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Forum tackles education, employment access for persons with disabilities

Disabled people who have difficulty accessing education and employment is one of the reasons for continuing problems in elevating their social and economic situation, a forum in Vientiane heard yesterday.
Participants learned about disability policy and the government’s strategic action plan, current disability inclusive development programmes, and challenges faced by persons with disabilities in accessing education, health, and employment.
In Laos, people with disabilities face barriers in accessing basic services such as health, education, and employment on an equal basis with their peers because they lack public support.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Third  Disability  Forum  2018  themed  “Inclusive Education and Employment – Making it a Reality”, Director General of Policy for Devotees and Head of the National Committee for People with Disabilities and the Elderly, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Mr Khamping Sengtannalath, said the purpose of the forum was to share recommendations proposed by the Lao Disability Network and initiate dialogue with other stakeholders working in the disability sector.
He said the meeting would review the outcomes of the last five years’ work and discuss activities going forward.
Such meetings were important to continually provide opportunities to further strengthen relations between the government, civil society and development partners to enhance a more inclusive disability development agenda in Laos.
The Disability Forum aims to promote access to basic services that leads to employment opportunities for people with disabilities, assisting the social and cultural life of their families and communities, he said.
“The forum has two main themes, which are inclusive education and inclusive employment. Both these themes are highlighted as a priority by the Lao Disabled People’s Association (LDPA),” he added.
These commitments were to ensure that all development policies, including those regarding poverty eradication, social inclusion, full and productive employment and decent work, and access to basic social services, and their decision-making processes take into account the needs of and benefit all persons with disabilities, he explained.
“We are gathering to discuss progress in achieving disability policy and the strategic action plan for the country and to set the direction for the future. We would like these global commitments to be reflected in our discussions and decisions,” Mr Khamping added.
According to the LDPA, it has over 16,000 members across the country and is encouraging all persons with disabilities to participate in family and community life and to contribute to local and national development.
However, when basic services are not accessible by persons with disabilities, the challenges are often too difficult to overcome.

By Phetphoxay Sengpaseuth
(Latest Update
March 29,

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