Pacific Disability Forum: weekly update (5th October 2012)

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5th October 2012

Greetings from the Pacific Disability Forum!

We are looking for members' stories for our next newsletter. We all love encouraging stories, and sharing your stories with the rest of the Pacific disability community is a great way to share your successes and challenges. We would love to hear stories from you about events you have held, places you've visited and programs you have run!

Stories should be:

In the news this week, we look at 2nd Forum Disability Ministers' Meeting in Port Moresby and Te Toa Matoa's performance to raise awareness on people with disabilities on Radio Australia.

Progress in regional disability strategy implementation

Source: Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, 3 October 2012

The Pacific region has recorded progress in the implementation of the region's strategy on disability since it was adopted in 2009.

Speaking at the opening of the 2nd Forum Disability Ministers' Meeting in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea today, Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Mr Feleti Teo told the Ministers, "I am pleased to inform you that the region has made some remarkable progress in the implementation of the regional strategy on disability."

"We have, with the assistance and support of development partners and partner agencies developed and finalised an implementation action plan for the regional strategy. And with the support of the Government of Australia through AusAID, we have secured generous funding support to progress the implementation of the regional strategy," Mr Teo said.

"I take this opportunity on behalf of the region and in particular the Forum island countries to register and express our sincere and heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to the government of Australia for their continued and unwavering commitment in support of the region's collective efforts in support of the rights and interests of people with disabilities."

Mr Teo continued: "There is clear evidence from the work undertaken under the regional strategy that there is a strong momentum moving forward in support of the rights and interests of people with disability. The region's leadership is more aware and cognizant now of the situation of people with disability. There is also strong political will to provide for an enabling environment that will allow people with disability to enjoy life to the full and to also contribute effectively to their community."

The Forum Secretariat Deputy Secretary General, Mr Teo urged the Forum Disability Ministers to ensure that disability remains and continues to be reflected as a regional priority in the Refreshed Pacific Plan. Forum Leaders at their meeting in the Cook Islands in August endorsed a review of the Pacific Plan to be undertaken next year to be led by Sir Mekere Morauta, a former Prime Minister of PNG.

The 2nd Forum Disability Ministers' Meeting with the theme of ‘Progressing Disability Inclusive Development' will also review the partnership between governments and Disabled Person Organisations and hopefully agree on strategies to strengthen the partnership in promoting disability issues at the regional and national level.

The two-day meeting will also discuss emerging issues relating to disability inclusive development in the Pacific; share good practices in the region in areas of policies, services and programme initiatives in disability development; and provide information on upcoming international forums on Disability.

The meeting, coordinated by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, is also being attended by other CROP agencies, WHO and representatives of non-government organisations. It is being funded by the Australian Government.

Improving the lives of people with disability in the Pacific

Source: Jan McLucas, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, 3 October 2012

The Australian Government will help improve the lives of people with a disability in the Pacific through greater access to education, early intervention and further research into non communicable diseases.

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas said that the Government is pleased to support the Pacific as it takes steps to becoming more inclusive of the regions' people with disabilities.

Senator McLucas told the Forum Disability Ministers Meeting in Papua New Guinea today that the Australian Government will contribute $4 million to enhance the lives of people with disability in Samoa, through supporting ratification and implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

In Papua New Guinea 940 classrooms will be made accessible for girls and boys with a disability, in accordance with international best practice, through the school infrastructure program.

At the regional level, Australia will support the World Health Organisation with up to $250,000 to undertake research into non communicable diseases and disability that will help add to the evidence base on disability-inclusive development. Australia is also committing up to $2 million over 4 years to use sport as a vehicle to improve the quality of life for people with disability in the Pacific.

Australia has provided support for disability-inclusive development initiatives throughout the Pacific to enable those with a disability to be able to attend school, giving them access to education and improving their lives.

"Our support to date for inclusive education in Samoa has meant that over 330 children with disability now have access to education in Samoa including 129 children with disabilities who have received early intervention support," Senator McLucas said.

In the Solomon Islands 400 people now have access to appropriate wheelchairs enabling them to participate in the activities they choose.

Senator McLucas said that our support to the Pacific Disability Forum has meant that around 100 people with disabilities have received training.

"We are particularly proud to be supporting the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat who organised this Forum Disability Ministers Meeting as well as the Pacific Disability Forum to ensure that people with disability have a strong united voice on issues which affect them," Senator McLucas said.

As part of the Australian delegation, the Chair of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations, Mr Dean Barton-Smith, and the Australian Disability and Development Consortium representative, Jackie Lauff, will also be attending the meeting with Senator McLucas.

Delivering the opening address at the Meeting, Senator McLucas noted that progress by Pacific Island Countries against the Pacific Regional Strategy on Disability had been encouraging.

"I note that there is increasing momentum and leadership being developed on disability-inclusive development across the region as more Pacific Island Countries work towards ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities," Senator McLucas said.

"The Australian Government is also working with Pacific communities to improve support services for people with disability."

Senator McLucas told the forum that in Australia we are working with our own states and territories to build the foundations for a National Disability Insurance Scheme to ensure people with disability, their families and carers get the care and support they need to participate as much as possible in education, work and community life.

Te Toa Matoa perform on Radio Australia 6

members of TTM shared their musical talents with the Pacific this week with a segment on Radio Australia. After performing their welcoming song, the members shared some information on TTM, the situation for people with disabilities in Kiribati and what they had learnt on their trip to Australia. They finished their interview with a song about TTM.

You can hear Te Toa Matoa's performance and view a picture by clicking this link: http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/radio/onairhighlights/disability-no-barrier-for-kiribati-talent/1024692

Source and Email from: Pacific Disability Forum

By: Pacific Disability Forum
When: 7/2/2014

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