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Disability Conference Starts

The fourth Pacific Regional Conference on Disability started yesterday at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi. The conference will gather various development actors and partners along with members of the
17 Feb 2015 12:17
Disability Conference Starts

The fourth Pacific Regional Conference on Disability started yesterday at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi.

The conference will gather various development actors and partners along with members of the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) from close to 20 Pacific island countries and territories.

The aim of the conference is to discuss strategies and actions for a Disability Inclusive Pacific (DIP) and provide a platform for continuous dialogue and sharing.

This regional conference is broken down into youth and women groups for two days so they are able to formulate an outcome statement.

Representing Fiji, Savaira Tinai, project officer of Fiji Disabled Peoples Federation said: “I will be facilitating the presentation on Pacific Indicators for Inclusive Education in Fiji.

“Focusing on children with disability in terms of education to be inclusive and I will also chair the youth conference. My presentation involves policy legislation for inclusive education whereby we use a tool of indicators for around the Pacific, the four countries that took part in this project,” the 26 year-old said.

Ana Veregali, 21, of Vanuatu said: “Many girls and women with disabilities face double and triple discrimination and abuses such as unwanted pregnancy.

April Atirai, 24, of Cook Islands who is visually impaired said: “I need support for my disability.

“I am the only one here to represent disability in the Cook Islands. At the Cook Islands National Disability Council where I work, there are only three students. Although there are more students there with disability they are not interested in coming to the centre.”

Luisa Miracle of Fiji will present on violence against women and girls with disability.

“I will talk about accessing our justice system as women with disabilities have double discrimination. Firstly we are discriminated for our type of disability and then discriminated for being a woman,” she said.

“In terms of accessing our justice system in Fiji, most women with disabilities find it difficult to do so and most of them are unaware of the procedures.”

The 27 year-old highlighted the need to have information passed on to them from the service providers.

“I am hoping to take back a change on how women with disabilities are served in terms of accessing the justice system,” she said.

The financial assistance of the Australian government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was also acknowledged.

The week-long conference is organised by the PDF in close collaboration with the Fiji Disabled People’s Federation (FDPF).

Feedback: sheetal.prasad@fijisun.com.fj

 

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