Novath Epimacus Rukwago spent his Professional Fellowship at The University of Iowa Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD).
“I have learned from Iowa University that we have systems which support people with disabilities individually or institutionally. […] We need people with disabilities to be in the mainstream like any other member of the community can be employed and included. We do not need them to be separated or confined where they don’t interact with the entire community.”
Novath Epimacus Rukwago works both as the project coordinator for Tanzania Association of the Deaf (CHAVITA) and for the University of Dar es Salaam. In both of these roles, he seeks to educate stakeholders on issues pertaining to disability, and to empower deaf individuals to maximize their potential.
The Professional Fellows Program on Inclusive Disability Employment will not be Novath’s first experience in the United States. He lived and worked in Washington, D.C. as he was pursing his master’s in international human rights at American University. He looks forward to returning to the U.S. and continuing his education, this time in a much more workspace-directed realm. He plans to examine not only international human rights, but more specifically how inclusive employment and disability rights fit into this sphere.
Novath plans to gather all information gained through the PFP-IDE Fellowship into a channel that facilitates the sharing of employment information with interested persons with disabilities. He will start by establishing the employment voluntary advisory committee of persons with disabilities. The goal of the committee is to mentor potential job seekers by enhancing their job readiness skills, for example, effective communication, problem solving, resume preparation, interviewing skills, etc. Among other platforms, the committee shall use television and radio to promote employability of people with disabilities.