Malawi is observing a Disability Awareness Month from November 3 to December 3 to raise awareness and reflect on providing opportunities to persons with disabilities as well as efforts to address their plight.
During the month, authorities and stakeholders will also seek to mobilise support for dignity, protection of the rights and improved well-being of people with disabilities.
This year’s theme for the International Day of Persons with Disability is Inclusion Matters: Access and Empowerment for people of all Abilities.
Mary Shawa, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, said the aim of the observation is to bring to the attention of city planners the need to consider people with disabilities in planning structures.
She said: “The month observance of disability will give an opportunity to persons with disabilities to showcase their contribution to national development agenda, share the successes the disability sector has achieved, identify and address the challenges the disability sector experiences to persons with disabilities.
“We also hope to promote ways of achieving inclusion and accessibility to all the services in the cities of Malawi with a special focus on infrastructure and recommend disability inclusive systematic research design and data collection in the country.”
Shawa said during the month, a disability access audit of public infrastructure; dissemination of disability-related messages research findings using multi-media channels; trainings of the media; round table and panel discussions symposium and exhibitions of products made by persons with disabilities will be undertaken.
She said government is committed to protect and promote the rights of persons with disabilities and create enabling environment for their participation in national development.
Events to commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities will be held in Mzuzu.