Fellowship Recipient, PhD Candidate
Department of Political Science
Fellowship: Ezera Research for African Students
Fellowship Year(s): 2022
Project/Theme Title: Investigating the Accessibility of the Electoral Process for Persons with Disabilities in Kenya
Abstracts: People with disabilities face significant obstacles to political participation including prejudice, stigma, lack of resources, and inaccessible physical infrastructure. In many instances this marginalization is because of systematic exclusion in political processes. This project aims to investigate how accessible electoral agencies are for persons with disabilities in Kenya. It does this by developing an ‘Elections Accessibility Index for Persons with Disability’(EAIPD). The index aims to measure the accessibility of the election process from voter registration, voter education, registration for party membership, and taking part in the voting process. It measures accessibility in the following key electoral agencies: Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission national office and a sample of five of its county offices, a sample of 10 polling locations, the two major political party offices in Kenya (Jubilee and NASA), and the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties. The index examines whether; the agencies have policies geared towards improving accessibility, produce information, education, and communication materials in braille, have sign-language interpretation services, are wheelchair accessible and consult with PWDs. This project aims to address the scarcity of information regarding political participation and disability in African countries. It also aims to contribute to our understanding of the political experiences of persons with disabilities.