The Sunday Leader

Report On People With Disabilities To Be Launched This Week

The first report in Sri Lanka bringing together the voices of people with disabilities is to be launched shortly.  It sets the direction for improving the lives of people with disabilities in the country for the next ten years so that they can achieve their full rights.

Achieving these rights (The Disabled Persons’ Organisations Programme Strategy) involved a very wide consultative process.   People with disabilities were able to have a strong voice especially through nine provincial workshops organised through district social services officers.

President, Disability Organisations Joint Front, M. Ratnasekera said “Our umbrella organisation of 23 members is proud to be coordinating this work; we hope it will support progress in achieving our rights.”

Some of the many conclusions of the report include;

•    Inclusive education is not working for children with a disability, lack of special services in mainstream schools means that children with disabilities miss out.

•    The vocational training that is available is often of poor quality and in particular is not market driven, relying on training in traditional skills, and often there is no market for those products.

•    Children with an intellectual disability are the most excluded with the most basic education in skills development not available to them.

President, ORHAN (a disabled people’s organisation based in Vavuniya), M. Subramaniam said that this report clearly sets out what is needed for people with disabilities to be accepted as full members of society.

The timing of the launch is to coincide with International Day of Disabled People.

The launch will take place on Tuesday, December 8 from 2 to 4 pm at Ceylon Continental  Hotel.  The Chief Guest is Social Services and Social Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda and the Guest of Honour is Minister of Justice and Law Reform Milinda Moragoda.

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