The Attorney General, Hon. Prof. Githu Muigai, today (10th July, 2015) presided over the Launch of Judges and Magistrate Vetting Board Braille and Audio versions of the Interim and Determinations Reports at the Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi. Speaking during the launch, the AG lauded the Board for taking the initiative to translate its Reports in all forms including Braille and Audio Versions. He said the move is unique and that the Board is among the few public institutions which have endeavoured to comply with Article 7 of the Constitution on availing information in a format that is accessible to persons with disabilities. He further urged all public institutions to draw lessons from the Vetting Board.
Addressing the well-attended event, the AG reiterated that on the international front, Kenya was active in the negotiation of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Impaired, which is the first intellectual property treaty that addresses human rights issues as it seeks to ensure access to published works by visually impaired persons and persons with print disabilities; saying “I am happy to report that we are currently in the process of ratifying the treaty as well as amending the Copyright Act to give effect to this provision.”
The AG also urged the Board to distribute copies to libraries, schools for the visually impaired and institutions of higher learning and also to ensure that every visually impaired person can access this information.
The AG was accompanied by Mrs. Maryann Njau-Kimani; Secretary Justice and Constitutional Affairs, State Law office. Other Board members present were; vice Chair, Ms. Rosline Odede, Mrs. Meuledi Iseme, Mr. Justus Munyithya, Mr. Abdirashid Abdullahi and Prof. Ngotho Wa Kariuki who is also the Chairman to the Editorial Committee that played a central role in the transcription of the Braille and Audio Reports.
In his address earlier, the Board Chairman Mr. Sharad Rao, expressed his gratitude for the support and cooperation the Board has received from the State Law Office and in particular from the Hon. The Attorney General, the Hon. The Solicitor General and the Treasury saying “the Board has been able to operate well because of the efficient coordination and good working relationships with the officers of the State Law Office and the Treasury.”
Mr. Rao also expressed his deep appreciation on behalf of the Board to the Thika School of the Blind for gracing the occasion with poems and songs, Mrs. Mary Atieno, Hon. Josphine Sinyo, Comm. Victor Kamau for helping the Board in the preparation and realization of launching its reports into Braille and Audio formats for the Visually Impaired Persons.
To transcribe the Reports into Braille, the Board relied on various stakeholders including, Africa Braille Centre, Kenya Society for the Blind and National Council for Persons with Disability amongst others.
A pupil from the Thika School for the Blind recites a poem during the Launch of the Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board Braille and Audio Reports at the Intercontinental Hotel, Nairobi.
The AG, Hon. Prof. Githu Muigai (Middle), Hon. Josephine Sinyo (Left) and the Chairman of the Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board Mr. Sharad Rao, display copies of the Braille Reports during the Launch at the Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi. Looking on is the Vice Chair, Ms. Rosline Odede.