“All stakeholders should respect PWD’s” – GCOPD

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As Guyana joins the rest of the world in observing International Day for Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) 2021 under the theme “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world”, the Guyana Council of Organisations for Persons with Disabilities (GCOPD) take this opportunity to call on all stakeholders to respect and fulfill the rights of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs). For too long PWDs are forced to live on the fringes of society depending on the benevolence of others for their survival. This dependency on charity is as a direct result of the lack of equal opportunities to live productive independent productive lives. It is a well known fact that the majority of PWDs are unemployed and live in poverty. We need to change this status quo. We, as a society need to create an enabling environment for PWDs. The key stakeholders including policy makers need to stop provide lip service to the community of PWDs and implement structural changes that will be sustainable and positively impact the lives of PWDs.
PWDs need to be included in a meaningful way in all levels of decision making. We must always remember the slogan “nothing about us without us”. PWDs are capable of making decisions and possess the necessary skills and knowledge to guide the process of creating a more inclusive Guyana for all PWDs.
On this December 3, we hope as one of the largest marginalized community in Guyana that PWDs will have:

  • More opportunities for equal employment in both the private and public sector;
  • An opportunity for a meaningful education;
  • Access to public buildings without any barriers;
  • Access to sports and recreational facilities;
  • Equal access to all services without discrimination;
  • The opportunity to meaningfully participate in decision making;
  • Equal access to information in accessible formats;
  • Access to the necessary resources to live independent, productive dignified lives;

We call on all Guyana to play your role to ensure that the rights of PWDs are respected and promoted. Please remember, disability affects all of us at some point of our lives. No one is invincible. A disability can be acquired in an instant. Stop pretending that PWDs are a different breed of people. PWDs are human just like every other member of society, with the same basic human rights. Guyana we need to do better. We need to create meaningful change in the lives of PWDs.
Once again remember “Nothing About Us Without Us”.

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