For the first time in its history, the event on the National Day for Persons with Disabilities in Lao PDR chaired by H.E. Dr. Phankham Viphavanh, Vice Prime Minister, was held on 26 September 2014.
With more than 600 participants, the event was organized by the Government of Lao PDR through the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MLSW), in collaboration with Lao Disabled People's Association (LDPA), Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD) and Handicap International, with the support of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Belgian Development Cooperation.
It also marked the launch of the Decree on Persons with Disabilities (Decree No. 137) and the Decree on the Organization of Operation of National Committee for Disabled People and the Elderly (Decree No. 232). Both Decrees have further strengthened the Government of Lao PDR's commitment to uphold the rights of persons with disabilities, and ensured the continued implementation of disability-related projects.
The APCD/JAIF Project, for instance, is a staunch implementer of the Decrees' Article 11 (Equal Rights to Economic, Socio-Cultural Affairs), Articles 27-29 (Jobs for Persons with Disabilities) and Article 31 (Accessibility of Public Places). In this context, the event was regarded as the training on awareness/advocacy.
APCD/JAIF Project Training on Proposal Writing/Disability Awareness and Monitoring, Lao PDR, 21-27 September 2014
Visit to the now-accessible market in Naxaithong
In collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare of Lao PDR and other local partners, the APCD/JAIF Project conducted the "Training on Project Proposal Writing" in Naxaithong District, Vientiane, Lao PDR from 22 to 24 September 2014.
The Project aims to reduce the poverty level of persons with disabilities in selected communities in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam through the creation of non-handicapping environment. Rural market modifications, including the allocation of free spaces for organizations of persons with disabilities in the markets, are the main activity of the Project.
In Naxaithong district, the Project has so far identified four markets - New Naxaithong Market, Songphey Market, Nong Sa Market, and Nakhounnoy Market - for accessibility modifications, such as the construction of ramps and accessible toilets, with the full support of persons with disabilities, local authorities, market owners, and local business sector.
Knowledge Creation Forum on Community-based Inclusive Development 2014, Bangkok, Thailand, 24 August-6 September 2014
Group photo at the closing ceremony
The "Third Country Training Programme (TCTP): Knowledge Creation Forum on Community-based Inclusive Development 2014" was held at the APCD Training Building in Bangkok, Thailand, from 24 August to 6 September 2014.
Implemented by APCD, with the support of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and in collaboration with the Thailand International Development Cooperation Agency (TICA) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, and the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security of Thailand, the Training brought together 18 participants who are hard of hearing from Southeast Asia.
Among the key outcomes of the Training were the setting up of a communication system, including the use of communication cards and wireless keyboards, and the development of a guidebook for the hard of hearing.
The Training gave young leaders from Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam a good opportunity to share, apply, and widen their knowledge, experiences, and skills as effective advocates and agents of change for the hard of hearing in Southeast Asia. It also allowed them to create country reports and action plans for their respective communities using Community-based Inclusive Development principles.
Aichi Shukutoku University Study Trip, Bangkok, Thailand, 1 September 2014
Study Trip participant sharing her views
APCD, in cooperation with the Wheelchairs and Friendship Center of Asia (Thailand) or WAFCAT, hosted the Study Trip of Aichi Shukutoku University students on 1 September 2014 at the APCD Training Building in Bangkok, Thailand.
The 17 Japanese students, majoring in Multicultural Communication, learned more about social issues in Thailand. The Study Trip enabled the students, who are interested in working or volunteering abroad in the future, to understand APCD's mission and activities related to disability issues in the Asia-Pacific region.
Apart from the presentation and discussions, the participants were also taken on a tour of APCD's disability-friendly premises.
"Voices of Persons who are Hard of Hearing and Deafened in Asia and the Pacific"
"Voices of Persons who are Hard of Hearing and Deafened in Asia and the Pacific" cover
"Voices of Persons who are Hard of Hearing and Deafened in Asia and the Pacific" is now available for download at the APCD website, along with accessible text formats. The book was used as a resource material for the "Third Country Training Programme: Knowledge Creation Forum on Community-based Inclusive Development 2014" held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 24 August to 6 September 2014.
Developed in collaboration with the Asia-Pacific Federation of the Hard of Hearing and Deafened (APFHD), the booklet features the insights of persons who are hard of hearing in Asia and the Pacific, as well as the goals and targets of the Training, and forms of accessible communication, among others.