Bernadette Otiko Muyomi spent her Professional Fellowship at the University of South Dakota Center for Disabilities.
“I have learned about integration which I hope to bring to my work. Integration in two aspects: 1) When you are working for programing for people with disabilities there is a very high impact when people can relate to personal stories. That means involving the people with disabilities themselves. 2) Ensuring that people with
disabilities are working in familiar areas for people without disabilities, because that is how people learn about each other’s challenges, how to accommodate each other, and how to be better self-advocates.”
The disability community in Kenya faces discrimination and exclusion from employment, just as it does in the U.S. This fact led Bernadette Otiko Muyomi to enter the inclusive employment realm. As the director of the African Grassroots Development Initiative, her role is to provide strategic leadership and liaise with like- minded organizations to lead various advocacy initiatives.
With a diverse educational background encompassing nursing, counseling, and development studies, she has also participated in the International Visitors Learning Program (IVLP), a professional exchange program funded by the U.S. Department of Educational and Cultural Affairs. She is also an alumna of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).
Bernadette is excited by the opportunity to use her fellowship experience to implement a project promoting inclusive employment through informed oversight of members of Busia county assembly in Western Kenya. She intends to do this by empowering civil society members, elected members, and special interest representatives on inclusive employment.