President for comprehensive approach to mainstream persons with disabilities
ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi underlined need to adopt well-thought-out, data-driven and time- bound comprehensive approach for complete integration and mainstreaming of persons with disabilities (PWDs). Step, he said would ensure empowerment of persons with disabilities enabling them to contribute to progress and development of country.
He said that PWDs should be proactively integrated into society as equal members by improving their mobility and accessibility to public facilities and providing them with education, skills and jobs. During briefing on mobility and accessibility issues of Persons with Disabilities here President called for providing PWDs with Assistive Technologies (ATs) and creating jobs which correspond to and were suitable for persons with specific disabilities such as hearing, visual, physical or cognitive for their financial and economic empowerment.
President highlighted that as per varying estimates, 10 to 15 percent of Pakistan’s population or almost 22 million people comprised of PWDs and said that such huge population could be transformed into valuable asset, provided they were integrated and assimilated into society.
He emphasised ensuring proper upbringing of persons with disabilities from birth, meeting their specific needs of food, education, sports and learning, providing them with assistive technology and assimilating them as equal members in daily tasks. He called upon relevant institutions in public and private sectors as well as international organisations to join hands to review existing laws while keeping in view special needs of PWDs and benchmark international best practices to propose amendments to existing legal framework, besides proposing enactment of new laws to establish comprehensive PWD-friendly legal framework for ensuring their inclusion and integration in society as equal and capable members. Dr Alvi said that all educational and training institutes should be encouraged to enroll PWDs, especially those with physical, visual or hearing disabilities without discrimination and ensure availability of trained teachers, friendly environment and remove physical and attitudinal barriers for their complete assimilation in education system. Chief Commissioner Islamabad, representatives of Capital Development Authority, Federal Directorate of Education, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, WHO, Ministry of Education and Professional Training, National Information Technology Board, Ministry of Housing and Works, Secretary Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority ICT and senior official of government attended meeting.
Published in The Daily National Courier, December, 03 2022