Gulu Disabled Pupils Get Accessible Toilets

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In short
An inaugural project making classrooms and a toilet accessible for students with disabilities has been launched at a rural school in Northern Uganda.


The accessible toilets are part of the efforts make school environments friendly to pupils with disabilities.
 
Ojok Simon, the Coordinator of Gulu Disable Person's Union says an accessible and inclusive environment at school is key to helping children with disabilities to become job seekers and job providers.
 
He says a child with a disability will spend less energy trying to get education when they are able to freely access the classrooms and toilets at school.  
 
The toilet constructed at Tochi Primary School will be the first to have a complete set of disability-accessible facilities for students.
 
Gulu Disabled Persons Union (GDPU) also worked with the Washington, D.C.-based Advocacy Project to install 8 accessible ramps for classrooms, the school office, widen doorways, and install handrails. 
 
The larger movement sprouted from a small project earlier this summer to install a wheelchair-accessible toilet and water tank at Tochi, aiming to relieve the bladders - and the bullying - of the school's 16 students with disabilities. 
 
Ojok says ten Gulu schools assessed last year failed to meet national accessibility standards.  
 
He says in 2012, 51% of children with disabilities in Gulu did not attend school, partly due to a lack of basic services.
 
Christine Aloya Foyla,  the Head Teacher of the schools says the new toilet the new toilet will greatly be of help to pupils like fourteen-year- Ivan Olanya walks with a limp from polio.
 
Gulu Disabled Person's Union Project Assistant Patrick Ojok said making public schools accessible would help people with disabilities enroll in and stay in school.
 
 
The goal is for people with disabilities to "feel human," Patrick said.