• The 1995 amended constitution of Uganda recognized sign language thereby making Uganda the first country in the world to recognize sign language in the national constitution. As a result, sign language is allowed in schools and other public and private places. We started a diploma course in sign language at Kyambogo University. A sign language dictionary has been produced which also made Uganda the first country in Africa to produce a national sign language dictionary.
  • We successfully lobbied for the representation of PWDs in Parliament and since 1996 we have had a Deaf Member of Parliament which also made us the first country in the world to have a Deaf Member of Parliament.
  • Access to information has increased as UNAD successfully appealed to the Uganda Communication Commission for the enforcement of PWDs Act 2006 which requires televisions to provide sign language interpreters.
  • Though a lot of challenges do exist to access health care services especially reproductive health by Deaf persons, there has been improvement in sharing of information between Deaf persons who learn sign language from UNAD sign language training centres.
  • Access to education has also improved as a result of affirmative action we successfully lobbied for. For example, by 2005, there were only two Deaf persons with a university degree in the whole country which greatly contrasts the current situation whereby over 30 Deaf persons have since graduated in various fields.
  • High demand vs available resources – Uganda has 112 Districts and yet UNAD is in 62 Districts. We receive numerous requests from other districts for us to help them in mobilization, sensitization and capacity building but we lack enough resources especially finances to make this happen.
  • In most districts, Human Rights of Deaf persons are violated and culprits are not brought to book as Deaf persons are regarded useless. For instance, many Deaf women/ girls have either been raped or defiled but suspects are not arrested as Police fails to record statements from the victims due to communication barrier and negative attitude of some of the police officers toward the Deaf.
  • High dropouts of school leading to increased demand of vocational training at UNAD resource center further constrain our efforts as most of these students come from poor families or are orphans thus they are unable to pay school fees for their upkeep.
  • There is also a high demand for Deaf child sponsorship and yet Action Aid International Uganda which has been funding us to work in two districts is currently phasing out.
  • High level of unemployment is also challenging our work at UNAD. There is a need for internship and placement opportunities for the Deaf to get experiences required for most jobs.
  • Demand for sign language training by service providers, parents of the Deaf and Deaf persons remains on high demand but we lack financial resources for the production of training materials and paying salaries for sign language instructors.
  • Advocacy and lobbying remains a critical activity of UNAD especially after ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of PWDs which requires amending local laws to conform with it towards protection and promotion of the rights of Deaf persons. The challenge is lack of funds to pay for legal consultants and organizing consultation meetings to get views of the Deaf.

In summary, we lack a long term development partner to finance most of the work we do.