwDs in Addis Ababa, and in the country for that matter, is not well developed.
Disability information generated by the data sources considered in the preceding Section doesn’t include
information on the life conditions of PwDs. Also, other surveys and studies conducted to generate
statistical information on various socio-economic matters in the country have yet to provide disaggregated
information. Information provided in this Section will be more of qualitative than numerical. To the extent
possible effort will be done to provide numerical information.

Despite decades of efforts by members of the global community of persons with disabilities for equality,
it is a common knowledge that all over the world PwDs are excluded from mainstream society and
9 Harilyn Rousso, Education for All: A Gender and Disability Perspective, An unpublished report prepared by
Harilyn Rousso, CSW, Disabilities Unlimited, for the World Bank. p.1
10 See disability prevalence figures cited in the 2006 Special Needs Education Strategy of the Ministry of
Education and figures revealed by Ministry of Health’s 2006 National Survey on Blindness, Low Vision and Trachoma in
Ethiopia.

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experience severe difficulties in accessing support services and facilities. In developing countries such
as ours, the gravity of their condition is believed to be even worse, as resource limitation can be a big
challenge, among others.
PwDs dismal condition in the country and in Addis Ababa can be understood by looking into the multitude
of obstacles they encounter in their life. Such obstacles include poverty, resource limitation, public limited
awareness on disability and negative attitude towards PwDs.

Though the majority of PwDs in Addis Ababa are considered to be poor, the exact magnitude of poverty
cannot be known as statistically representative information on distribution and level of poverty amongst
PwDs in the city has yet to be generated. Nonetheless, general information on poverty in Ethiopia combined
with the World Bank’s default estimate figures, and the theoretical relationship between disability and
poverty may provide some picture.

In Ethiopia poverty is extensive.11 Statistical figures for the year 2004/05 show that the number of poor
people in the country exceeding 27.5 million. 12 For the same year, in urban areas the proportion of the
population estimated to be below poverty line is 35.1%.13 Given Addis Ababa’s vast population size, it will
not be difficult to imagine the number of poor people in the city.

Moreover, according to the World Bank the majority of PwDs in developing countries live in poverty and
PwDs comprise about 20 per cent of the poorest of the poor.14 Based on the World Bank estimate, PwDs
make up a disproportionate number of the city’s poorest population.

The strong relationship between disability and poverty can also indicate the disproportionate size of the
city’s PwDs living below poverty line. Poverty makes people become more vulnerable to disability, and
disability reinforces and deepens poverty.The following quote describes the vicious cycle relationship very
well:

“... disabled individuals are faced with discrimination, social exclusion and stigma the moment they are
perceived to be affected by impairment. If left unaddressed, these impairments tend to accumulate and
translate over time into a series of cumulative exclusions that result in social disabilities and poverty.”15

In light of what have been described above, one can guess that in Addis Ababa the number of PwDs living
below poverty line is high.

Indeed, poverty severely limits PwDs means of securing support and facilities they need on their own. In
order to get the needed support and facilities they will have to rely on family and friends, who may or may
not be able to secure for them. As far as the practical situation is concerned, support PwDs get from family
and friends is often confined to everyday activities within the home. There are two reasons for this. One
reason for this is the prevailing tendency on the part of family and friends to view disability as a charity or
as a medical issue. The other reason relates to financial situation of families. For many families, meeting
all the needs of PwDs, particularly for those whose needs cannot be met without high level of technical
intervention, is economically difficult. At this juncture, the role of communities and other development
actors in complementing families’ efforts becomes very important.

Communities and other development actors do indeed provide mainstream and disability specific facilities
11 Central Statistical Agency, Welfare Monitoring Survey, (CSA, 2004), p.2
12 Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, A Plan for Accelerated and Sustained Development to
End Poverty (PASDEP)(2005/06-2009/10), p.26
13 Id. p. 23
14 Disability in Development: Experiences in Inclusive Practices (Handicap International and CBM
Christoffel-Blindenmission Christian Blind Mission e.V. 2006). p.vii
15 World Bank, POVERTY REDUCTION STRATEGIES: THEIR IMPORTANCE FOR DISABILITY, Disability
and Development Team, July 7, 2004. p.5

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and services in the city. Physical inaccessibility, lack of trained human power, etc are big challenges PwDs
faced in benefiting from mainstream services.Available services specifically targeting PwDs in the city, though
an important step, are considered inadequate in meeting the prevailing need. In respect to adequately
available facilities and services, PwDs still fail to utilize them due to lack of access to information on their
availability.

It should be mentioned here that, though the community have an acknowledged crucial role in disability
intervention, negative attitude about disability that is prevalent in society continues to be a disabling factor.
In some communities, the traditionally held view which considers disability as a curse or as a punishment
of God on PwDs and their families is alive up to the present moment. Moreover, society’s perception about
PwDs and their potentials in life is distorted. The comment Dr. Tirussew made at the national level also
illustrates the scenario in the city.

In Ethiopian, there is a general tendency to think of persons with disabilities as weak, hopeless, dependent,
and unable to learn and the subject of charity. The misconceptions of causal attribution added to the
misunderstandings of the capabilities have resulted in a generally negative attitude and stereotyped
discernment towards them.16

It should be pointed out here that disability has gender and age dimensions. In other words, women with
disabilities (WwDs) and children with disabilities (CwDs) face more serious challenges than PwDs in
general face. On grounds of gender and disability, society treats WwDs differently. Accordingly, they have
less access to essential services and facilities.17 For reasons of age and disability, CwDs access to essential
services is likewise limited.

In sum, the condition of PwDs in general, women and children in particular, is far from the ideal. If all
PwDs should be able to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of society’s life, disability
interventions should take into account gender and age dimensions of disability.

General information on opportunities and services for PwDs

Interventions for improving the conditions of PwDs take note of the multidimensional nature of disability,
and as such take into account the following areas of concern as a matter of principle:

• Autonomy and independence of PwDs;


• Non-discrimination;
• Full and effective participation and inclusion in society;
• Respect for difference and acceptance of PwDs as part of human diversity and humanity;
• Equality of opportunity;
• Accessibility;
• Equality between men and women; and
• Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities.

Following the listed themes as guiding principles, development actors strive for improving the conditions
of PwDs in two ways. First is by facilitating the creation of a level playing field that equalizes opportunities
for all PwDs. And second is by availing resources bent towards speeding up the inclusion of persons with
disabilities in all aspects of society life, whether economic, social, and cultural, etc.

16 Tirussew , supra note 3, p. 7


17 World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons, adopted by the General
Assembly in December 1982.
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Expanding opportunities and availing facilities and support services for PwDs require a whole range of
measures and provisions which are too many to list here. However, the following provisions and services
can provide some picture:
• Facilitating access by PwDs to the physical environment, such as transportation, buildings, roads,
indoor and outdoor facilities, including schools, housing, medical facilities and workplaces, libraries,
sporting, recreational and tourism venues;
• Developing and implementing of minimum standards and guidelines for the accessibility of facilities
and services open or provided to the public;
• Promoting the design, development, production and distribution of accessible information and
communications technologies and systems, including the internet;
• Providing information intended for the general public to PwDs in accessible formats and
technologies appropriate to different kinds of disabilities;
• Promoting awareness on the capabilities and contributions of PwDs;
• Promoting the physical, cognitive and psychological recovery, rehabilitation and social reintegration
of persons with disabilities who become victims of any form of exploitation, violence or abuse;
• Facilitating access by PwDs to quality mobility aids, devices, assistive technologies and forms of live
assistance and intermediaries, including by making them available at affordable cost;
• Facilitating the use of sign languages, Braille, augmentative and alternative communication, and all
other accessible means, modes and formats of communication;
• Providing early and comprehensive information, services and support to children with disabilities
and their families;
• Promoting and delivering education to PwDs in the most appropriate languages and modes and
means of communication for the individual, and in environments which maximize academic and
social development;
• Providing comprehensive habilitation and rehabilitation services and programmes, particularly in
the areas of health, employment, education and social services;
• Provide PwDs appropriate and affordable services, devices and other assistance for disability-
related needs;
• To ensure that persons with disabilities have an opportunity to organize, develop and participate
in disability-specific sporting and recreational activities and, to this end, encourage the provision,
on an equal basis with others.

