Inaccessibility remains a major challenge

  • int’l day of persons with disabilities
- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Dec 2, 2014-

While there have been some attempts to address the rights of the disabled persons in Nepal, the problem of inaccessibility and lack of technology which fuels discrimination-- remains at large, said experts.

Sudarshan Subedi, chairman of the National Federation of the Disabled Nepal, said lack of proper infrastructure hinders disabled persons from accessing the opportunities like education and employment. “There is a need to implement existing policies and come up with new ones that assist disabled people in terms of accessibility and technology among other issues,” said Subedi.

This year’s theme for International Day of Persons with Disabilities focuses on “Sustainable Development: The promise of technology.”  

There are various laws in Nepal pertaining to disability such as the Disabled Welfare and Protection Act 1982,  a provision that allots monthly allowance under the social security scheme for the disabled, and other guidelines in alliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006.   However, Subedi said the problem of inaccessibility remains a challenge.

The federation has called on the government to focus on a number of issues such as safeguarding rights in the new constitution and issues relating to women, children, youth with disabilities, and creation of employment opportunities.

The 2011 census states that  1.94 percent of the total population in Nepal lives with disabilities.  According to the United Nations, there are over 1 billion people with some form of disability who face not only physical barriers but also social, economic and attitudinal barriers. The UN also states that disability is associated with 20 percent of global poverty with the majority living in developing countries.

“Through adaptive, assistive and inclusive technology, persons with disabilities can make the most of their potential in their communities and at workplace.  Employers can harness technology to create an enabling environment for persons with disabilities to find productive employment and fully use their skills and capacities,” read a message from Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the occasion of International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

 

Published: 03-12-2014 09:13

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