What is the disability? How does the Vietnamese Law on Disability address issues related to defining disability, medical and healthcare, education, vocational training, employment, recreation, housing, accessibility, social welfare, and so on?
These are the issues discussed and shared in the workshop on "Law and Policy on People with Disabilities" held from 30 to 31/7/2018 in Tay Ninh. This is an activity aimed at raising awareness of the rights and building capacity for people with disabilities under the "Access for All" project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). 41 participants were given the opportunity to share their practical experiences through large group discussions, small group discussions, and case analysis.
Many participants' stories show that most of them, especially individuals with visual impairment, has a lack of information on law and policy. Therefore, they do not know what their rights are or even what they benefit from the law. Or when their rights are compromised, they do not know where to get help. "I have just been staying at home all day, hardly going out and communicating with people. Nobody has told me these. Up to now, I have not had a certificate of disability. I had no ideas of what I could benefit from disability identification. I just enjoy what people offer to me, but do not request more. Now I know I have rights as others. After the training, I will request the People’s Committee to identify my disability,” shared a participant.
In response to the question: "Why should persons with disabilities know their rights, laws and policies?" Most participants said that being aware of their rights can help them recognize the stigma and discrimination against persons with disabilities or raise their voice when their rights are violated. Moreover, having knowledge of the law will help them recognize some shortcomings that the law needs to be adjusted. "By understanding the government’s law and policy on disability, I can protect myself and others when needed. In addition, I can monitor how the state enforces the law in my local area and then speak up, " said a participant.