Teachers with Disabilities

TANZANIA TEACHERS' UNION (TTU)

PROFILE OF THE DEPARTMENT

 

Name of Department: 

DEPARTMENT OF TEACHERS WITH DISABILITY

Contact person (name and title):

Peter Mlimahadala – Head of Disability Department

Postal address:

P.O. Box 61110

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Physical address:

Plot No.42   Bwawani Street,
Kinondoni district – Dar Es Salaam region.

Telephone number(s):

+255779786016;+255 784 422393
+255655422393;

E-mail address: 

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Website: www.ttu.or.tz

 

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TEACHERS WITH   DISABILITIES


The department of teachers with disabilities was constitutionally established in 2009 to operate within the structure of the TTU. The main task of this department is to   ensure that teachers with special needs receive better and accessible services from the Union as well as employers. In order to achieve this goal, the department has a disability policy which clarifies important areas where the union should concentrate and it outlines various strategies of offering better services to teachers with disabilities.

 

In March 2008 an experienced teacher with disability was recruited to head the department at the Union’s Headquarters. The department has a representation at the   district, regional and national level as clearly stipulated in the Union’s Constitution.

 

 

Core Objectives of the Department:

1) To create public awareness on the rights needs, talents and potentials of Teachers with disabilities in Tanzania.

2) To create awareness and sense of public responsibility in teachers with disabilities and prepare them to work and participate fully with other members of the society for the benefit of the nation at large.

3) To stimulate and promote the interests of teachers with disabilities in other different fields such as training, employment, placement, sports and recreational activities, information to enable them compete with other people in labour market in accordance with national policies and development requirements.

4) To establish facilities for education and training, habitation and rehabilitation, employment and placement, community based rehabilitation services, researches and after care of retired teachers with disabilities and other severe disabilities.

5) To undertake, conduct, promote and contribute to development programmes or train teachers with disabilities for implementing such programmes taking into consideration their needs.

Targeted population:.

Teachers with Disabilities in Tanzania. Currently (2014), the Union serves 3,228 teachers with disabilities countrywide. The disability categories of these teachers with disabilities are available on request.

Geographical coverage (region, district, branches within Tanzania):

The Tanzania Teachers Union (TTU) operates in 25 regions and 138 districts across Tanzania mainland

Main Focus of Activities:

- Conducting assessment to teachers with disabilities for proper employment and rehabilitation.

- Providing guidance and counselling on prevention, early detection and intervention measures as to the causes and effects of disability.

- Assisting teachers with disabilities to have easier access to information and communication in their respective communities.

- Sponsoring and arrange conference, seminars, workshops, exhibitions symposium etc. for discussions on matters related to the welfare and social services for teachers with disabilities in Tanzania.

- Establishing services for the production of literature in forms and formats accessible to teachers with disabilities including Braille, large prints, recorded cassettes and to encourage manufacturing, import and supply of such facilities, appliances and devices to people with disabilities including teachers with disabilities.

-Introducing and carrying out a program in sports and games to teachers and learners with disabilities in schools and colleges ina Tanzania.

- Cooperating with the government, local NGOs, International Organizations and individual persons for the purpose for which this Union was established.

Recent activities/programmes carried out by the department:

1. Information and data collection to identify correct number of teachers with disabilities.

2. Capacity Building to teachers with disabilities.

3. Leadership Training.

4. Conflict Management and Conflict Resolution.

5. Promotion and popularization of sign language. 

6. Popularization of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with disabilities and the national Disability policy as well as Disability Act No. 9 of 2010.

7. Participation in the Tanzania’s Constitutional review process.

Achievements:

Since its establishment, the department has undertaken the following activities which have registered some success:

- Planning and production of Radio and TV spots that were broadcasted accordingly by Public and private media channels which have a wider coverage in the country aimed at raising public awareness on the rights, needs and potentials of teachers with disabilities in the Country;

- Provided material and technical assistance to 429 neediest teachers with disabilities.

- Sensitized credit facilities to make them assist teachers with disabilities in initiating and managing business enterprises through training and provision of micro-credits;as well as conducting institutional development programme.

- Provided training through a series of workshops and seminars at regional level that aimed to make teachers with disabilities more aware of their rights and obligations in societies they live in.

Challenges facing the Department:

Despite the achievements recorded by the Union’s disability department, there are still some challenges that need to be properly addressed. These include, but not limited to the following:

1. Inadequate availability of mobility gears.

2. Inaccessibility(Physical and Technological )

3. Shortage of assistive devices.

4. Lack of in-service courses to teachers with disabilities to upgrade them by imparting new knowledge and skills.

5. Some teachers with disabilities especially residing in rural areas are not aware of the disability policy, UNCRPD, Disability Act and other Rights-based documents for people with disabilities.

6. Some important documents not available in accessible formats and modes to persons with disabilities.

7. Ignorance and negative attitude of employers, community and policy and decision makers at all levels on the ability and potentialities of persons with disabilities as well as their rights.

8. People with hearing impairment including teachers have low level of accessing information because of acute shortage of sign language service including in the media and social services.

Way forward:

- In the coming five years, the Department will expand its activities to cover more districts especially those newly established;

- Seek more development partners who would support the initiatives of the department.

- Produce modern communications facilities, office equipment and reliable means of transport.

- Continue with Advocacy work.

- Develop fundraising activities for the department in order to fulfill its objectives.

On-going Projects

Currently the Department is carrying out three(3) projects 

1. A project on capacity building:-Imparting knowledge and skills to regional and district representatives of teachers' with disabilities in leadership, entrepreneurship and disability awareness creation,education in HIV/AIDS and promotion of sign language.

This is funded by the Union.

2. A project on special needs assistance to supporting staff and care givers in schools and colleges which enroll learners with disabilities from Dar es Salaam region,and this is expected to be expanded to cover the whole country in case funds are available from other interested development partners. The project commenced in Dar es Salaam in 2015 in collaboration with Impact Trade Union and Disability Action of Ireland

3. Raising awareness to Teachers' with Disabilities,The community, Leaders and Employers on the rights of persons with disabilities as enshrined in various laws, policies, announcements and International Conventions.

This project in 2015 for the first six(6) months was funded by The Foundation for Civil Society Tanzania.

The two(2) southern regions of Lindi and Mtwara were covered in this project.

Department Activities January – December 2016

 

  1. Conduct Constitutional meeting of teachers with disabilities who form a part  of TTU National Council
  2. Conduct Two constitutional meetings of the Teachers with Disabilities national committee
  3. Print TTU’s Teachers with disabilities policy in ink print, large ink prints and Braille prints. 
  4. Conduct Meetings and seminars for teachers with disabilities to empower them with knowledge on rights of persons with disabilities as enshrined in various laws, policies, and conventions; educate them on labour laws; entrepreneurial skills, HIV and AIDS. 
  5. Conduct seminar for regional and district representatives of women teachers with disabilities on women rights, violence against women, labour laws, marriage act of 1971, maternal health and safe motherhood, entrepreneurial skills, probate and administration laws. 
  6. Print leaflets to popularise the Department of Teachers with Disabilities, these will be in ink print prints, large ink prints and Braille prints to be distributed to all TTU offices i.e. district and regions and to other education stakeholders 
  7. Conduct regional visits of members of teachers with disabilities national committee in order to find out progress and challenges encountered by teachers with disabilities at their working stations.
  8. Conduct an Evaluation of implementation of activities of department of teaches with disabilities for the year 2016 and plan for the activities of 2017
  9. Network with other institution within and outside the country dealing with issues of people with disabilities. 

Current Updates