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Disability access, assistance in focus as govt, partners gather

Representatives of government, the Lao Disabled People’s Association and development partners met in Vientiane yesterday to review works in assistance and access for disabled people in the capital and provinces and plan for the year ahead.
The Sharing Good Practices Workshop from Lao Disabled People’s Association took place in Vientiane and was attended by the Director-General of Policy for Disability under the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and head of the National Committee for People with Disabilities and Elderly, Mr Khamping Sengtannalath, President of the Lao Disabled People’s Association, Mr Thongchanh Douangmalalay and other officials.
During the meeting, participants discussed the implementation of works in assistance for disabled people in Vientiane and provinces.
They also shared best practices from the Lao Disabled People’s Association for enabling access to the services for disabled people including Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) victims.
“Work for the development of disabled people is implemented along with social-economic developments and assistance for disabled involved with road accidents,” Mr Khamping Sengtannalath told the ceremony.
“Over past years, the government has been paying attention to the development of works for disabled people and have the policy to assist disabled people,” he said.
“This year we are focused on supporting disabled people in the central region in giving them access to education.”
Over the past year, the Lao Disabled People’s Association (LDPA) has continued efforts to promote understanding of rights and funded efforts to support disabled people to allow them to undertake educational courses such as business management, repair work, wood carving, animal breeding, garment making, agriculture and other vocational skills.
The organisation is also seeking support from both the government and private sectors in the provision of employment to disabled people once they have completed their courses.
The  LDPA is a membership-based organisation for people with disabilities, advocating disability rights and providing services to members based on their needs.
The LDPA is one of the few officially recognised non-profit associations in Laos and is also an officially-registered civil society organisation.
According to the Ministry of Labour and Social, Welfare, the country has 160,881 disabled people including 80,115 women.
Some 31 percent of disabled people became disabled after being affected by UXO, and the majority of disabled are children. 
Previously, disabled people suffered many difficulties in society such as being subjected to adverse reactions and a lack of understanding from their families regarding their needs.
Those with an intellectual disability may find it difficult to get involved with activities or get an education.
Many are very keen to participate in activities organised by the Association in cooperation with international organisations who share experience with local officials.
The organisation is committed to continuing to promote the interests of those with disabilities and help them to access education and employment opportunities in the years ahead.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update December 8, 2017 )

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