11
3. Available Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities
Over the past few decades various measures development actors undertook to alleviate the conditions
of PwDs have resulted in the creation and expansion of opportunities for PwDs in Addis Ababa. Of the
development actors, measures taken by the federal government and the Addis Ababa City Administration
have greatly expanded opportunities. In addition, trends in international development intervention as well
as increase in disability awareness also have contributed for the creation of various opportunities PwDs in
the city have at present.

3.1 State Measures

With a view to advance the status of PwDs and improve their life both the federal government and the
Addis Ababa City administration have adopted progressive policy, legislative and other regulatory measures.
By modifying or abolishing existing barriers hindering PwDs participation in society as well as by providing
disability specific affirmative action measures. If tapped and well utilized by the PwDs, these measures will
undoubtedly facilitate the creation of equal opportunity for the city’s PwDs and their full participation in
society in all aspects of society’s life.

Of the two tiers of governments most of the opportunities are provided in the policy, legislative and other
regulatory documents of the federal government. List of the major legislative and regulatory documents
and type of opportunity the documents provide will now be described.

Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (Proclamation No. 1/1995)

A supreme law of the country, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia’s Constitution (hereinafter
called the constitution), above enshrining the principles of equality and non-discrimination, incorporates
a provision specifically acknowledging PwDs need for rehabilitation and support services. The relevant
Article is Article 41 (5), and this Article states that “[t]he state shall, within its available means, allocate
resources to provide rehabilitation and assistance to the physically and mentally disabled’.

The Federal Civil Servant Proclamation (Proclamation No. 262/2002)

The 2002 Federal Civil Servant Proclamation, though applicable to government civil service employees,
contain provision which significantly expands PwDs opportunity for participating in employment. In the
same way as the 1994 Right of Disabled Persons to Employment Proclamation, it incorporates the principle
of non-discrimination. Unlike the 1994, however, it further stipulates that in the recruitment of employees
affirmative action be given to PwDs. Article 13 (4) of the Proclamation states when filling vacant position
‘priorities of appointment shall be given to candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum passing
score’. Accordingly, scoring the passing mark suffice for a PwD employment candidate to be given priority
in employment over the able bodied ones.

What is more, in Article 46 the Proclamation provides for pension and compensation payments to be
accorded to PwDs. According to Article 46 (1), “[a] permanent civil servant who has sustained permanent
total or partial disability due to employment injury shall be entitled to benefits provided for in the relevant
pension law”. In sub-Article 2, it states that “[a] temporary civil servant who has ‘sustained permanent total
disability shall be entitled to compensation amounting to five times of his annual salary”. Another relevant
provision is sub Article 5, which reads:
“Where an employment injury resulted in the death of the civil servant, his survivors shall be entitled to:
(a) survivors pension gratuity payable under the relevant pension law if the deceased was a permanent civil servant;
or
(b) compensation under Sub-Article (2) of this Article, if he was a temporary civil servant.”

12
Labour Proclamation No. 377/2003

The 2003 Labour Proclamation has no specific provisions which deal with employment opportunities for
PwDs. However, in same way as the previously stated two Proclamations, this Proclamation incorporates
the principle of non-discrimination in employment. Moreover, in Article 29, particularly in sub-Article
(3) (d) the Proclamation extends protection on the security of employment for PwDs when employers
undertake workforce reduction. According to Article 29:
“Whenever a reduction of work force takes place […] workers having skills and higher rate of productivity shall
have priority of being retained in their posts and, in the case of equal skill and rate of productivity, the workers to
be affected first by the reduction shall be in the following order : […] those having the shortest length of service in
the undertaking; those who have fewer dependents; those not covered under sub-article 3(a) and (b) of this Article;
those who are disabled by an employment injury in the undertakings; workers’ representatives; expectant mothers.”

According to Article 99 of the Proclamation, “disablement” is “any employment injury as a consequence of


which there is a decrease or loss of capacity to work”.

Right to Employment of Persons with Disabilities Proclamation No.568/2008

The 2008 Right to Employment of Persons with Disabilities Proclamation is a landmark legislative
document enacted to facilitate the creation of equal opportunity for PwDs in the area of employment.
The Proclamation provides a definition for PwDs, and thus only those who fall within the contours of this
definition can avail themselves of opportunities the Proclamation so created. According to Article 2 of the
Proclamation, PwDs is:
‘an individual whose equal employment opportunity is reduced as a result of his[or her] physical, mental
or sensory impairments in relation with social, economic and cultural discrimination’.

Favourable opportunities this Proclamation availed for PwDs covers matters of non-discrimination, access to
appropriate training and employment opportunities, including opportunity for reasonable accommodation
and affirmative action, and wages and benefits. Article 4 (1) stipulates the principle of discrimination and
reads that:
“[U]nless the nature of the work dictates otherwise, a person with disability having the necessary qualification and
scored more to that of other candidates shall have the right without discrimination…a) to occupy a vacant post in
any office or undertaking through recruitment, promotion, placement or transfer procedures; b) to participate in a
training programme to be conducted either locally or abroad.”

More importantly, the Proclamation enshrines the affirmative action that should be accorded to PwDs.
Accordingly, in recruitment, promotion, placement, transfer or to participate in training preference will be
given to a PwD who acquires the necessary qualification and have scored equal or close to that of other
candidates. In Article 4 (3) it is prohibited to refer to disability of a candidate on selection criteria unless
the nature of the work dictates otherwise. What is even more important of the Proclamation is the idea of
reasonable accommodation it enshrined in Article 6. As per Article 6 (1), any employer is required to take
measures to provide appropriate working and training conditions and working and training materials for
PwDs. In sub-Article (2) employers are also required to take all reasonable accommodation and affirmative
action to women as well. Moreover, the employer is required to assign as assistant to enable a PwD to
perform work and follow training. Reasonable accommodation, according to Article 2 (5), is “an adjustment
or accommodation with respect to equipment in at the work place, requirement of the job, working hours,
structure of the business and working environment with a view to accommodate persons with disabilities
to employment”.

Furthermore, the Proclamation incorporates important procedural rules. Article 7 (1) of the Proclamation
provides that PwDs who alleges discriminated in respect to “recruitment, promotion, placement, transfer
or other conditions of employment” have the right to bring suit to a competent court “without the
requirement of the burden of proof”. In other words, when PwDs institute a case pursuant to Article
7(1) they are not expected to prove to the court that discrimination exists. Indeed, this is an exception

13
to the general procedural rule whereby persons alleging rights violation bear the responsibility of proving
existence of violation. According to Article 7 (2) of the Proclamation, it is the defendant who is responsible
to prove that there was no act of discrimination.

The fact that the Proclamation applies on all employers makes this Proclamation a remarkable one. With
a view to ensure proper implementation of the Proclamation, preparation of draft regulation is currently
underway.

Value Added Tax Proclamation No. 285/2002

The 2002 Value Added Tax Proclamation contains provision expressly referring to PwDs. In Article 9 (2)
(o) this Proclamation exempts from payment of value added tax on “the supply of goods or services by
a workshop employing disabled individuals if more than 60 percent of the employees are disabled”. As
such this Proclamation has the effect of expanding opportunities for PwDs in employment and in starting
business of their own.

Ethiopian Customs Authority Custom Tariff Book (Volume II-2003)

The 2003 Ethiopian Customs Authority Custom Tariff Book provides PwDs with the opportunity to import
items custom free or with small rate of custom tariff. Following is the list of relevant items and the rate
of tariff:

1) Carriages for disabled persons, whether or not motorised or


otherwise mechanically propelled.18
• Not mechanically propelled - free
• Other –free
2) Parts and accessories of vehicles of Carriages for PwDs on all of the
following items19:

• Motorcycles (including mopeds) and cycles fitted with an auxiliary motor, with or without side-
cars; side-cars- free
• Bicycles and other cycles (including delivery tricycles), not motorized - free
• Carriages for disabled persons, whether or not motorised or otherwise mechanically propelled-
free
3) Orthopaedic appliances, including crutches, surgical belts and trusses;
splints and other fracture appliances; artificial parts of the body;
hearing aids and other appliances which are worn or carried, or
implanted in the body, to compensate for a defect or disability.20

• Orthopaedic or fracture appliances- 5%


• Artificial teeth and dental fittings:
 Artificial teeth - 5%
 Other - 5%
• Other artificial parts of the body:
 Artificial joints - 5%
 Other - 5%
• Hearing aids, excluding parts and accessories -free
• Pacemakers for stimulating heart muscles, excluding parts and accessories - 5%
• Other – 5%
18 Ethiopian Customs Authority Custom Tariff Book (Volume II-2003) From Section XII - Section XXII
Section XVII Chapter 87. p. 572
19 Id. Chapter p.573
20 Id. Chapter 90, p. 591
14
Privileges provided in the 2003 Ethiopian Customs Authority Custom Tariff Book is not limited to PwDs.
Not for profit organizations have also privileges when they import items for PwDs consumption.The Book
incorporates Council of Ministers Regulations No. 6/1996 - the relevant regulation on Goods Imported by
Agencies of the Ethiopian Government and non-governmental Organizations. According to Article 9 of the
Regulation, “ [a]rticles and equipment specialized for use by the disabled or handicapped” are free from
custom tariff. 21

Higher Education Proclamation (No.650/2009)

The 2009 Higher Education Proclamation contains provisions concerning PwDs.According to Article 2 sub-
Articles (8) and (9) of this Proclamation, the Proclamation applies both on public and private educational
institutions undergraduate and graduate academic programs.

