By: L.N. Reklai
December 3, 2016 (Koror, Palau) Today is proclaimed the International Day of Persons with Disabilities with the theme to “Achieve 17 Goals for the Future We Want”. The community members and supporters will hold a parade from 9am today to 10am starting from Asanuma Store to Old OEK to raise awareness for the Persons with Disabilities.
Signing Presidential Proclamation No. 16-199, President Remengesau Jr. stated that this indeed is an opportune time to reflect on issues facing our disabled citizens, especially with new government coming in January. “We need to look to reform the Disabilities Act. Government needs to do more for our disabled citizens,” stated President Remengesau Jr.
“In the spirit of the holidays, we would like you to hear some of items on the disabled wish list,” said Natus Misech of Omekesang, a group working to advocate and support persons with disabilities.
“Employment, we wish that there will be more effort to find gainful employment for many disabled people that have skills or abilities that can be utilized,” added Misech.
Urging leadership, Misech stated that one of the wish list is to “Increase disability stipend. Although it has been increased, it falls short of covering basic needs for many disabled.”
The proclamation states that there are over 1,000 persons with disabilities in Palau. It calls for all agencies of the government to “increase awareness of these goals for the integration of persons with disabilities and their families in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.”
“I call on all of the People of Palau to observe December 3 as National Day of Persons with Disabilities with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities and to recognize all Persons with Disabilities to be full and effective members of our community,” states the Presidential Proclamation. [/restrict]