Namibia celebrates International Sight Day
WINDHOEK, 12 OCT (NAMPA) – Namibia celebrated International Sight Day Thursday with a focus on giving dignity to people who are visually impaired through the provision of Braille documents.
The celebrations took place under the theme ‘Make Vision Count’.
Deputy Minister of Disability Affairs, Alexia Manombe-Ncube said in the National Assembly (NA) on Thursday, people with visual impairments have limited access to education because there is no inclusivity for their means of communication and learning – namely through Braille.
According to the 2011 Namibian Census Disability Report, there were 34 445 people with visual impairment at the time.
Manombe-Ncube said the proportion of people with disabilities without any formal education is higher in rural areas at 83,3 per cent than in urban areas at 17,7 per cent, a situation which calls for interventions.
However, the highest portion of people living with disabilities who have no formal education are among the blind, which is because of limited access to Braille.
Manombe-Ncube said Braille enhances the dignity and self-worth of individuals and enables them to learn, read, communicate and make social inclusion easier.
She said for instance that people who are visually impaired do not have a copy of the Namibian Constitution in Braille, adding that they cannot plead their case in any sector without having written communication in Braille.
“I further plead for the recognition and adequate provision being made for access to information and learning in Braille,” she added.
National organisations of people with disabilities throughout the world want to draw local and national authorities as well as the public’s attention to the independence of people with visual impairment.