The Proclamation in Article 20(3) recognizes sign language as medium of instruction on educating students
“with complete hearing impairment”. Under Article 32 (1) (a), it further provides higher education academic
staffs’ duty to provide appropriate assistance to students in need of special support”. Moreover, in Article
39 (4) it envisages special admission procedure for “disadvantaged citizens” according to regulation of the
Council of Ministers. PwDs are considered part of the “disadvantaged citizens” to include. It should be
mentioned here that, though this Proclamation envisages a regulation by the Council of Ministers, the 2003
Higher Education Proclamation (replaced by the 2008 Proclamation) had a more specific provisions on the
issue. And the relevant Article 22reads:
“Entry assessment or admission procedure designed for any female, disabled student, a student who has completed
high school education in a developing Region and who is native of the nationality of such Region or a student from
the nationality whose participation in Higher Education is low shall be different from others.They shall, during their
stay in the institution, get special support; particulars of such support shall be determined by the Ministry.”[Author’s
emphasis]

In 2001 E.C. the Ministry of Education has issued a Directive on the Placement of Students in Government
Higher Educational Institutions23 which provides more specific provisions.This Directive in paragraph three
states that PwDs will be placed in institutions and academic programs they will be able to attend. The
directive also contains procedural rules for implementing the privilege.

What is remarkable about the 2009 Proclamation is the Article 40, titled Physically Challenged Students.
This Article provides for a range of measures to accommodate to physically challenged students, to the
extent possible. These include accessibility of buildings, facilities and programs, class relocation, availability
of alternative testing procedures, provision of educational auxiliary aids and academic assistance.

21 Id. p.663
22 The 2003 Highier Education Proclamation- Proclamation No. 351/2003
23 Accessed from the Ministry of Education ’s website.
15
Box 2: Higher Education Proclamation 250/2008,
Article 40: Physically Challenged Students

1. Institutions shall make, to the extent possible, their facilities and programmes
amenable to use with relative ease by physically challenged students.
2. Institutions shall, to the extent that situations and resources permit, relocate classes,
develop alternative testing procedures, and provide different educational auxiliary
aids in the interest of students with physical challenges.
3. Building designs, campus physical landscape, computers and other infrastructures of
institutions shall take into account the interests of physically challenged students.
4. Institutions shall ensure that students with physical challenges get to the extent
necessary and feasible academic assistance, including tutorial sessions, exam time
extensions and deadline extensions.

Ethiopian Building Proclamation (No. 624/2009)

The 2009 Ethiopian Building Proclamation is a proclamation that provides the minimum national standard
for the construction and modification of buildings. This Proclamation contains a specific article dealing
with facilities for physically impaired persons. As per the Proclamation, any building should be designed in
such a way as to accommodate the needs of persons with physical impairments, including those who use
wheelchairs or those unable to climb steps. In addition, in buildings where installation of toilet facilities
is required, toilets facilities built accordingly should be accessible and suitable for use by persons with
physical impairments.
The pertinent provisions of the Proclamation are found in Article 36 (1) and (2) of the Proclamation. Sub-
Article (1) reads:
“Any public building shall have a means of access suitable for use by physically impaired persons, including those
who are obliged to use wheelchairs and those who are able to walk but unable to negotiate steps.”

And sub-Article 2 reads:


Where toilet facilities are required in any building, as adequate number of such facilities shall be made suitable for
use by physically impaired persons and shall be a[cc]essable to them”

Though this Proclamation was promulgated in the 6th of May 2009, according to the corrigendum attached
to it-Corrigendum No. 4/2009- this law comes into force one year from the date of publication in the
Negarit Gazeta.

In the Proclamation issuance of Regulation for implementation is envisaged, and currently preparation of
the regulation is underway.

Addis Ababa City Administration

In addition to legislative and regulatory measures adopted by the Federal government, the Addis Ababa
City Administration has taken similar measures to further facilitate the creation of equal opportunity
to the city’s PwDs and their participation in society. Legislative and regulatory documents of the City
Administration which contain important provisions regarding PwDs are the Charter of Addis Ababa
City Administration; Proclamation to provide for the Responsibilities of the City Government organs in
the Transfer of the City Government Houses and its execution (No. 19/2005); and City Government’s
Construction Permit/License Regulation No. 1/97.

Charter of the Addis Ababa City Administration

16
According to the Charter of the Addis Ababa City Administration, one of the objectives of the City
Administration is to make the city a place where the well-being and comfort of residents is safe and
particularly where children, women, persons with disabilities, the elderly and other disadvantaged segments
of society avail of special support”. Because the Charter is the founding document of the City Administration,
the fact that PwDs are referred to as such have the potential to influence the City Administration’s
development undertakings in a positive and significant way.

Proclamation to provide for the Responsibilities of the City Government organs in the
Transfer of the City Government Houses and its execution (No. 19/2005)

A Proclamation of the Addis Ababa City Administration, it provides preferential treatment to persons with
mobility disability. According to Article 6 (7) persons with mobility disability who fulfil the requirements for
acquiring ownership of City Government house have priority to “purchase units on the accessible floor of
a building, subject to their choices”.

Construction Permit/License Regulation No. 1/97

City Government’s Construction Permit/License Regulation No. 1/97 is a regulatory document of the City
Administration which establishes the conditions for undertaking construction works in the City. One
of the concerns the Regulation try to address is the question of accessibility, and as such it provides
for a range of rules that contractors should comply with to make sure that buildings they construct are
accessible to PwDs. Examples of such rules include accessibility of toilet facilities to PwDs and availability
of designated parking spots for PwDs.

International Agreements

In addition to the above regulatory documents, the federal government has ratified international agreements
which greatly expand opportunities for PwDs. Two of the major international agreements are the ILO
Convention concerning Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) No. 159 (1983)
ratified in 1991 and the landmark 2006 United Nations Convention on the Rights and Dignity of Persons
with Disabilities (CRDPD).

Policy and Programme Documents

As noted earlier, appropriate measures the federal government took to create and expand opportunities
for PwDs also includes policy and program measures. Of the various policy and program documents
adopted by the federal government, the following are the major ones: Developmental Social Welfare Policy
of 1977; National Programme of Action for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities of 1999; and the
2006 Special Needs Education Strategic Programme.

Developmental Social Welfare Policy - 1997

The Developmental Social Welfare Policy envisages efforts towards the creation of “conditions that
will enable PwDs to use their abilities as individuals or in association with others to contribute to the
development of society as well as to be self- supporting by participating in the political, economic and
social activities of the country”. More specifically, it underscores the need “for creating conditions where
rules, regulations, programs and services could be strengthened and expanded whilst enhance vocational
training and placement opportunities for persons with disabilities”.

Moreover, the Policy has set out specific areas where efforts for enhancing opportunities to PwDs should
be directed at. These are:

• Increasing education, skill training, employment opportunities and other services and adoption of
appropriate legislations with a view to ensure the welfare of persons with disabilities;
17
• Creating mechanisms for providing PwDs with appropriate medical/health services and supportive
appliances;
• Establishing mechanisms to provide for PwDs appropriate support services in the context of their
family and community;
• Establishment of special centres to care for PwDs without any family support will;
• Launching appropriate and sustainable educational programs and awareness-raising campaigns;
• Formulating prevention strategies and programs;
• Removal of physical barriers and ensuring PwDs accessibility to residential areas, work and other
public places; and
• Supporting non-governmental organizations and voluntary organizations providing services to
PwDs.

