Deaf Empowerment Kenya (DEK), has members drawn from the Deaf Community and other People with Disability. The organisation was formed to empower the community about the needs of People with Disability and to promote their full participation in the society through right based approaches. The founding members who formed DDSHG were five deaf persons living in Dandora whose initial thinking behind forming this organization was to economically empower deaf persons through initiating a savings and loaning scheme also known as a “merry go round”. Over the years the groups membership steadily increased making the founders recognize the need to formerly register themselves and develop guiding rules and principles, include expansion of their programs to target persons with all types of Disability.
DEK works towards including people with Disability in services related health, education, Governance and social services, with an aim of improving quality and full enjoyment of their fundamental rights. We build the capacity of People with Disability and enhance their well being through programs related to training, advocacy and networking – promoting inclusive practices.
DEK exists to empower people With Disability through programs that build capacity and enhance economic and self reliance.
“We envision a society where People with Disability are empowered; enjoy their rights and equal participation in the larger society”
To achieve our mission, we commit to the following core values: -
What led to the birth of DEK - Situation Analysis
DEK exist in a country that have adopted various legislative principles, both local and international conventions that supports and highlights rights of People with Disability in political representations, the Kenyan constitution 2010 also highlights key political responsibilities of the Government touching on PWD, including 2/3 representation principle, yet to be adopted.
A majority of PWD are unemployed, less educated and with minimal sources of income, the youths and women with Disability bear the burden of idleness and irresponsible sexual behaviors that predispose them to HIV&AIDS, drug and substance use.
Social – Cultural Environment
Because of societal marginalization, most PWD are always in their own community and they don’t interact with others. There is need to bring connection between the non-Disabled and Disability worlds. Most institutions do not take into account the needs of PWD. The mode of training and messaging is audio through lectures with no provision for interpreters. Compounding this problem, there is no deliberate effort to bridge the gaps. There is limited career option for PWD.
The most common communication media used in Kenya is the radio and lack of brailed materials. As a result, most deaf persons and people with low vision miss out on opportunities, information, news on what is going on which is detrimental to their self and economic development. Most PWD lack training on modern technology like I.T and access to internet.
We operate within a legislative framework made up of the various acts and provisions that seek to protect the rights of PWDs: Disability Act 2007, Social Protection Policy, Reproductive health policy, HIV&AIDS Bill, UN Convention on rights of people with disabilities and the Kenya Constitution 2010. This framework provides a legal environment which safeguards the dignity and basic rights of PWDS including deaf persons. However, the challenge lies with the full operationalization and implementation of all aspects of that Act.
DEK strategic focus
With an increasing number of needs competing against an increasingly meager resource base, it has become imperative for organizations to position themselves strategically in order for them to be effective and efficient in the pursuit of their mandates. It is against that backdrop of a competitive environment that put DEK on a strong footing for it to work towards fulfilling its mission.
DEK strategic focus ensure that the organization responds to critical issues as they relate to the success of DEK mission, namely:
DEK operate under Five Strategic Objectives: