Exploring equality and non-discrimination of disabled students in policy and practice in public universities in Uganda

Paul Emong, Anica Zeyen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Education is one of the fundamental human rights. Moreover, it constitutes the basis for an effective use of other human and civil rights. The Ugandan government recognizes the centrality of education as a core right and has officially practised inclusive education for over three decades. There are progressive laws and policies as well as institutional frameworks for attaining disability inclusion in education. Statistics on education indicating increasing enrolment of disabled students in schools suggests that these policies have a positive impact on disability inclusion in primary and secondary education. However, there seems to be limited impact on higher education. This disparity raises the question of whether disability inclusion policies in universities are informed by the inclusive education principles set out by the UN human rights standards on education, the SDG 4 target of inclusive and equitable quality education for all, the Persons with Disability Act 2020 on non-discrimination in the provision of education services, and the disability provisions in the Ugandan Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act 2001 (as amended). This chapter sheds light on this research question by carving out (a) how universities are applying the human rights standards on education and inclusive education principles; (b) the nature and composition of institutional disability inclusion frameworks within universities; and (c) the practices of disability inclusion in teaching and assessment of disabled students, and their inclusion in the non-academic programmes. To this end, we engage in qualitative research that builds on lived experiences of disabled students within Ugandan universities. Our sample cuts across disabilities. We propose strategies towards attaining disability inclusion in the university sector in Uganda.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Disability Policy
EditorsSally Robinson , Karen R. Fisher
PublisherEdward Elgar
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2023


  • disability
  • Uganda
  • Education

Cite this