The Developmental Social Welfare Policy is currently under revision, and according to the annual plan of
MoLSA (for the year 2002 E.C.) a revised social welfare policy document will be produced.24

• National Programme of Action for the Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities - 1999
• The 1999 National Programme of Action for the Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities is a
document prepared by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. The main objectives of the Pro-
gramme are:
• To take disability prevention measures by promoting community participation;
• To enable persons with disabilities to achieve a better standard of living by building their capacity;
and
• To ensure their equal rights and full participation in society.

This Programme document was prepared on the basis of the UN Standards Rules on Equalization of
Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities and the Developmental Social Welfare Policy of Ethiopia, and
as such it sets out to address wide-ranging disability issues in a comprehensive manner. Matters the Pro-
gramme covers are: disability prevention, medical rehabilitation, educational rehabilitation, vocational reha-
bilitation and employment services, accessibility, awareness-raising, strengthening and expanding disabled
persons’ organizations, religion, culture sport, recreation, and family life. Accordingly, opportunities the
document sets out to create for PwDs are vast.

Special Needs Education Program Strategy- 2006

The 2006 Special Needs Education Program Strategy is prepared by the Ministry of Education to enhance
participation of children with disabilities in Education. The document begins by stressing Ministry of
Education’s commitment to achieve universal primary education by 2015 and aim to establish an educational
system that is to be open to all. Similarly, it emphasizes the idea that all children and students can learn. It
underscores the substantial effort needed “to expand and strengthens special needs education and training
provisions, enhance inclusive education and enrich the regular education curricular materials”.

It recognizes that inclusive education requires two things. One is identifying barriers that hinder learning
and/or participation. And, secondly it requires reducing or removing barriers in early education in
particular and schools, technical and vocational training, higher education, teacher education, and education
management in general. Towards this, the strategy is directed to:
• Implement the Education and Training Policy, and relevant international principles endorsed by
the government;
• Develop and implement guidelines for curriculum modification and support system
development in schools for learners with special needs;
• Facilitate the participation of students with special needs in technical and vocational education
and other higher education institutions;
• Strengthen special needs programms in teacher education institutions; and improve quality of
trained human resource and appropriate materials to schools and other learning institutions.
24 MOLSA 2002 Annual Plan Document, accessed from http://www.molsa.gov.et/
18
Strategic priorities as identified in the document are the following three:
1. Inclusion of special needs education in national and regional education sector planning and
reporting systems;
2. Development of guidelines and provision of technical assistance to regions, and
3. Strengthening the capacity of the education system.

It should be mentioned here that the 2008 Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Strategy
of the Ministry of Education has a specific objective of, among others, “ensuring that women and persons
with special needs have equal participation opportunity in TVET”.25 Moreover, it provides in Part 7.1.2
TVET executors’ responsibility to make sure that training institutions are open without discrimination and
in each institution facilities important for persons with special needs are fulfilled. It is also important to
mention that the Ministry of Education is currently developing a document exclusively concerning Special
Needs Education in TVET.

3.2 Trends in International Cooperation and Development

In 2002, the former head of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn, has noted: “unless disabled people are
brought into the development mainstream, it will be impossible to cut poverty in half by 2015 or to give
every girl and boy a chance to achieve a primary education by the same date.”26The idea Mr. Wolfenson
expressed about a decade ago has formed the basis for integrating disability with development. And now,
the idea of inclusion of persons with disabilities in development is considered important not only to
improving their and their families’ welfare, but also in the effort for the achievement of international global
development goals, such as the MDGs. The 2007 Report of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General
shows how this idea has gotten translated in practice by development actors at the UN level. The relevant
paragraph of the Report reads:

“Many Member States and United Nations agencies, programmes and funds as well as the regional commissions
have committed themselves to programmes and policies aimed at ensuring the full participation and equality
of persons with disabilities, a sign of the growing recognition that the Millennium Development Goals cannot be
achieved without the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in all development efforts and without making existing
projects accessible to persons with disabilities.”27

Even more so, a May 2010 research report from the World Bank, titled “Disability and International
Cooperation and Development: a Review of Policies and Practices”, has clearly shown the existing trend
amongst development agencies in terms of integrating disability in their policies and/or programs by
incorporating disability-specific and mainstreaming/ inclusion/integration programs. Furthermore, the
Research concludes that disability has become a part of international cooperation and development aid.28

25 Ministry of Education, National Technical & Vocational Education and Training Strategy 22 August 2008 /
2nd Edition, Part 2.0.2, p 12
26 Wolfensohn: “Poor, Disabled and Shut Out” The Washington Post, December 3, 2002
27 Report of the Secretary-General, Implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled
Persons: the Millennium Development Goals and synergies with other United Nations disability instruments United
Nations General Assembly Sixty-second session (United Nations A/62/157). par.8, p.5.

28 DISABILITY AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT: A REVIEW OF POLI-


CIES AND PRACTICES
JANET LORD, ALEKSANDRA POSARAC,MARCO NICOLI, KAREN PEFFLEY, CHARLOTTE MCCLAIN-
NHLAPO AND MARY KEOGH MAY 2010(SP Discussion Paper No. 1003, Social Protection and La-
bour, The World bank).p 30

19
The trend at the international level obviously will affect development intervention approach taken by
development actors. Currently, more and more aid agencies and international organizations are directing
resources for addressing disability in the country. As a matter of fact, it has been learnt that even the so
called mainstream developmental NGOs operating in Addis and beyond are now integrating disability in
their works. The more the resource are, or will be, made available to organizations operating in Addis
Ababa, the stronger the capacity of the capacity of Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (DPOs);
organizations working on disability issue and mainstream development organizations to create wider
opportunities and services for PwDs in the city.

Economic Globalization and Advances in Technology

The presence of products and services of multinational companies is increasingly being felt in Addis Ababa.
Products In some of the countries where these products and services are manufactured or provided
sensitivity to disability is high even among business community. Mobile phone products and Ethiopian
airlines’ alliance with other multinational companies can be good examples. So in this way globalization is
expanding opportunities to PwDs in Addis Ababa.

Prominence of Disability Issue

Following the trend at the national and international levels, disability issues are gradually becoming more
prominent in the local media, particularly in the radio. Previously, media coverage of disability issues was
infrequent, and was largely an annual event covered in connection with celebrating international disability
day. Coverage of disability issue in the media has gone more than an annual event. Increasingly, disability
issues are getting media coverage, and more importantly, there are several radio programs dedicated to
disability issue and which are being broadcasted regularly. Given the prevalent negative attitude towards
disability and PwDs in Addis Ababa, the role of the media in changing such attitude, thereby enhancing
PwDs participation is the society’s life is undoubtedly considerable. Particularly, the role of radio in the
country’s context is significant.

20
4. Available Services for Persons with Disabilities
At the federal level the main governmental organ responsible for coordinating activities undertaken in labor
and social affairs areas, including on disability area, is the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MOLSA).
MOLSA is one of the Federal Ministries of the Federal Government which aspires by engaging stakeholders
and in coordination with them, inter alia, to extend the social welfare development services of PwDs
“through conducting research, formulating laws, policies, legislations as well as directions and following
up their implementation”.29 One of the powers and duties of MOLSA is undertaking and facilitating
implementation of studies an ensuring and improving the social well-being of citizens, in particular, on the
creation of equal opportunity for persons with disabilities.

While MOLSA has four executive departments and one team, concerning disability the pertinent is the
Department of Welfare.At Addis Ababa level, the Addis Ababa Bureau for Labour and Social Affairs (BOLSA)
is responsible for employment and social issues in Addis Ababa, in a policy framework defined by MOLSA.
As part of its mandate, BOLSA is responsible for mobilizing public and private services and for promoting
integration of persons with disabilities.

Besides, there are other Ministries of the Federal Government and Bureau of the Addis Ababa City
Administration involved in the effort to improve the lives of PwDs. The situation of PwDs in Addis Ababa
and beyond is such that requires a multisectoral approach involving many branches of several Ministries30
and Bureau such as, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Bureau of Health and Bureau of Education.

