The disabled have rights

IT IS important that people with disabilities are counted as members of the community and be given full access to life.

Opening the National Awareness Mid-Year Celebrations in Labasa yesterday, Commissioner North Jovesa Vocea said it was important to allow people living with special disabilities a full participation to everyday life as well as enjoyment of human rights.

“The theme for today is Disability and Development and Labasa is undergoing major development in all aspects,” Mr Vocea said.

“A development that is crucial in relation to disability understands that we do have persons with disability among our midst, and how we best address their needs.

“(This is through) The provision of ramps to the newly-built buildings, large visual signage, the understanding of sign language and the patience to listen and understand their opinions are considered at decision making.”

He said the country was making progress in shifting away from the stigmatisation of people with special disabilities.

“As in other places of Fiji, one thing is becoming visible and that is we are moving towards inclusiveness.

“I believe we could make a difference by developing the North in any way to be a disability-friendly place whereby people with a disability will participate and enjoy their full human rights.”

Mr Vocea urged members of the public not to see their disabilities as their barriers in life.

“We need only to remember that it takes one man, one word and one example to make a difference and to take a firm stand in what one believes in.”

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