APCD/JAIF Meeting and Field Visit, Lao PDR, 28-30 April 2014
Accessibility checks in Lao PDR
The Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD), with support from the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), has been implementing a joint project for creating Non-Handicapping Environment (NHE) in rural communities in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Its second phase (March 2014 to February 2016) is ongoing with a series of activities with national and local governments, as well as local Disabled People's Organizations (DPOs), civil society groups, and other stakeholders.
The meetings and field visits in Lao PDR, set on 28-30 April 2014, strengthened relations with project partners and supporters for the continued improvement of the quality of life of persons with disabilities. Project activities included the identification of local field officers, field visits in target areas, and initial preparations for the Steering Committee Meeting and NHE Workshop.
The goals for the two-year phase include the holding of capacity-building workshops for persons with disabilities and NHE trainings for local officials, civil society organizations, the business sector, and other stakeholders; an increase in livelihood opportunities for persons with disabilities; and improved community awareness and involvement in the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities.
Service Enhancement for Persons with Disabilities Training by AIT and APCD, Thailand, 24 April 2014
A token of appreciation from training participants
Representatives of the Jatiyo Protibondhi Unnayan Foundation (JPUF) from the Ministry of Social Welfare of Bangladesh recently visited APCD on 24 April 2014. It was one of the trainings conducted by the Thailand-based Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) and APCD meant to enhance services for persons with disabilities. The Program is part of the JPUF's capacity enhancement program on "Planning and Management of Service Enhancement for People with Disabilities" from 20-24 April 2014.
The 20 participants from JPUF, also known as the National Foundation for People with Disabilities (NFPD), and 3 AIT representatives were given an overview of APCD activities related to the empowerment of persons with disabilities, including leadership and empowerment workshops, accessible publications, and community-based rehabilitation efforts that promote Non-Handicapping Environment, among others.
Apart from exchanging ideas with the APCD staff, the group also toured the APCD Training Building facilities and offices to gain more practical knowledge about the Center. The observers plan to apply the knowledge they gained to help and enhance services to persons with disabilities in Bangladesh.
ASEAN Autism Network's First Executive Committee Meeting, Malaysia, 23 April 2014
AAN Executive Committee members discuss 3rd AAN Congress action plans
The ASEAN Autism Network (AAN) conducted its first Executive Committee meeting on 23 April 2014 at the Putrjaya International Convention Center in Putrajaya, Malaysia. The event, attended by AAN members from Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, was convened by AAN Chairperson from Brunei, Mr. Malai Hj Abdullah.
The highlights of the meeting include the drawing up of AAN's financial stability plan and a discussion on the preparations for the 3rd AAN Congress slated from 24-29 May 2015 in Selangor, Malaysia, to be hosted by the National Autistic Society of Malaysia. An estimated 600 participants are expected to attend. Other topics that were discussed are AAN's application for recognition to the ASEAN, Autism Thailand's hosting of a one-day sustainability planning workshop in Bangkok in November 2014.
AAN is a non-profit initiative of the parents' organizations of persons with autism in the ASEAN region in collaboration with the APCD.
Inspiring Stories for April
Empowerment Cafe has some useful information for you in this issue. Know the importance of changing the laws to properly protect disabled air passengers. Spread the word about the "Walk a Mile in Our Shoes" autism walk to help children with autism learn through one-on-one interaction and treatment. Read all about "Design for All Institute of India's" 100th issue with its special theme on "A Year of 2014 Women Designers".