The National Commission on Disabilities (NCD) has begun a 3-day conference aimed at educating its members on this year’s upcoming elections and barriers that hinder the improvement of people living with disabilities.
The event hosted at the Monrovia Vocational Training Center (MVTC), brought together over 200 disabled Liberians from around the country under the theme, “Removing Physical, Environmental, Information or Communication and Attitudinal Barriers for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
NCD Executive Director Recardia Dennis said the conference is intended to help educate members on sharing and gathering information, mainly on the SDGs and what it offers people with disabilities.
Mrs. Dennis said the conference also focuses on addressing environmental, technological, communication, and attitudinal barriers, which hinder persons with disabilities from interacting with family and community members. The objective is to enable participants to find ways to overcome stigmas they suffer as people living with disabilities.
After commending government for the level of support to the commission, Mrs. Dennis called on local and international partners to back up government’s efforts, “because the convention on the rights of persons with disabilities calls for such support.”
“We have disabled people who are representing organizations and counties, and they will communicate to or share with other people whatever information will emerge from the three-day event,” she added.
She said the NCD is also involved with training and empowering people with disabilities to speak up on issues relating to the elections that affect them.
The National Union of Organizations of Disabled (NUOD), an auxiliary to the NCD, is currently helping to engage partners and the NEC to include persons with disabilities in the October elections, Mrs. Dennis said.
“We want to be able to harness our own progress and report on issues of the convention on the rights of people with disabilities. We have decided to work with all of our people as a Commission to ensure that the wellbeing of the people is attended to,” she said.
NCD Deputy Director Fallah Boima said the conference will also help each participant to become familiar with what the SDGs will do for them.
Director Boima called on the participants to recognize the importance of the event, as facilitators want them to form part of the upcoming elections.
The conference was attended by representatives from the Independent National Human Rights Commission, UNMIL and the Judiciary.