Ugandan Professional Fellows alumni Ronald Kasule and Hassan Waddimba have officially launched the DASUNS online platform (Diversity Ability Support Network System), which will broaden access to critical services for people with disabilities in their country. DASUNS (Diversity Ability Support Network System) is a social enterprise that provides information about disability resources and services in order to connect people with disabilities, service providers, and agencies. Its new website is a historic step forward for online access to disability accommodations in Uganda.
The DASUNS platform is the focal point of an inclusive development project in Uganda led by Hassan, Ronald, and their colleagues. It received an AUCD PFP-IDE Alumni Small Grants Award earlier in 2021.
The new DASUNS website enables Ugandans with disabilities to search for and request a wide range of specific disability services online. The site helps them find home care workers, personal aides, and sign language interpreters. The website also helps protect individuals with disabilities work remotely and avoid exposure to COVID-19 by enabling them to hire technical support providers who can deliver closed captions in online meetings and verify that virtual communications are accessible. DASUNS users can pay disability service providers via the website, and set up schedules to hire them. Users can also create free accounts that it easier for them to use the site again or find long-term supports.
Ronald and Hassan received their small grant award in early 2021, and used it to speed up the platform’s development. The DASUNS online accessibility recruiting service platform was officially launched in June 2021. They have also received support from Rotary International, and are collaborating with Humanity & Inclusion and the U.S. Embassy in Uganda to promote the new project. They are also working with other Professional Fellows alumni and disability rights groups to collect information about reliable disability service providers across Uganda so that the DASUNS database can provide even more resources to people with disabilities in different regions of the country.
Ronald Kasule is the Founder of DASUNS (Diversity Ability Support Network System). He is a Spring 2018 Professional Fellows (PFP-IDE) alum and was hosted by the United States International Council on Disabilities’ executive director, Isabel Hodge.
Hassan Waddimba is the Founder of Grassroots Strategies Africa. He is a Spring 2018 Professional Fellows (PFP-IDE) alum and was hosted by the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OK LEND) Training Director, Dr. Megan Peters.