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  4. March 2009 - Volume 55
  5. Nothing About Us Without Us

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FOCUS March 2009 Volume 55

Nothing About Us Without Us


This motto of the Disabled Persons International presents a huge challenge to governments and peoples. Discrimination against persons with disabilities is deeply ingrained in peoples' consciousness and reflected in the existing domestic political, social, economic and cultural systems. While governments in the Asia-Pacific have initiated efforts to address the problems faced by persons with disabilities, the full realization of these efforts is hindered to a large extent by the inadequate appreciation of the issues involved by the government officials and the general public.

The active participation of the persons with disabilities themselves in the planning and implementation of measures addressing the issues is a crucial element. In addition to recognizing the rights of persons with disabilities, the appropriate policies and mechanisms for their active participation have to be in place and effectively implemented.

This idea however is not an easy task. Persons with disabilities have to empower and organize themselves to be able to undertake the role. While some persons with disabilities could easily become active participants in the planning and implementation of measures addressing their issues without problems, others need much support to do so.

Governments and peoples have to provide the facilities as much as opportunities for persons with disabilities to exercise their capacities and develop their potentials in order to fulfill the motto "Nothing About Us Without Us."