WINDHOEK, 29 MAY – People with disabilities are not lazy or unwilling to work, but lack opportunities to participate in Namibia’s economic development programmes, Chairperson of the National Federation of People with Disabilities in Namibia (NFPDN), Daniel Trum said.
He was speaking at the three-day National Disability Stakeholders workshop which started here on Tuesday.
The event brought together about 100 stakeholders, partners and persons with disabilities to share knowledge on service delivery and sustainability for persons with disability between the government and civil society working in their interests.
Trum said the disability movement is advocating for a system which can accommodate people with disabilities in participating in the process of policy design and implementation.
“People need to understand that negativity toward people with disabilities is bad as it marginalises them and keeps them out of productive economic matters,” he said.
Trum added: “The ground should be levelled so that we can stand at the same level and receive the same benefits, which means that whatever Namibia is offering, people with disabilities are entitled as well.”
He, on behalf of the NFPDN, suggested that an accessible audit system be developed to ensure the implementation of people with disabilities in the working environment and social development programmes.
In response, Deputy Minister of Disability Affairs in the Office of the Vice-President, Alexia Manombe-Ncube said Namibia has always ensured that disability issues are on the national agenda and enjoy national priority status, but challenges remain.
“There are tremendous challenges such as lack of access to physical environments, information, technology, communication and equipment that can equalise opportunities for people with disabilities,” Manombe-Ncube said.