Through the Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD)/Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) Project, the Third Steering Committee Meeting and a Non-Handicapping Environment (NHE) Workshop were conducted from 16 to 23 May 2014 in Vietnam. The APCD/JAIF Project activities were held in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) of Vietnam and the Ba Vi District Authority.
Apart from the confirmation of local Disabled People's Organizations (DPOs), the business sector and other key community partners as Steering Committee members, the Meeting also officially confirmed the Project's Field Officer and Resource Person. The Project partners also assessed the Tay Dang Market. An agreement for the market accessibility modification was signed by the Ba Vi District People's Committee, the Tay Dang People's Committee, and APCD/JAIF Project.
Other Project activities included accessibility audit and modifications of Tay Dang Market, a media event promoting the APCD/JAIF Project, as well as the pre-assessment and proposed modifications of Cho Nhong Market.
APCD/JAIF Steering Committee Meeting and NHE Workshop, Lao PDR, 8-13 June 2014
Group photo of the APCD/JAIF Steering Committee Meeting members
Held in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare of Lao PDR and Naxaithong District Authority, the APCD/JAIF Project conducted its Third Steering Committee Meeting and Non-Handicapping Environment (NHE) Workshop in Naxaithong District from 8 to 13 June 2014. The Meeting, which confirmed the implementation of the APCD/JAIF Project, brought together local authorities, representatives of the Lao Disabled People's Association, Disabled People Organizations (DPOs), the business sector, and representatives of persons with disabilities in the community.
The representatives of Naxaithong District Authority, market owners, and APCD/JAIF Project also signed an agreement at the Meeting pushing for a series of market accessibility modifications, including the construction of ramps in New Naxaithong Market and Chong Pheay Market from 11 to 13 June 2014.
The Project partners conducted market accessibility assessments at the New Naxaithong Market, Chong Pheay Market, and Pakhead Market. Market owners expressed their willingness to collaborate with the Project for rural market modifications and mobilize resources to initiate accessibility in various levels, including disability-inclusive business.
CIAI/APCD Capacity-Building Activities, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand, 24-27 June 2014
Group photo with participants in Pak Poon
As one of the Centro Italiano Aiuti all'Infanzia (CIAI)/APCD Project activities, a capacity-building workshop for persons with disabilities and members of Disabled People's Organizations (DPOs) was conducted in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand from 24 to 27 June 2014. Focusing on participatory planning and communication methods, the session was attended by more than 30 persons with disabilities.
On 27 June 2014, CIAI/APCD Project signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Sub-district Administrative Organizations (SAOs) representatives, further strengthening the latter's commitment towards creating an inclusive community for all. The event was attended by the Nakhon Si Thammarat Provincial Administrative Organization Deputy Chief Executive, the Director of the Provincial Office of Social Development and Human Security, and the Chief of the Rehabilitation Medicine Division of the Maharat Hospital.
The Project partners also visited the Pak Nakhon Sub Administrative Organization and Pak Poon Town Municipality to discuss with SAO Chiefs disability-related development projects in the area. Both SAOs are very active in providing services to persons with disabilities, with the Pak Poon SAO office mobilizing 18 volunteers to assist persons with disabilities.
Workshop on Non-Handicapping Environment, Suphanburi, Thailand, 26 June 2014
APCD demonstrating proper use of the Simplified Ramp Gradient Finder tool
The APCD conducted a "Workshop on Non-Handicapping Environment (NHE)" in coordination with the Wheelchair & Friendship Center of Asia (Thailand), or WAFCAT, in Suphanburi province in Thailand, on 26 June 2014. The NHE workshop was part of the three-day "Community Development Skills Training for Wheelchair Children Project" held by WAFCAT from 25 to 27 June 2014. The Workshop had 45 participants most of which were special education teachers from Suphanburi and 15 other provinces.
WAFCAT is a non-profit organization established in 1999 that supports the Thai Wheel wheelchair manufacturing factory. The organization has donated more than 2,500 wheelchairs for the last 15 years to children with disabilities in rural Thailand.
Among the topics discussed during the Workshop were an Introduction to the NHE Framework, Basic Principles of Accessibility, Technical Specifications in Doing Access Audits, Access Audit Practice, and Examples of NHE Implementation in the Philippines and within the APCD/JAIF Project in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Actual access audits were also done in two identified homes of children with disabilities so as to give advice to families on how to make their home environment barrier-free.
APCD Staff Retreat, Rayong, Thailand, 19-20 June 2014
APCD Retreat teambuilding activity
The annual staff retreat was held in Rayong, Thailand, from 19 to 20 June 2014, which aimed to strengthen the ties and develop the bonds of friendship and camaraderie among APCD members. Apart from fun yet insightful team-building activities that taught the staff the importance of teamwork, creative thinking, patience, resourcefulness, and listening skills, among others, the retreat also featured a dinner-presentation, as well as an accessibility check of one of Rayong's fruit farms.