|Sustainable Development and Persons with Disabilities: The Process of Self-Empowerment (ADF, 1995, 117 p.)|
|Section I: Understanding and perception|
|Chapter 3: The enabling environment: SAPs, development and disability|
A. For Persons with Disability
· Understand that they are first and foremost their own redeemers.
· Analyse the specific barriers to their advancement in their own concrete situations.
· Not rely too much on government. However, they must try to understand the dynamics of Structural Adjustment Programmes, and how the Social Dimensions Fund operates to cushion the effects of SAP, to be able to take advantage of it.
· Network with other grassroots organizations to brainstorm about alternatives to SAPs as a way of developing the national economies.
· Lobby the government for their legitimate rights in general with the rest of the population, for often they are deprived of these general rights.
· Analyse the situation of those amongst them who might be even more marginalised on account of their sex. age and disability. They must help create equalising opportunities for women and children and people with marginalised disabilities.
B. For the Government
The government should:
On matters of policy and Legislation:
· Take affirmative action, especially on education and job placements, including, where possible, subsidies to employers who employ people with disabilities
· Provide concessionary loans to PWDs and caters of people with severe disabilities to start income generating projects
· Recognise the right of children with disabilities to attend mainstream schools
· Provide subsidies to families with disabled persons (children/adults).
On information and referral facilities:
· Provide facilities for the PWDs to acquire simple (and in local languages) practical yet comprehensive information about matters that concern PWDs
· Provide adequate extension backup and referral services
On appropriate aids for PWDs:
· Subsidise the production of appropriate aids
· Remove taxes on imported appropriate aids
· Help with the procurement of equipment and machinery needed in IGPs (eg for agriculture)
On empowering local authorities:
Since most of the activities of concern to PWDs take place at the local level, the central government should empower local authorities and line ministries with authority and resources to facilitate PWD-sensitive programmes.
C. For the Community
The community should:
· Promote and facilitate the participation of PWDs in joint
· Take affirmative action on developing positive attitudes towards PWDs
D. For the NGOs
The (NGOs) should:
· Establish programmes in consultation with PWDs on the
basis of assessed needs
· Ensure sustainability of PWD programmes
· Decentralise decision-making
· Promote dialogue with project beneficiaries.
Some Areas of Further Debate
Does the Structural Adjustment Programme really provide an answer to the economic problems we face? What other alternatives do we have?
In what particular areas of Government action is a policy of "positive discrimination" in favour of the PWDs justified?
In what ways is African culture a disenabling factor for women and
children? Should WWDs join with mainstream women's movements to fight for their
general rights, or should they form their own separate