12 June 2012

Namibia: People With Disabilities Suffer Regular Discrimination

Twenty-two cases of people that were discriminated against because of their disabilities have been registered with the National Disability Council of Namibia (NDCN) since 2004.

This is one of the issues covered in the first official newsletter of the NDCN, launched by NDCN Director Martin Limbo at the National

Disability Day commemorations at the Khomasdal Sports Stadium on Saturday.

The day was organised in support of the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.

The registered cases date back to 2004 when the National Disability Council Act, Section 4 (1) was promulgated.

Limbo vowed that the NDCN would procure legal representation to take up those and other incoming cases.

"I thus encourage all readers and people with disabilities to learn something from reading this mouthpiece that we have developed, and collaborate with the council and the entire disability movement in Namibia in ensuring that issues related to disability are tackled with passion," he noted.

Speaking at the same occasion, Member of Parliament and NDCN chairperson, Alexia Ncube, called for support from various sectors to provide more services and equal opportunities for people with disabilities.

"Challenges faced by people living with disabilities are enormous and hectic.

"We are faced with stigma, physical limitations, denied access to buildings and have no equal opportunities in our everyday lives," she noted.

According to Ncube, the day should be celebrated as "a disability is not an inability".

She said it also sought to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the inclusion of persons with disabilities in every aspect of life.

Ncube commended government for the establishment of the day "that should monitor the implementation of the National Policy on Disability".

Activities initiated or implemented by the council include the establishment of smart partnerships with relevant stakeholders for the benefit of people with disabilities; organising national days and fundraising events; inauguration of new council members; and the launching of a booklet on "Mainstreaming Disability in the Namibian Public Sector."

The MP further said that disability remained a critical issue and needed collective efforts.

Some of the issues covered in the newsletter are: Polytechnic and NDCN offer training for better services to people with disabilities; construction of NDCN's offices underway; and five social welfare organisations identified for funding from the Ministry of Trade and Industry as well as the Development Bank of Namibia.

Eight students with disabilities have been enrolled at the University of Namibia and Polytechnic after the NDCN called for the relaxing of entry requirements.

The quarterly publication is free of charge.

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