Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 11:55 GMT

Uganda: Societal attitudes towards the hearing impaired, their living conditions and the services/resources/facilities available to them (specifically within Kampala)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 10 March 2002
Citation / Document Symbol UGA38486.E
Reference 5
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Uganda: Societal attitudes towards the hearing impaired, their living conditions and the services/resources/facilities available to them (specifically within Kampala), 10 March 2002, UGA38486.E, available at: [accessed 14 December 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

According to The Monitor, the "first ever hearing aid mould laboratory in Uganda" was installed at Mulago Hospital [the biggest hospital in the country with a medical school], in 2001 (29 Oct. 2001). In 2000, members of parliament representing people with disabilities reportedly complained that the Universal Primary Education (UPE) program did not "cater to deaf children," (New Vision, 18 Dec. 2000). There was reportedly "only one government-aided primary school" in Gulu district in northern Uganda, and "not even a single secondary school for the deaf in the country" (ibid.). Additionally, the executive director of the Uganda Association for the Deaf was quoted as saying that "people with a hearing impairment had been denied their most basic right to communication" (ibid. 17 Feb. 2000).

According to Country Reports 2000,

The Constitution provides that persons with disabilities have "a right to respect and human dignity" and requires that authorities take appropriate measures "to ensure that they realize their full mental and physical potential;" however, despite this provision, there was no statutory requirement for government services or facilities, such as accessibility of buildings for the disabled. Most buildings have one story, but in larger towns with multistory buildings, there often are no elevators; even where they do exist, they rarely are reliable. Widespread discrimination by society and employers limits job and educational opportunities for those with physical disabilities. In 1998 the Government appointed a Minister of State for Disabled Persons. A Department for Disabled Persons also exists under the Ministry of Gender, Labor, and Social Development; however, these bodies and positions have little funding to undertake or

support any initiatives (Feb. 2001, 639).

Nonetheless, the Uganda Constitution which came into force in 1995, reportedly "recognizes sign language and offers five parliamentary seats to persons with disabilities" (Disability International Winter 1996). In July 1995, a hearing-impaired person was reportedly elected to parliament (ibid.). According to a report published on the Enabling Education Network (EENET) Website, "if a family has a child with disability, he or she must be granted the highest priority in enrolment" under the UPE program, introduced by President Yoweri Museveni in 1996 (n.d.). "EENET is an information-sharing network which supports and promotes the inclusion of marginalised groups in education world wide." (ibid.). '"EENET was initiated by Save the Children - UK, in partnership with UK and international non-governmental organisations, and research institutions. It is based in Educational Support and Inclusion, School of Education, University of Manchester'" (ibid.) in the United Kingdom.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2000 . 2001. United States Department of State. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Press.

Disability International. Winter 1996. Pascal Mutabazi. "Deaf Politician Elected in Uganda." [Accessed 22 Feb. 2002]

Enabling Education Network (EENET). n.d. "Focus on Policy: Universal Primary Education in Uganda: Alex Ndeezi (MP)" [Accessed 22 Feb. 2002]

New Vision [Kampala]. 18 December 2000. Solomon Muyita. "Parliament Rap Over Deaf." (Africa News/NEXIS)

_____. 17 February 2000. "Uganda: State Committed to Disabled." (Africa News/NEXIS)

The Monitor [Kampala]. 29 October 2001. "Uganda: Canada's Rotarians Donate to Hospitals." (Africa News/NEXIS)

Additional Sources Consulted

Internet sites including:

Danish Deaf Association

Disabled People's International

Search engines including:



Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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