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Inclusivity Requires Combined Effort

By Steve Ephraem

MUTARE: Mrs Blessing Ringisai puts a broad smile on her face. She assures me that as long as we are talking inclusivity, her face will not stop showing signs of happiness.

Mrs Ringisai is the widow of the late disability advocate, Chamu Dube Ringisai whose curriculum vitae was pregnant with fighting for Disability Inclusion in Zimbabwe. Popularly known as Mukoma Chamu, Mr Dube died on 24 August 2022 in Mutare after a long illness.

Mrs Ringisai holds a Degree in Special Education and claims that they were the barriers that come between persons with impairment and those without which motivated her to study towards disability inclusion.

“I had a lot of challenges in understanding my late husband. He was always accusing able-bodied people of putting barriers between them and Persons With Disabilities. He talked of how people built infrastructure which is not disability friendly, how the education sector didn’t provide devices for PWDs and mobility issues.

“At first I didn’t understand him but when I started to study along special education, I came to realise that it’s true that most members of the community have a negative attitude towards the disabled constituency,” she said.

Mrs Ringisai is a teacher at Chirovakamwe Primary School in Mutare. She teaches a special class in Sign Language. She is proud that her children enjoy singing the National Anthem in Sign Language.

“Most kids are enjoying singing the National Anthem in Sign Language along those with disabilities. Kids are innocent and should be empowered to love and integrate Persons With Disabilities.

“If we manage to do so, you will realise that children with disabilities shall be supported and stop being labelled. By so doing, it will be easy for parents to bring their kids with disabilities to school.

“Persons With Disabilities can pass in their grades just like anyone else. Schools should also play their part by making available learning aids for persons with impairments such as movable desks, hearing aids and devices.

“The community should also help in our cause. It should report families that deny Person With Disabilities educations or support,” added Mrs Ringisai