In addition, there are many non-governmental organizations and international agencies working on disability
issues in Addis Ababa. This includes persons with disabilities’ organizations (DPOs), non-governmental
organizations exclusively working on disability, development organizations working on disability and
international agencies such as ILO, UNESCO, etc.

Both governmental and non-governmental organizations render services to PwDs in Addis Ababa. In
addition to the aforementioned activities, governmental organizations are also engaged in the delivery of
tangible services to PwDs, particularly in employment and, education and health sectors. And the services
they provide include education of visually, aurally and mentally disabled children, provision of medical care,
vocational training programs, employment opportunities, sports, libraries for the visually impaired, etc.31

Other than that, the bulk of tangible service availed to PwDs in Addis Ababa is provided by non-
governmental organizations. Services rendered by non-governmental organizations include community
based rehabilitation (CBR), rehabilitation centres, special needs education, vocational training, employment,
assistive devices (artificial limbs and prosthetics), assistive technologies and software, basic health facilities,
recreation and sport, empowerment, including computer training, sign language training, life skills training
etc.

Moreover, persons with disabilities in Addis Ababa and beyond have organized in various associations to
advance their status and improve their lives. Some of these DPOs organizations are constituted decades
ago, and over times association of parents of persons with intellectual disabilities and other numerous self
help groups of associations of PwDS have been established. Some of the main DPOs are:
• Ethiopian National Association for the Blind
• Ethiopian National Association of the Deaf
• Federation of Ethiopian National Associations of Persons with Disabilities (FENAPD)
• Ethiopian National Association for Physically Handicapped
• Ethiopian Women with Disabilities National Association
• Ethiopian National Association on Intellectual Disability
• Ethiopian National Association of Persons Affected by Leprosy
29 MOLSA Website, http://www.molsa.gov.et/
30 UN Expert Meeting on Ethiopia, Supra note 5.
31 Id.
21
• Ethiopian National Association for the Deaf-Blind
• AAU Physically Impaired Students Association
• AAU Visually Impaired Students Association

The target groups of the associations mentioned above are the blind, the deaf,  the physically impaired,
the intellectually disabled, the leprosy patients, the persons with physical disability, and persons with
multiple disabilities. The associations participate in the formulation of policies and proclamation as well as
various programmes related to disability issues. In addition, they are actively engaged in the celebration
of International Day of Persons with Disabilities and other events. Moreover, they provide facilities and
support services to their members. (Vide Catalogue Part of this Research for information on the list of
service provider organizations –non-governmental or otherwise- and the type of service they render).

It should be noted here that, in view of the prevalence of disability in the city, both governmentally and
non-governmentally available services are incommensurate with the existing need of the city’s PwDs. For
one, these services are not provided in a comprehensive and consistent manner, rather they are provided
in piecemeal approaches according to the aims and objectives of the service provider organization’s
establishment.32 Secondly, due to financial and human resource constraints the capacity of many
organizations to accommodate potential service seekers is quite limited. Here mention should be made
that some non-governmental organizations have adopted cost recovery scheme to mitigate the problem
of resource constraint. Moreover, in terms of aggregate service delivery there is a tendency on the part
of service providers to concentrate on physical disability which renders availability of services for persons
with intellectual disability and autistic children even less available.

In sum, the long list of organizations working on various disability issues and list of different type services
noted to be available is in no way conclusive evidence for actual availability of tangible services for PwDs
in general, for persons with intellectual disability and autistic children in particular.

32 Id.
22
5. Level of Utilization of Available Opportunities and Services
Knowledge of Available Opportunities and Services

In order for PwDs tap and utilize available opportunities and services, they or their guardians should be
knowledgeable about them. However, PwDs and their guardians in general are not sufficiently aware.

To begin with, information intended to the general public is not disseminated to PwDs in accessible
formats appropriate to different types of disabilities. Other than the main means of communication, i.e.
TV and Radio, In Ethiopia the use of sign language, Braille, augmentative and alternative communications in
promoting opportunities and services is not familiar. Though the importance of TV and Radio cannot be
denied, those who do not have access to TV or Radio or those who cannot make use them due to their
disability type and so remain excluded from the information.

Increasingly more and more organizations in the city are launching websites and are promoting services
through the internet. However encouraging such moves might be, the added value the internet brings in
informing PwDs seems very marginal. This is so because the level of internet users in the country is small.
And the number of PwDs considered to have access to computers is even smaller.

This is the existing situation in the city as far as PwDs access to information on available opportunities and
services other than TV and Radio, including the internet. When considering, knowledge of the PwDs, this
situation should be kept in mind.

Aside the above issue, it should be pointed out that knowledge level of PwDs and their parents on
available opportunities and services differs between those who have organized themselves in associations
or organizations and those who have not. First, PwDs not organized in associations.

The level of knowledge PwDs not organized in associations have about available opportunities and
services are much less than those organized in associations. As with the case of PwDs in general, the
majority are excluded from getting the required knowledge for various reasons.These PwDs are poor and
overwhelming majority of them is illiterate. Because of the public’s negative attitude towards them and
their family, many of them are hidden in homes, and the possibility to getting information out of home is
limited accordingly. Although media coverage on disability issues is on the increase, information on available
opportunities and services is on piecemeal basis; specifically information shared is usually limited to the
organization sponsoring the program. In other words, such information is not delivered in comprehensive
and systematic way. Moreover, the condition of many of them is such that their constant concern is
securing daily meal, rather than soliciting information on available opportunities, in particular.What is more,
since they are not organized in associations, their means of getting organized and practical information is
significantly curtailed.

In terms of number, these PwDs represent a significant portion of the entire community. Although there is
no statistical evidence that shows the exact number of these PwDs, DPOs and other disability organizations
contacted for interview expressly stated that the proportion of PwDs not organized in associations is
significant. If these PwDs represent a significant portion, it will not be difficult to see the magnitude of
PwDs who are not benefiting from the very opportunities and services made available to them due to lack
of access to information.

In regard to PwDs organized in associations, these are type of PwDs who went beyond home and are able
to pay membership and other fees to their DPOs. As a member to a DPO, they benefit from the services
their organization provides and potentially have access to the relevant information, at least to the extent
that their organization have.

As noted before, DPOs are actively involved on issues affecting their members. Also, they have strong
connection with other organizations working on common areas of interest. As a result, as an organization,
23
DPOs have good level of knowledge about available opportunities and services. However, this doesn’t
necessarily mean that such knowledge is comprehensive enough and also it is shared by all member PwDs
as well. In organizations where there is an established system to devolve organizational knowledge to
members, members share the knowledge accordingly. In practice, indeed, some DPOs organize regular
sessions to members to discuss on issues of interest. During these sessions the DPOs inform their members
about various disability issues, about available opportunities and services. For this reason, relatively these
PwDs have better knowledgeable about available opportunities and services.

However, information these PDOs have is by no means sufficient. In fact it is fragmented and not
comprehensive. This might have to do with the fact that there is no comprehensive and up-to-date
database available even to the organizations. Still, gap has been noticed between knowledge at organization
level and knowledge members have. At this point, the need and importance of adopting a specific formal
strategy by DPOs on how they effectively devolve organizational knowledge to all members cannot be
over emphasized.

Accessibility of Services by PwDs

Despite the progressive trend in the expansion of opportunities to PwDs in the city, facilities and services
open to the public are inaccessible for PwDs. Currently, the physical structure of facilities and services
offered to the public both by the government and the private sector are in general inaccessible to persons
with physical impairments. Such facilities include: buildings, roads, transportation, indoor and outdoor
facilities, including schools, housing, medical facilities and workplaces, theatres, museums, cinemas, libraries
and tourism services, sporting and recreational areas.

There are several reasons for the unfavourable situation. Overall the physical environment within the city
is established long before much of the laws and regulations that deal with accessibility take into effect.
Although there are efforts by the government to make publicly open places and facilities accessible to
PwDs, the result of such efforts, though encourage able, is in quite limited places. Resource constraint is
noted to be the major reason for the limited result.

In regard to the private sector, however, not much of such effort is observed. It is the profit motive
that primarily directs investments. Currently, however, most business managers are unconvinced that
accommodating PwDs in the delivery of their service enhance their overall performance.33 Probably a
manifestation of the stereotypical view prevalent in the public, the city’s business community has yet to
appreciate the importance of accommodating PwDs.

