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Deafness and hearing impairment can have profound effects on people of all ages. Helen Keller, who was blind and deaf, said “blindness separates us from things, but deafness separates us from people.”
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Working together to mainstream disability in humanitarian response


Working together to Mainstream Disability in Humanitarian Response
Linda Mwania
Communications Manager
CBM East Africa
In a time of emergency response CBM will work with two main kinds of partnerships. In the first instance, we would work together with our implementing partners, existing partners that we are already working with in the affected area to meet the immediate needs of affected communities. But as a second step to that we also begin to look at new partnerships with mainstream humanitarian organisations and encourage them to include people with disabilities within their own emergency response. In this way it helps CBM multiply the scope of assistance to people with disabilities within the area.
Project participation, name unspecified
He is asking if the government could employ interpreters in these different offices so that when the deaf come there their problems are listened to.
Lucy Dickinson
Humanitarian Affairs Officer
Throughout some of the recent emergency responses in Kenya it has highlighted the fact there is a lack of systematic integration of the consideration of needs of the disabled and other vulnerable groups in emergency response. Moving forward I think our next step is to look at training and a more technical approach and we hope to be able to pool our resources with CBM and other interested parties to roll out a comprehensive set of trainings for partners operating in the field.
David Munyendo
Regional Emergency and Recovery Coordinator
CBM East Africa
CBM in partnership with Kenya Red Cross Society, Merlin, OXFAM Intermon and then the local partners implementing a project on mainstreaming of disability in emergency response. The aim of this project is to ensure that persons with disability are identified as a vulnerable group and are included in all interventions during emergency response.
Chip Barnett
Country Director
Merlin, Kenya
With CBM when the project started we discovered already 500 people just on a rapid assessment and we expect there is thousands more. So we will provide services to them, assistive devices, treatment referrals when necessary.
Moreover we found in this rapid assessment that there is  still a lot of discrimination against people with disabilities. Between a quarter and a third of the people we found, there is 500 people, reported experiencing abuse. So we are doing a lot of awareness raising in communities, working not just with people with disabilities but with the broader community to make them understand what people with disabilities have to go through whether it is physical or visual or hearing.
David Munyendo
Regional Emergency and Recovery Coordinator
CBM East Africa
Disability is now becoming a human rights issue as specified within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It is now a requirement that in all situations of risk and emergency response the issue of disability has to be taken seriously and it means that all players within this field have to make sure that all their services, all their programmes and all the interventions are inclusive.
cbm together we can do more

CBM working with other organisations in times of emergency response - these include current partners, to meet the needs of affected communities, and new partners (often mainstream humanitarian organisations) to greatly increase the scope of assistance to people with disabilities.

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