Union of Disabled’s President Wants Passage of Disability Act Fast-tracked

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NUOD's president Naomi D. Harris (rear) addresses the press.

By Majorie Y. Mentee (Intern)

The Partnership against Inequalities and Discrimination in Liberia (PAID) in collaboration with the  National Commission on Disable and the National Union of Organizations of the Disable (NUOD) has called on the Senate to fast track the passage of the amended Act of 2018, establishing the National Commission on Disability. The three are partnering under a coalition.

Naomi D. Harris, NUOD president, who read the joint press statement on Friday, May 24, 2019, said the various advocacy groups have been lobbying with the legislature, mainly the House of Representatives to ensure that the 2005 Disability Act is well strengthened to protects, promotes, well-being of persons with disabilities.

“Interestingly, the 2005 Disability Act through our research and comparative analysis, lacks basic information on issues that protect, promote and empower person with disability, including the structure and function of the current national commission on disability,” Madam Harris said.

According to her, the coalition with support from Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), the House of Representatives, especially the office of Representative Richard Nagbe Koon, Montserrado County Electoral District #11, through the joint committee on Judiciary and Health has been working to ensure that the new Act covers persons with disabilities.

“We strongly believe that the passing into law of this Act will address the many challenges that persons with disabilities face; and to ensure that our rights are fully restored and protected,” Madam Harris said, while expressing the hope that the Act will be passed into law the soonest possible time.

She called on Liberians to join in the advocacies supporting the passage of the Act as it is in the interest of the country and persons with disabilities.

“Again, we want to remind our people that though we do not have the ability to see, hear and walk,  we have the right to basic social services, including working for our country to quality and affordable education, good health, access to public and business facilities and livelihood,” Madam Harris said.

She then extended the coalition deepest gratitude to members of the House for “taking the bold step in seeing reasons for the Disability Act of 2005 to be strengthened, and they are poised to ensure the passage of the Act.”

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