In addition to the physical environment, distance to facilities and services specifically made available to
PwDs is a big challenge for the PwDs. While mainstream services are available here and there across
the city, disability specific facilities and services such as special needs schools and rehabilitation centers
are found in limited numbers and places. In order to utilize such services and facilities, PwDs, and their
guardians in some cases, need to travel distant place and should be in a position to pay for transportation.
However, physical impairment and economic condition prevents causes many of them to shy away from
utilizing services and facilities made available for free.

Even when available facilities and services are physically accessible, the cost of utilization is another barrier.
Indeed, many organizations provide their services for free. However, there are organizations which have
adopted cost recovery schemes and require payments. Compared to the market value, the fee these
organizations charge is nominal or small. In some cases though, in view of the condition of PwDs, the
amount of money required to be paid is unaffordable.
Because of these and other reasons, level of utilization of available opportunities and services by the PwDs
is low.
33 Yetneberesh Negussie interview with Yelibenwork Ayele, The Reporter - English , Posted Saturday, 17
April 2010 03:00

24
6. Challenges of PwDs in Using Available Opportunities and
Services
There are numerous challenges PwDs face in utilizing available opportunities and services. Concerning
available opportunities, the more pronounced challenge is awareness. Utilization of opportunities made
available by legislative and regulatory measures can require technical knowledge for understanding and
then to seek for enforcement. However, PwDs access to information and their educational level makes it
difficult for them to utilize opportunities. As noted before, information and education are also factors for
non-utilization of available services.

Another major challenge PwDs faced in utilizing available services relates to institutional problem that
exists on the part of service provider organizations. Organizations that provide disability specific services
don’t have the required number of trained human power. Indeed, this problem particularly manifests itself
in special needs education, rehabilitation (physical or otherwise) that require a high level of technical
intervention, in the production of assistive devices, including orthopaedic and prostatic materials. As part
of the effort to alleviate this problem, increasingly more and more educational institutions are producing
the needed types of professionals. Compared to the existing need however this problem will remain
sufficiently unsolved for many years to come.

Financial capacity is another problem of the service providers affecting PwDs. Virtually all institutions
contacted for interview have expressed financial constraints as a big challenge they face in the delivery of
services. Accordingly, the service is inadequate and important supplies they provide are scarce. In addressing
the financial problem system these organizations installed varies. Among the institutions contacted for
interview, it is noticed that organizations working extensively on community based rehabilitation (CBR)
service have adopted in partnership with pertinent institutions a system of referral. This is indeed a
positive approach in the effort to make services PwDs receive adequate. Other than this, the general
picture is that services PwDs are receiving is inadequate.

In contrast to the organizations providing CBR service, there are organizations which adopted a system of
cost recovery. The appropriateness of such system is still a debatable issue. The main argument forwarded
in favour is that, above filling short term resource gaps, it contributes in building a sustainable, locally
financed service delivery system in the longer term. On the other hand, those who are against maintain
that the system of cost-sharing will in many ways create a significant barrier to poor people seeking the
services. According to the latter, cost sharing compounds inequities in access to service and contributes
to the destitution of the most vulnerable. Moreover, they argue that the poor may be willing to pay to
access service, “but they may be unable to do so without sacrificing their longer-term economic well-
being through unsustainable borrowing or selling productive assets”.34 However the system is debatable, in
practice it is running to the disadvantage of many of the city’s PwDs.

Another challenge PwDs faced in utilizing available opportunities is security and safety related. As noted
before, because of gender and age grounds women and children with disabilities are more vulnerable
to sexual and other violence. Especially, women and children with intellectual disability are vulnerable
to sexual violence. There are actual instances where sexual violence is committed against intellectually
disabled women and a child, who were not accompanied by guardians or parents. These incidents have
been broadcast over the media. Consequently, guardians of intellectually disabled students who couldn’t
accompany the students to and from school are reported to have rendered these students stay at home.

34 Timothy Poletti, Cost-recovery in the health sector: an inappropriate policy in complex emergencies,
Humanitarian Exchange Magazine (March 2004 Issue 26) accessed at http://www.odihpn.org/report.asp?id=2609
25
7. Strategies to Expand Opportunities and Services
In order to expand opportunities and services for the city’s PwDs, a strengthened effort is required
on the part of development actors.

Towards this, DPOs have the potential to play an instrumental role. As current state of affairs
suggest DPOs are not in a position to live up to their potential. This is because the proportion
of member PwDs to non-members is significantly small. Whether or not the structure of these
DPOs, especially membership fee and regular payments they require, has become a barrier for
the present number of members, is something that would need a research of its own. Whatever
the case, DPOs need to be able to install accommodating structures and procedures for the
poorest of the poor and significantly expand their members. Onces DPOs managed to do this, it
would be much easier to close the information gap that exists amongst PwDs regarding available
opportunities and services.

This is the general strategic approach the findings of this research call for. Other than this, different
approaches are needed for expanding opportunities or expanding services.
Opportunities created by legislative and regulatory measures are extensive, but in actuality PwDs
utilization of these opportunities is quite less than the potential. In this regard, the low level of
awareness PwDs and stakeholders have played a big part not only in PwDs non-utilization of
available opportunities, but also in limiting actual availability of opportunities for PwDs. Therefore,
as far as expanding opportunities goes, efforts should be directed at implementation side of the
legislations and regulations.

Regarding, available services efforts should be directed towards resource mobilization, including
by undertaking awareness campaigns. There is a tendency amongst some development actors
of viewing disability interventions from a narrow and short-term perspective. In other words,
interventions made towards enabling persons with disabilities are considered as expenses and the
potential and actual contributions PwDs made or are making to the society is overlooked. As we
have seen before, prevalence of such view in the business community is vividly observed. Probably
unavailability of data on the purchasing capacity of PwDs coupled with publics stereotypical
attitude towards PwDs have contributed to the unfavorable attitude, following assessment on
the prevalence of business community’s attitude on disability interventions. A research on the
purchasing capacity of PwDs in the city and awareness raising campaign targeting the business
community is recommended.

Moreover, considering the number of PwDs that have been or could be negatively affected by cost
recovery system, the impact of this system on PwDs in general, on the poor ones in particular,
needs to be studied. Based on the findings of the study, appropriate measures need to be adopted.

Compared to other types of disability, disability interventions in Addis Ababa seem to be directed
disproportionately towards persons with physical disabilities. The fact that currently available
statistical figures show more numbers and the relatively lower level of technical competence
required to support them, may explain the situation.

26
8. Strategies for Disseminating Information Regarding Available
Opportunities and Services
Information need to be communicated in an effective and efficient manner so that the best possible result
is obtained. It is important to think about what we want to achieve s a result of receiving the information
and then assess which method is most appropriate for this circumstance.35 These are the general strategic
considerations one has to make before communicating a message to an audience.

Specific strategic considerations which need to be made in disseminating information regarding available
opportunities and services, are described in detail herein below. The strategic considerations so described
below are informed by existing practices on disability in Addis Ababa and the Catalogue on Available
Opportunities and Services for PwDs in Addis Ababa.

Setting communication objectives

The first step for effectively disseminating information on available opportunities and services is setting
communication objective. In general, setting communication objective can mean articulating the main point
why one communicates one’s audience and what ideas one hopes the audience will take away after receiving
the message. In our case, the objective is to provide essential information to different groups of PwDs
about available opportunities and services using appropriate means, modes and formats of communication.
Referring communication means, modes and formats as a matter of objective is important since as it
emphasizes the essential element in communicating PwDs, but which promotional activities in Addis Ababa
and beyond demonstrably lack.

And appropriate means, modes and formats of communications refers sign languages, Braille, augmentative
and alternative communication, and all others.

Suggesting key messages to be disseminated

Having set communication objectives, the next step is suggesting the key messages to be disseminated. In
our context, the key message should focus on available opportunities and services.Also it should be directed
at raising awareness level of communities and institutions, including governmental and non-governmental
organizations as well as the private sector. Key message intended to be communicated to communities
should focus on promoting positive perceptions and greater social awareness towards PWDS and PwDs
contributions to society. In regard to NGOs, particularly the so called development NGOs, a message
aimed at convincing them mainstream disability in their work is recommended. Concerning the private
sector, what will be recommended is a message to make them understand disability issue and to convince
them facilitating PwDs access to facilities and services they provide to the general public is not only a
moral issue, but also makes good business sense.

