Tag Archives: United Nations

Bahamas

After it has signed in the UN Convention on PWDs, the Bahamas promulgated the Equal Opportunities Act last November 3, 2014 and January 1, 2016.

Provisions were put into effect during the first implementation phase so that PWDs can obtain medical assistance; access training, counselling, and family services; apply for insurance, credit and lending services; and vote. Television stations were asked to provide sign language insets, closed captioning or sub-titles in all newscasts, educational programs, public notices, national emergencies and national events coverage.

In the second phase, fair treatment was reassured so that PWDs can be on a level pegging with the non-PWDs. Employers with more than 100 employees were mandated to employ at least 1% PWDs. Owners of public buildings were directed to allow free access to PWDs. Items donated to institutions and organizations of or for PWDs were eased off of customs duties and other taxes. The Minister of Finance was authorized to grant incentives to local enterprises that manufacture assistive or adaptive devices for use by PWDs.

Public telephone services were adjusted for the hearing and visually impaired. The Supreme Court Rules Committee was empowered to exempt PWDs from paying filing fees and provide assisted services to enable a PWD’s participation before the Court.

In December 2014, The Bahamas also established the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities comprised of 15 commissioners from the community of persons with disabilities themselves. It was to (1) ensure that the provisions of our Act are carried out and (2) monitor, evaluate and ensure the country’s compliance with the International Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities. The Bahamas has also marked October as the National Disability Employment Awareness month, awarding families of PWDs a disability allowance.

As of 2010, there are 5,250 male PWDs and 4,888 female PWDs in The Bahamas. Only one per cent of those 10,138 PWDs, though, are registered with the Department of Social Services.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of the ZNSNetwork

Disability in order

Countries with institutions on social security are one and the same in considering the following disabilities to be given benefits (in alphabetical order) –

ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Alcohol or Drug Addiction

Allergies

Alopecia areata

Amputation

Anxiety Disorder

Arthritis

Asthma

Autism and Asperger’s

Bipolar Disorder

Burn Injury

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Celiac disease

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease

Chronic Migraines

Chronic Pain

Cleft lip and palate

COPD and Emphysema

Coronary Artery Disease

Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease

Cystic fibrosis

Degenerative Disc Disease

Depression

Diabetes

Disorders of the Spine

Dwarfism

Dyscalculia

Eating disorders

Eczema

Endometriosis

Epilepsy

Fetal alcohol syndrome

Fibromyalgia

GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)

Gout

Growth hormone deficiency

Hearing Loss

Heart Failure

Hepatitis

High Blood Pressure

HIV/AIDS

Huntington’s disease

Inflammatory bowel disease

Interstitial Cystitis

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Kidney Failure

Lactose intolerance

Liver Disease

Lupus, or systemic lupus erythmaosus

Lyme Disease

Mono(nucleosis)

Multiple sclerosis (MS)

Muscular dystrophy

Narcolepsy

Neuropathy, Peripheral Neuropathy

Obesity

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

Organic Mental Disorders (incuding Organic Brain Syndrome)

Panic Attacks

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Psorias

PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Rheumatoid Arthritis

RSD, or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy

Ruptured Disc

Schizophrenia

Scleroderma

Scoliosis

Seizure Disorder

Sickle cell anemia

Sleep Apnea

Spina bifida

Spinal cord injury

Stroke (CVA, Cerebrovascular Accident)

Thyroid disease

Tourette syndrome

Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI

Turner syndrome

Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis

Ulcers

Vision Loss

Williams syndrome

There are disabilities, though, that are “invisible.” Examples of these are renal failure, agoraphobia, arachnoiditis, Coeliac Disease, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Fructose Malabsorption, Hyperhidrosis, Hypoglycemia, Interstitial Cystitis, Myasthenia Gravis, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, Schnitzler’s Syndrome, Scleroderma, Sjagren’s syndrome, Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, and Transverse Myelitis.

It is, thus, necessary, beneficial, and practicable to integrate special education (SPED) in the basic and secondary curriculum of every country.

One doesn’t have to finish grade school and high school first before being given the option to study SPED.

A certain illness could be discovered and considered a disability at any given moment, too.

SPED would be the saying “prevention is better than cure” practiced.

Currently, 19% of the less educated people have disabilities1. Eighty percent of the PWDs, too, live in developing countries2.

Disability rates are significantly higher, too, among the member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) with lower educational attainment.

