Elizabeth Shiakamiri | Nairobi, Kenya


Elizabeth works as a Programme Manager for the Innovation to Inclusion Project (i2i), a prominent initiative at Leonard Cheshire, an internationally renowned charity that supports inclusive development and disability rights.Elizabeth develops and administers i2i’s programming in Kenya, which bolsters technological initiatives that directly improve people with disabilities’ access to paid employment in the private sector. As a leader at i2i, Elizabeth manages programs that help empower thousands of people with disabilities and their families via new opportunities for professional development, training, and digital literacy. She spearheads efforts to make people with disabilities more competitive for private sector employment by increasing their professional confidence, strengthening their skill sets, and building their technological expertise. Her programs at i2i also identify solutions to transportation, accommodations, and assistive technology barriers so that people with disabilities can work in inclusive settings with their accessibility needs addressed.

Elizabeth also helps coordinate a global consortium of major international organizations, inclusive development agencies, and disability rights groups that support i2i and Leonard Cheshire’s work. Her initiative’s international partners include experts at the World Bank, the International Labour Organisation, the Global Disability Innovation Hub, the European Disability Forum, and UK Aid.

Elizabeth has extensive experience in disability advocacy, education, employment, and public policy across all sectors. She has also worked for Sense International, Humanity & Inclusion, the Kenya National Council for Persons with Disabilities, and the Kenya Ministry of Public Affairs and Gender. Additionally, she has been a member of Kenya’s National Technical Review Committee, which is tasked with studying and implementing the Kenya Special Needs Education Policy.

Elizabeth Shiakamiri with Sense International-East Africa staff in Nairobi and her U.S. Fellowship mentor, Dr. Martin Blair, Executive Director of the Montana University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (Montana UCEDD).

About

At the time of her U.S. Fellowship, Elizabeth served as a Programme Manager at Sense International, an organization that supports individuals with deaf-blindness. In this role, she implemented many of the organization’s activities in Kenya and contributed to projects that provided educational services for children and young adults with deaf-blindness in rural and urban Kenya.

Elizabeth spent her U.S. Fellowship studying how to embed inclusive early childhood education services within Kenyan public primary schools so that students with disabilities could attend with their peers. She created a Fellowship project that launched early childhood intervention training for primary school teachers in three counties across western Kenya. Teacher trainings covered assessment, placement of students with disabilities, and how to allocate educational resources effectively.

Elizabeth spent her Fellowship at the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities at the University of Montana under the supervision of Dr. Martin Blair.

To read more about Elizabeth’s impact as a Professional Fellows alumna, click here.

Elizabeth (second from left) at the 2018 Inclusive Education Conference, hosted by the Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE), with peer Professional Fellows alumni & U.S. Outbound alumni.
Elizabeth (second from left) at the 2018 Inclusive Education Conference, hosted by the Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE), with peer Professional Fellows alumni & U.S. Outbound alumni.