Defining target groups/audiences

Our effort on information dissemination can target a wide a spectrum of audiences. Among these are:
• PwDs in general or according to disability type, gender, age, etc
• PwDs guardians, parents and family member
• Communities
• Institutions, e.g. governmental, non-governmental, private sector
• Iddirs
• Religious institutions

35 Lindblom/Nylund, Advocacy and Lobbying Manual, The Secretariat of the African Decade for Persons
with Disabilities, 2006. p. 11
27
Identifying appropriate channels of communications

Available channels of communications are many (brail, sign language, electronic, broadcast, etc), and in
communicating the message the effectiveness of one channel over the other need to be considered. More
importantly, when targeting PwDs, the need to employ communication channel according to different kinds
of disabilities cannot be overemphasized. Available communication channels include:
• Broadcast media, Radio and TV;
• Print media, newspapers, magazines, leaflet, pamphlets, banners, signboards, etc;
• Electronic media, the internet and websites;
• Events including International Disability Day celebration, workshops, seminars, conferences, etc;
• Schools, clubs, mini-media, etc;
• Communication materials, catalogue, card, etc.
• Means, modes and formats of communications; sign languages, Braille, augmentative and alternative
communications

Defining responsibilities for information dissemination

Once the appropriate communication channels are sorted out, the next step is defining responsibilities.
The responsibilities of the targets are defined according to their role in community and opportunities they
have in terms of disseminating the information. The responsibility of the targets is as follows:
• Government organizations: participate PwDs; organize awareness campaigns; organize workshops,
particularly on available opportunities;
• NGOs: disseminate information to PwDs and their parents and to the private sector.
• Schools: establish clubs on disability; allot time on mini-media for entertaining disability issues.
• Idirs and Religious institutions: educate the public about disability during general meeting and
preaching sessions respectively.

Framework for monitoring of the effectiveness of communication strategies.

Lastly, in order to gauge the effectiveness of communication strategies, a framework for monitoring and
evaluation should be established. Such framework should define monitoring and evaluation tools, including
indicators. Accordingly, it should measure accessibility and utilization of information, identify the source of
information PwDs received.

28
9. Conclusion and Implications
Conclusions

However important, adequate and accurate information on the prevalence and situation of PwDs in Addis
Ababa has yet to be developed. On the prevalence of disability, available statistical information shows
contradictory figures while no such information is available on the welfare of PwDs. But it is believed
that the number of PwDs in Addis Ababa exceeds one million. And the majority of this PwDs live below
poverty line and PwDs make up disproportionate number of the poorest of the poor. In order to provide
these PwDs equal opportunities and enable them fully participate in all aspects of society’s life, a range of
measures need to be adopted.

Over the past few decades various measures development actors undertook to alleviate the conditions
of PwDs have resulted in the creation and expansion of opportunities for PwDs in Addis Ababa. Measures
the state, both at the federal and at Addis Ababa City Administration levels, have greatly expanded available
opportunities. In addition, trends in international development intervention as well as increase in disability
awareness also have contributed for the creation of various opportunities PwDs in the city have at present.

As it is elsewhere in other parts of the developing world, however, available opportunities and services
for PwDs in Ethiopia are limited. Adequate of facilities and services requires significant resources and
trained human power which the state and non-state actors don’t have in sufficient number at present.
Progressively the state and non-state development actors are availing such opportunities and services to
PwDs. However, in view of the existing demand available facilities and services remain to be inadequate.

Moreover, information on available opportunities and services has not been systematically disseminated to
PwDs by the service providers. One of the reasons is that “service providers [for PwDs] often concentrate
on establishing and developing services, but give less thought to how persons with disabilities find out
about and access them”36.

In order for PwDs tap and utilize available opportunities and services, they or their guardians should be
knowledgeable about same. However, PwDs and their guardians in general are not sufficiently aware about
available opportunities and services.

Information intended to the general public is not disseminated to PwDs in accessible formats appropriate
to different types of disabilities. Other than the main means of communication, i.e.TV and Radio, In Ethiopia
the use of sign language, Braille, augmentative and alternative communications in promoting opportunities
and services is not familiar. Though the importance of TV and Radio cannot be denied, those who do not
have access to TV or Radio; or those cannot make use of same due to their disability type will remain
excluded from the information.

Increasingly more and more organizations in the city are building websites of their own and are promoting
services through the internet. However encouraging such moves might be, in view of the level of internet
use in the country in general and the number of PwDs that have access to computers the added value the
internet brings in informing PwDs seems very marginal.

In addition, facilities and services open to the public are inaccessible for PwDs. Currently, the physical
structure of facilities and services offered to the public both by the government and the private sector
are in general inaccessible to persons with physical impairments. Such facilities include: buildings, roads,
transportation, indoor and outdoor facilities, including schools, housing, medical facilities and workplaces,
theatres, museums, cinemas, libraries and tourism services, sporting and recreational areas.

36 Anne McGuire, Minister for Disabled People, Office for Disability Issues, HM Government, Five principles
for producing better information for disabled people: Supporting public sector communicators and practitioners
(February 2007), p. 2
29
Even when available facilities and services are physically accessible, the cost of utilization is another barrier.
Indeed, many organizations provide their services for free. However, there are organizations which have
adopted cost recovery schemes and require payments. Compared to the market value, the fee these
organizations charge is nominal or small. In view of the condition of PwDs, the amount of money required
to be paid is unaffordable.

Still more, disability interventions in Addis Ababa seem to be directed disproportionately towards persons
with physical impairments. The fact that currently available statistical figures show more numbers and the
relatively lower level of technical competence interventions require may explain the situation.

PwDs lack of information on available opportunities and challenges is a big problem observed in the course
of this research work. Accordingly, there should be a mechanism for communicating such information
in an effective and efficient manner. Hence, Strategies for Disseminating Information Regarding available
Opportunities and Services

Implications for Project Implementation

• Devise methods for producing reliable and internationally comparable statistical date or valid data
base on disability;
• Organizing public information campaigns and public discussions to promote positive perceptions and
greater social awareness towards persons with disabilities;
• Promote establishment of systems for devolving DPOs organizational knowledge to their members
effectively;
• Devise ways and means to organize more PwDs in associations or self help groups;
• Promote effective communication strategies for dissimilating information on available opportunities
and services to PwDs;
• Promoting the provision of information intended for the general public to persons with disabilities in
accessible formats and technologies appropriate to different kinds of disabilities
• Awareness raising campaign on available opportunities and services to PwDs;
• Awareness raising campaign on available opportunities to private businesses and other service
providers;
• Promote development actor’s increased intervention in the areas of intellectual and mental disability
; and
• Last but not least, one of the challenges encountered in undertaking of this research in general, in
suggesting, based on the research’s findings, intervention areas and strategies to expand available services
and opportunities is the limitation the new Charities and Associations Proclamation imposes on the
interventions of Ethiopian Resident organizations. In terms of defining approaches and strategies for
intervention, it is essential to exactly delimit the contours of restrictions this Proclamation placed on
the activities of these types of organizations, specifically regarding areas and types of interventions and
strategic approaches.Thus, extensive study on Ethiopian Resident Organizations’ disability interventions
vis-à-vis the requirements of the Charities and Associations Proclamation is highly recommended, and
thereafter familiarize Ethiopian Resident Organizations working on disability issues with the findings
of the research.

