Supporting Persons With A Disability

Supporting Women With A Disability
vanuatu disability promotion advocacy association
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The Vanuatu Disability Promotion & Advocacy Association (VDPA) is the only ni-Vanuatu led, national Organisation For Persons with a Disability (OPD). The VDPA was established in 1999 and is governed and staffed by people with disabilities, with the National Coordinator – Ms Nelly Caleb, have a low-vision impairment. The organisation’s mandate is to advocate for the rights and promote the abilities of people with disabilities in Vanuatu. The VDPA has contributed to advancing the rights of people with disabilities through the development of 32 affiliate groups, which work to raise awareness and advocate for disability inclusion at the community level across Vanuatu and over 1000 registered members. Regionally, the VDPA is a member of the Pacific Disability Forum. The VDPA works to both establish and support OPDs across Vanuatu. OPDs play important, multifaceted roles in advocating for and supporting people with disabilities in low communities, noting that Vanuatu comprises some 67 individual islands with multiple challenges experienced by persons living with a disability in remote locations. OPDs represent the voices and interests of persons living with disability by facilitating access to services, and promoting practices and tools that improve inclusion. Importantly in the Pacific and very much Vanuatu, OPDs help to ensure that disaster preparedness efforts take account of the rights and needs of people with disabilities. In times of disaster, OPDs can also serve as communication networks and work closely with government, aid agencies and responders. In leading the VDPA, Ms Nelly Caleb has personally transformed the way her community, country and region views the capacity and strength of a person living with a disability. The term ‘Nothing about is without us’ is continuing to be heard as a rallying cry across the international development sector. To ensure people with disabilities are included as true partners, as distinct from beneficiaries of government and other aid and support, aid programs continue to support DPOs through capacity development, training and education and through adequate and appropriate resourcing. In doing so, programs are increasingly making a difference by including and empowering people with disabilities in the communities in which they live and work.

Nothing With Us Without Us

The motto “Nothing About Us Without Us” relies on this principle of participation, and it has been used by Disabled Peoples Organizations throughout the years as part of the global movement to achieve the full participation and equalization of opportunities for, by and with persons with disabilities.

The Concept

"Nothing about us without us is a latin terms used to communicate the idea that no policy should be decided by any representative without the full and direct participation of members of the group(s) affected by that policy. In its modern form, this often involves national, ethnic, disability-based, or other groups that are often marginalized from political, social, and economic opportunities.

Human Rights

Human rights are moral principles or norms for certain standards of human behaviour and are regularly protected in municipal and international law. They are commonly understood as inalienable, fundamental rights "to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being" and which are "inherent in all human beings", regardless of their age, ethnic origin, location, language, religion, ethnicity, or any other status.[3]