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Unimas to hold international conference

on 22 Jun 2010.

KUCHING: Universiti Malaysia Sarawak’s (Unimas) Faculty of Social Sciences will hold an international conference entitled ‘Perspectives on Inclusive Development Embracing Diversity and Creating Disability-Sensitive Communities’ on July 28-29. Arising from a collaborative research project between Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and Unimas, the conference aims to facilitate the establishment of effective and sustainable partnerships and collaboration within the country and abroad to advance inclusive development.

“This conference helps to create awareness on the need to mainstream disability issues. It covers research, services, employment opportunities, policies, and more,” Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department Datin Fatimah Abdullah told a press conference yesterday.

She said the conference will provide a forum for people with disabilities, practitioners, policymakers, researchers and educators to share experiences and perspectives on the inclusion of disabled people and other marginalised groups into the development agenda.

It will also develop perspectives through the sharing of theory, research findings, practice and policy in relation to disability and development as well as provide a springboard for participants to establish partnership in forging practice, research and policy which contribute towards inclusive development and creation of disability-sensitive communities.

Fatimah said disabilities not only included those who were born disabled, but also those who became disabled due to serious accidents, old age, or illness.

Unimas Faculty of Social Science associate professor Ling How Kee called on people with disabilities, families and caregivers, disabled persons’ organisations, non-government organisations, civil society and human rights advocates, health professionals, academics and researchers, psychologist and counsellors to participate in the conference.

A statement distributed to the press said provisions for people with disabilities in Malaysia have largely been based on the notion of a caring society, however barriers preventing disabled people from full participation in society still remain.

In 2002, former World Bank president James Wolfensohn argued that unless disabilities issues were prioritised, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets would not be achieved by 2015.

While the theme of social inclusion is at the core of policies and programmes for disabled people in seemingly progressive countries such as the United Kingdom, issues of marginalisation, inaccessibility, inequality and inequity, continue to pose serious challenges on inclusive development.

The United Nation Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which came into effect in 2007, re-affirmed human rights in the context of disability.

Countries that have signed and ratified the convention are obliged to mainstream disability into development agendas.

Inclusion is not about inserting disabled people into existing structures, but about transforming systems to be inclusive of every person, said the statement.

 

Extracted from The Borneo Post.

Arkib Berita

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia Telephone: +60 82581000/+60 82581388, Fax: +60 82 665 088, Email: corporate@unimas.my
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Tarikh terakhir kemaskini: Khamis 28 Januari 2016.

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