“We have a responsibility to ensure that every individual has the opportunity to receive a high-quality education, from prekindergarten to elementary and secondary, to special education, to technical and higher education and beyond.” ~ Jim Jeffords

1 Based on the information collated by the United Nations

2 Based on the information collated by the UN Development Programme

 

Video from the YouTube Cannel of Julia Davila

Vietnam

Historically, people with disabilities in Vietnam—particularly those living in rural areas—have experienced greatly reduced access to education and reduced employment opportunities.

Just as worse is the confounding statistics on how many of them actually live in the country. In the news article on Viet Nam News, the total is at 6.7 million. And from that figure, about 80,000 have ‘gained vocational skills in jobs that suited their condition, such as spa services, animal husbandry, mushroom cultivation, carpentry, and making clothes and bamboo products’ last 2013.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said it is 15.3%, however.

But Vietnam is inching closer. It has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities last February 5, 2015 and will be implementing initiatives together with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Its Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) has also crafted the National Action Plan to Support People with Disabilities for 2012-20. The 250,000 working-age disabled will be provided with vocational training and the companies that would employ them will receive government allowances and incentives.

Children with disabilities in Vietnam could get to study, too, under the Inclusive Education by 2015 plan.

As early as 1998, the Vietnamese National Assembly has passed the National Ordinance on People with Disabilities Act. It resulted in the establishment of the inter-agency National Coordinating Council on Disability (NCCD); barrier-free access code and standards for public construction and transport; disability inclusion provisions in its Vocational Training Law (2006); and implementation of a five-year National Action Plan on disability. The said initiatives brought about the Law of Persons with Disability, which is the first comprehensive national law guaranteeing the rights of people with disabilities.

A partnership has begun to exist between various businesses, non-government organizations (NGOs), and Chambers of Commerce as well. Through a program of the Disabilities Research and Capacity Development Centre (DRD), disabled persons can ride three-wheel motorbikes in Ho Chi Minh City for free.

“Disabilities are not going to fade out, in fact the numbers are growing. They are not the barrier to inclusion, society is. We must change environments, attitudes and organisations, and everyone is included in this,” ~ Gemma Thompson

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of the AFP News Agency

On Technology

Last year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities focused on the role of technology in (1) disaster risk reduction and emergency responses, (2) creating enabling working environments, and (3) disability-inclusive sustainable development goals. Persons with disabilities (PWDs) can benefit from it, the secretary general of the United Nations believed, only that ‘too many lack access to these essential tools.’

The special rapporteur on the rights of PWDs and the special envoy of the secretary-general on Disability and Accessibility even congratulated the organization’s member states ‘for promising advances in a post-2015 development agenda which is sustainable, inclusive and accessible.’ The 151 member states have been ensuring the realization of Article 11 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as well as the commitment of the special representative of the secretary-general on Disaster Risk Reduction; Japan; and the Nippon Foundation.

There really is no doubt that adaptive, assistive and inclusive technology can let PWDs ‘make the most of their potential in their communities and in the workplace.’ All of them can increase, maintain, and improve the functional capabilities of PWDs.

But 80% of the PWDs are in third-world countries. They have not much money to spend for food, more so for an electronic device that could help them do the most basic of things. Nothing else could alleviate this fact except for more understanding on climate change and special education for all.

PWDs have a higher prevalence of mortality during disaster situations—up to 2 to 4 times—compared to non-PWDs ‘due to inaccessible evacuation, response (including shelters, camps, and food distribution), and recovery efforts.’ Simply using mass transit, reusing a grocery sack, eating nutritiously, and unplugging electronic devices that are not in use can assuage the impacts of climate change.

Prevention is better than cure, too. And there’s no other way through it but an increased awareness only special education to everybody could bring. Each of the illness leading to disability has been caused by a factor or two. It would be wise to understand why it has been so. Moreover, all of us either are or will become disabled during the course of our lives. How technology can be accessed affordably should be thought of as well as how to solve climate change and how to provide special education to all.

“On this day in which we remind ourselves of the situation of persons with disabilities around the globe, it is important, first of all, to resist the temptation to think in terms of ‘us’ and ‘them’. Instead we must remind ourselves that disability is part of the human condition: all of us either are or will become disabled to one degree or another during the course of our lives.” ~WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan’s message on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2014 (IDPD, 2014)