BY MAVIS N PODOKOLO
PERSONS with disability are often denied access to formal employment according to the President of the People with disability, Simon Dolaiano.
“Financially people with disabilities are often denied access to formal employment or capital. Also a lack of disability accessible infrastructure means many are unable to attend school or attend health clinics,” Dolaia no said.
He adds that due to gender inequities in the Solomon Islands, women and girls with disabilities are more disadvantaged and face specific challenges accessing resources, services and facilities in securing a livelihood or being provided opportunities for participation in decision making.
Dolaiano however said with the recent financial support provided by the European Union and the International Women Development Agency, the disabled people association is hoping to see changes in the formal and informal spheres in the country.
“We the PWDSI members are hoping to see changes in the formal and informal spheres to produce sustainable and meaningful change for the rights of people with disabilities,” he said.
Dolaiano said he understands that the key principals in this project implemented jointly by DPASI and IWDA reflect the following.
“Nothing about us without us, which is an ongoing consultation with people with disabilities, occurring throughout the project, ensuring that activities properly respond to their needs, wishes and interests?”
“Strength based approach- meaning the project operates around the idea that people with disabilities are agents of change. This means focusing on the skills and abilities that people with disabilities have and harnessing them so they can lead in their own sustainable development,”.
“And stronger together which refers to strong partnership and multi-sector stakeholder collaboration is required at all levels if we are to address the exclusion faced and advance the rights of people with disabilities,” he said.
Dolaiano thanked the support of the European Union and assured them that his board and management team will implement the project to their best capabilities for the maximum benefit of the Disabled People Association in Solomon Islands.