PLWD form association

Highlands, Normal

The National, Wednesday, May 18, 2011

People living with disabilities in Western Highlands now have a collective voice with the formation of the Western Highlands provincial disability council.
Turangu Association for disabled persons president and council committee chairman John Kup said the group would enable those living with disabilities to have a voice after being marginalised and discriminated for a long time.
The group has been created by disabled persons, for others living with disabilities, including those living with diseases like HIV/Aids, TB and senior citizens.
The council will advocate the rights of all persons with disabilities in the province.
It will advise the provincial government and work with the provincial administration.
It will disseminate information to disabled persons in rural and remote areas and receive feedback through self-help organisations in district council wards.
Kup said the group, which was identifying disabled persons and support groups in the province, would prove that disabled persons “are equal in the society”.
“Only by advocating our rights will the barriers come down when we are included in the decision-making process on the dreams, aspirations, fears and frustrations of disabled persons,” he said.
Under the national government policy for disability, three key departments of the government have been tasked with working together with disabled persons to remove barriers that hinder the independence of a disabled person. 
The council will work closely with the divisions of education, health and community development, as well as lands and physical planning department.
The group will work with the provincial building board to address matters regarding health of disabled persons, health and care of pregnant mothers with disabilities in remote areas, as well as be more inclusive in education.
The group will negotiate with the provincial government to have representatives on the provincial hospital, education, physical planning, and building boards and the provincial assembly.