30
Annexes

Annex A: List of Documents Reviewed

1. Central Statistical Agency, 1994 Population and Housing Census Report (CSA, 1994).
2. Central Statistical Agency, 2007 Population and Housing Census Report (CSA, 2007).
3. Central Statistical Agency, Welfare Monitoring Survey (CSA 2004)
4. Charter of the Addis Ababa City Administration
5. Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
6. Construction Permit/License Regulation No. 1/97
7. Developmental Social Welfare Policy - 1997
8. Disability And International Cooperation And Development:A Review Of Policies And Practices,
Janet Lord, Aleksandra Posarac, Marco Nicoli, Karen Peffley, Charlotte Mcclain-Nhlapo And
Mary Keogh May 2010(SP Discussion Paper No. 1003, Social Protection and Labour,The World
Bank)
9. Disability in Development: Experiences in Inclusive Practices (Handicap International and CBM
Christoffel-Blindenmission Christian Blind Mission e.V. 2006)
10. Disability Statistics Manual
11. Ethiopian Building Proclamation (No. 624/2009)
12. Ethiopian Customs Authority Custom Tariff Books (Volume I & II-2003)
13. Harilyn Rousso, Education for All: A Gender and Disability Perspective, An unpublished report
prepared by Harilyn Rousso, CSW, Disabilities Unlimited, for the World Bank.
14. Higher Education Proclamation (No.650/2009)
15. Highier Education Proclamation of 2008
16. ILO Convention concerning Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) No.
159 (1983)
17. International Labour Office, Employment of People with Disabilities: The Impact of Legislation
(East Africa)–Ethiopia Country Paper (ILO, 2004)
18. Labour Proclamation No. 377/2003
19. Lindblom/Nylund, Advocacy and Lobbying Manual, The Secretariat of the African Decade for
Persons with Disabilities, 2006
20. Ministry of Education, Directive on the Placement of Students in Government Higher
Educational Institutions (MOE, 2001 E.C)
21. Ministry of Education, National Technical & Vocational Education and Training Strategy (MOE,
22 August 2008 / 2nd Edition)
22. Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, A Plan for Accelerated and Sustained
Development to End Poverty (PASDEP)(2005/06-2009/10)
23. Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Annual Plan Document, (MOLSA, 2002 (E.C)) http://
www.molsa.gov.et/
24. National Programme of Action for the Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities - 1999
25. Office for Disablity Issues, HM Government, Five principles for producing better informa-
tion for disabled people: Supporting public sector communicators and practitioners (February
2007).
26. Proclamation to provide for the Responsibilities of the City Government organs in the Transfer
of the City Government Houses and its execution (No. 19/2005)
27. Right to Employment of Persons with Disabilities Proclamation No.568/2008
28. Special Needs Education Program Strategy- 2006
29. Special Needs Education Strategic Program, (2006, Ministry of Education)
30. The Federal Civil Servant Proclamation (Proclamation No. 262/2002)
31. The Reporter English Weekly, Accessibility of building to the disabled improves Yetneberesh
Negussie By Yelibenwork Ayele, Posted on the web Saturday, 17 April 2010 03:00
32. The Washington Post, Wolfensohn, Poor, Disabled and Shut Out, (December 3, 2002)

31
33. Timothy Poletti, Cost-recovery in the health sector: an inappropriate policy in complex
emergencies, Humanitarian Exchange Magazine (March 2004 Issue 26) accessed at http://www.
odihpn.org/report.asp?id=2609
34. Tirussew Teferra et al, 1995 Baseline Survey on Disability in Ethiopia conducted Institute of
Educational Research, Addis Ababa University
35. Tirussew Teferra, Disability in Ethiopia: Issues, Insights and Implications (2005, Addis Ababa
Printing Press)
36. United Nations Convention on the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities (CRDPD)
2006
37. United Nations, Report of the Secretary-General, Implementation of the World Programme of
Action concerning Disabled Persons: the Millennium Development Goals and synergies with
other United Nations disability instruments, United Nations General Assembly Sixty-second
session (United Nations A/62/157).
38. United Nations, United Nations Expert Group Meeting on Disability-sensitive Policy and
Programme Monitoring and Evaluation-Country Paper: Ethiopia (UNHQ, New York, 3-5
December 2001).
39. Value Added Tax Proclamation No. 285/2002
40. World Bank, POVERTY REDUCTION STRATEGIES: THEIR IMPORTANCE FOR DISABILITY,
Disability and Development Team, July 7, 2004.
41. World Health Organization, Global Programming Note 2006-2007: Call for Resource
Mobilization and Engagement Opportunities (2006, WHO).
42. World Health Organization (2002) Towards a Common Language for Functioning, Disability
and Health The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). WHO/
EIP/GPE/CAS/01.3 Geneva, World Health Organization.
43. World Health Organization /United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and
the Pacific, TRAINING MANUAL on DISABILITY STATISTICS (WHO/UNESCAP, 2008)
44. World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons, adopted by the General Assembly
in December 1982.

32
Annex B: List of Institutions and Persons Contacted

No Institutions Contacted Name and Position of Informant/s

Governmental Organizations
1 Ministry of Labour and Social 1. Ato Asseffa Balhir- Social Welfare Development
Affairs Directorate Director

2. Ato Amha Berhe-Social Welfare Development


masefafiya, capacity Building & Information
service expert

3. Ato Kassahun Public Relation and Communication


Directorate Director
2 Bureau of Labour and Social 4. Ato Yusuf Ali-Partnership & Fund Raising Officer
Affairs
5. Ato Mamo Gebreyohanes-Rehabilitation Support
Monitoring Officer
3 Ministry of Education 6. Ato Belew Assefa: SNE Senior Expert

4 Bureau of Education 7. Ato Tamrat Woldegebriel-Information Analysis &


Research Expert(formerly disability focal person)
5 Inclusive and Special Needs 8. W/ro Tibe Asgedom, Special Needs Education
Schools Teacher, Meseraq Ber No 1 Junior Secondary
School

9. Birhanu Mekoya, Special Needs Education Teacher,


Kokebe Tsibah Junior Secondary School
6 Ministry of Health 10. Dr. Liknaw Adamu-National Proffessional Officer
of WHO in Prevention of Blindness Seconded to
Ministry of Health
7 Bureau of Health 11. Ato Alemu Hailemariam - Curative & Diagnostics
Health Service Efficiency & Quality Monitoring &
Support Officer
8 Addis Ababa HAPCO 12. Ato Tariku Mola- Social Mobilization Case Team
Coordinator

9 Social Security Authority 13. Ato Ephrem Bekele-Pension Contribution &


Benefit Entitelement Core Process Coordinator

10 Bureau of Works and Urban 14. Ato Mesfin Tilahun-Construction, Regulatory and
Development Capacity Building Authority, A/Head

15. Ato Molalegne Alemneh, City Government House


Administration and Ownership Transfer Office,
Research Officer
11 Bureau of Youth and Sports 16. Ato Adane Wubeshet-Federation Officer, Addis
Ababa Disabled Persons Sport Federation

33
12 Ethiopian Revenue and Customs 17. Ato Eshetu Woldesemayat-Director of
Authority Prosecution Directorate

18. W/t Selamawit Yeyena-Junior Officer,


bemenegesete yetesetu yekerete netsa mebetoche
budene
13 National Bank of Ethiopia 19. W/ro Sinafekesh Tekle- Lawyer at the Legal
Department

International Development Agencies

14 ILO 20. Fantahun Melles- National Programme


Coordinator, ILO-Irish Aid Partnership
Programme ILO-Regional Office for Africa, Addis
Ababa

15 UNICEF 21. Ato Tekola Tatek-Project Officer, Adolescent


Development, Protection, and HIV/AIDS
ENDAN Member Organizations
16 Ethiopian National Association of 22. Tigist Negash-A.A.Women’s Program Coordinator
the Deaf (ENAD)
23. Selamawit Shume-Capacity Building and HIV/AIDS
National Project Coordinator

24. Saba Teasfaye- Sign Language Interpreter


17 Ethiopian National Association 25. W/ro Tsige Ameberebere- General Manager
on Intellectual Disability (ENAID)

18 Nia Foundation 26. Biruk Dagaso-Project Officer

19 Ethiopians for Ethiopians- 27. Ato Emyshetaw Tessema-founder and vice chair
Ethiopian(EFEE) person

20 Cheshire Service Ethiopia 28. Ato Cherenet Tesisa-Project Officer

21 Cheshire Foundation 29. Ato Kedir Mohammed-Executive Director

22 Sahlu Self –Help Blind and 30. Ato Mezmur Belete-Acting Manager
Handicapped Association
23 Ethiopian center for Disability 31. Yetnebersh Nigussie-Programme Manager
and Development (ECDD)
32. Ayechesh Molla-Guide to Accessibility Project
Coordinator
24 Handicap International (HI) 33. Melaku Meaza-Coordinator
Persons with Disabilities’ Organizations
25 FENAPD 34. Ato Menberu Tekuwam -General Manager

35. Ato Kassahun.Yibeltal..-vice President?

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26 Ethiopian National Association 36. Ato Gebre Teshome-Public Relations officer
for the Blind

27 Ethiopian Women with 37. W/ro Debabe Bacha- Social worker


Disabilities National Association

Other Voluntary Organizations


28 International Red Cross and 38. Ato Mulugeta Eshetu, Program Responsible
Crescent Society (ICRC)

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