- The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has been ratified by 44 Asian and Pacific states, making our region one of the first to do so.
- There are more disabled lawmakers and decision-makers nowadays, and disability organizations are effective crisis responders to new problems.
- Wipro’s digital services are designed and delivered mainly to employees with disabilities.
- 3 out of 4 people with impairments are unemployed, and 7 out of 10 do not get social support.
- The need for disability-specific and disability-inclusive policies is illustrated by this depressing image.
- The Incheon Strategy aims to ensure that government buildings and transport hubs are accessible for people with disabilities, especially in the rapidly aging Asia-Pacific region of South Korea, Japan, and the Republic of Korea (Rokusuke) and the South East Asian Development Bank (RAS).
The Incheon Strategy to “Make the Right Real” for Persons with Disabilities, created ten years ago by the Asia-Pacific region, was the first set of development objectives in history to address the needs of people with disabilities specifically. This week, we’re getting together to talk about how well the government has kept its promises, protected these gains, and come up with the creative solutions needed to make communities that are truly welcoming to everyone.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has been ratified by 44 Asian and Pacific states, making our region one of the first to do so. We also celebrate the progress in creating laws, policies, strategies, and programs for people with disabilities.
Policy initiatives toward inclusion
There are more disabled lawmakers and decision-makers nowadays. They make decisions at the national level daily. They keep an eye on the application of policies. In the Asia-Pacific region, they work in Australia, Bangladesh, China, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and Turkey. They have advanced sign language interpretation in media programs and parliamentary sessions, promoted inclusive public procurement to support disability-inclusive businesses and accessible facilities, focused policy attention on underserved groups, and directed numerous policy initiatives towards inclusion.
In India, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, local politicians with disabilities are less obvious, but they are still important. Forty-two candidates with impairments ran in Indonesia’s most recent election. Disability organizations at the grassroots level have become effective crisis responders to new problems like COVID-19. Disability-inclusive COVID-19 responses and programs to support people with psychosocial disabilities and autism have been noteworthy achievements by organizations of and for people with disabilities in Bangladesh.
Private sector has taken the lead
In businesses that cater to people with disabilities, the private sector has taken the lead in recent years. India-based Wipro is a leader in integrating disability inclusion into its global growth plan. One of the cornerstones of Wipro’s diversity and inclusion programs is this. Wipro’s digital services are designed and delivered mainly to employees with disabilities.
However, there is constantly more unfinished business to take care of.
Even if we praise the growing involvement of people with disabilities in policymaking, there are still only eight of them in the region for every 1,000 lawmakers.
Regarding the right to work, 3 out of 4 people with impairments are unemployed, and 7 out of 10 do not get social support.
The need for disability-specific and disability-inclusive policies, as well as their continuous implementation in collaboration with women and men with disabilities, is illustrated by this depressing image.
The first steps
Recognizing the rights of people with disabilities is one of the first steps toward inclusion. This approach strongly emphasizes the individual and their worth as human beings, as well as their dignity and goals. People with different kinds of disabilities must be able to use government buildings, financial institutions, and public transportation. To do this, the governments in the area have done accessibility audits of government buildings and transportation hubs. Partnerships with the private sector have led to reasonable changes in the workplace and helped people get jobs in a wide range of fields.
People with disabilities are often left out of official data, even though the Incheon Strategy is all about collecting and analyzing data. This is because surveys don’t include questions that allow for disaggregation, and accommodations aren’t made to make sure they can take part. This illustrates a persistent lack of fiscal and policy priorities. We need accurate, comparable data broken down by gender, location, and sex to make rules based on facts.
The transition to 5G technology in the Asia-Pacific area offers optimism. People’s empowerment has countless consequences, including inexpensive assistive technology, remote learning and working opportunities, and the ability to cast ballots. The time is here for digitalization to be accessible to people with disabilities.
Our planet is undergoing a rapid upheaval. Everyone would benefit from a disability-inclusive approach to shaping this world, especially in the rapidly ageing Asia-Pacific area where everyone’s contributions will matter. It is still our responsibility to push on a paradigm shift to celebrate diversity and disability inclusion as we approach the start of the fourth Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities. Everyone wins when we remove obstacles and people with disabilities advance.
Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network