Joy & Emer

I have the strength to speak up for myself

Nikona nguva ya kujiongelelea

This piece looks at how persons with disabilities are treated by the law and society when making decisions relating to both formal and informal contracts. It is viewed from the perspective of a young woman from Kenya who has faced obstacles in every aspect of her life when attempting to have her legal capacity recognised and supported. The piece is written in two parts, a personal story and a response to what the story discusses. The story identifies specific moments and actions that have suppressed or blocked her from progressing towards legal independence. It tells of the emotional impact these barriers have on a person who receives no recognition of their individual strengths and capabilities throughout their life. The response then reviews these obstacles from a legal and societal perspective; both domains were identified as contributing factors in creating barriers. Through the review of the legal systems, research intoAfrica’s approach to disabilities and Joy’s lived experiences, the piece further identifies the elements that resulted in positive experiences, the piece further identifies the elements that resulted in positive experiences, as well as where improvements can be made. The suggestions for change aim to encourage individuals, organisations and government bodies to consider how they can each facilitate a person with an intellectual disability to be recognised as equal.


My name is Joy Rehema.

I am from Kenya. 

I speak Swahili and a little bit of English with support. 

My 7 word autobiography is – Witty, social, love rights, outdoors, save money.

My name is Emer O’Shea.

I am from Ireland. 

I speak English. 

My 7 word autobiography is: Empathetic, broad-minded, driven, multi-tasking individually odd dreamer.