On July 2, 2021, an online conference on “Sharing Experiences in Implementing Policies for Persons with Disabilities” took place as part of "Raising Voices, Creating Opportunities Project (RVCO)" in Thua Thien Hue Province for the period 2018 - 2021, which is sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The event was held by RVCO Project Management Unit in coordination with Thua Thien Hue Provincial Organization of Persons with Disabilities and ACDC.
Delegates were officials from the local departments including: Department of Health, Department of Labor - Invalids and Social Affairs, Department of Construction, Department of Transportation, Divisions of Labor - Invalids and Social Affairs, Provincial Organization of Persons with Disabilities, Provincial Blind Association, Municipal Organizations of Persons with Disabilities, Provincial Women With Disabilities’ Club and concerned agencies.
Photo: Delegates exchange experience in the conference.
The delegates were engaged with past progress and future directions in implementing policies for persons with disabilities, especially access to health care. Ms. Mai Thi Minh Thuy, representative of Department of Construction, said: The Provincial People's Committee and local agencies had paid special attention to accessibility issues of persons with disabilities, particularly to accessible environments. The Provincial People's Committee also issued the plan 105/KH-UBND dated March 22, 2021 on assisting persons with disabilities for the year 2021, in which Department of Construction shall provide guidance on design and construction in compliance with the National Technical Regulations on accessibility for persons with disabilities; organize training courses on designing accessible environments; consult with the Provincial People's Committee on reconstruction plans of inaccessible public infrastructure; etc. To sum up, she expressed hope that ACDC could continue to coordinate and support persons with disabilities in localities in the future.
Mr. Hoang Trong Quy, Deputy Director of Department of Health, also shared: In recent years, Department of Health had always inspected and directed concerned agencies to coordinate with the local organizations of persons with disabilities to implement programs concerning health care, screening for early detection of disabilities, and community-based rehabilitation. With ACDC’s support, two transition houses at Phu Vang District’s Health Center and Phong Dien District’s Health Center were established. Generally, they were beneficial to persons with disabilities, attracting many social groups to visit and replicate. These were, however, the demonstration models aimed at adults with disabilities only; hence, Department of Health also suggested ACDC study and expand them into such for children with disabilities as well as apply them to municipal health centers if possible. Regarding community-based rehabilitation, Thua Thien Hue had a segment of it that had been effectively implemented for a long time. Nevertheless, there was a need to develop a model that supported collaborators at municipal health centers with deliberate policies in order to establish and maintain a strong connection between persons with disabilities and health centers. Moreover, accessible building and transport infrastructure were only suitable for adults with disabilities; thus, more attention should be paid on children with disabilities.
Photo: Officials from local agencies and persons with disabilities in Thua Thien Hue Province participate in the conference.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Ho Dan, Deputy Director of Department of Labor - Invalids and Social Affairs and Head of RVCO Project Management Unit, made a general observation: Reports, discussions, sharing, proposals and requisitions concerning assisting persons with disabilities as well as implementing policies for persons with disabilities were excellent and influential. The conference accepted several delegates’ notions that greater emphasis should be placed on bolstering support for persons with disabilities in the future, suggesting local agencies devote attention and foster a supportive environment for persons with disabilities to better integrate in society.
This activity was a forum where local agencies shared the process of implementing policies for persons with disabilities, thereby facilitating policy implementation in localities, providing opportunities for persons with disabilities, empowering and giving persons with disabilities more confidence to overcome their disabilities.