15 November 2012

South Africa: N West Legislature to Host Persons With Disability

Pretoria — More than 350 persons with disabilities in the North West will get an opportunity to raise issues affecting them when the North West Provincial Legislature hosts the annual Persons with Disability Parliament on Friday.

The event, to be held in the Legislature Chamber, will create a platform for them to make recommendations to relevant portfolio committees and to hold departments and all relevant structures accountable.

Themed "Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all", the event aims to promote awareness about the capabilities and contributions of persons with disabilities as recommended by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratified by South Africa in 2007, recognises that the existence of barriers constitutes a central component of disability.

Under the Convention, disability is an evolving concept that "results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others".

Among the thematic areas to be discussed are breaking employment barriers and access to quality education for people with disabilities.

The event is also expected to be attended by relevant stakeholders ranging from Provincial Disability Forum, in which NGOs representing persons with disabilities are affiliated; different provincial departments and MECs, and the Legislature.

South Africa observes Disability Month in November, where the spotlight is focused on the daily challenges faced by people living with disabilities.

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