Executive Director of the the Dominica Association of Persons with Disabilities (D.A.P.D) Nathalie Murphy, has identified finance and accessibility to the public environment as the two main challenges which the organization faces.
Speaking at the Association’s 28th annual general meeting on Monday, Murphy referred to the association’s 2011 annual report which reveals that there has been a short fall in terms of being able to remunerate the D.A.P.D’s staff.
She said that although the association is able to access and source funds for specific projects, sourcing funds for administrative purposes has been very difficult over the years. According to her “donated funds have to be shared between administrative and projects.”
D.A.P.D President, Michael Murphy reiterated the importance of finance to the association, pointing out that without finance it cannot operate. He added “the population of Dominica has been generous in the past and continue to do so but we need more, we need a greater inflow of cash, a greater input and that’s why we are asking the government to increase the subvention.”
The government contributes $11,000 yearly to the 200 member strong association.
In an interview with DNO, Executive Director Nathalie Murphy, told DNO that the organisation requires about $250,000 a year to meet the cost of administration, training, educational projects, outreach programs, transportation and insurance.
Regarding the challenge posed by lack of access to the physical environment, the D.A.P.D.executive director says “we believe that if the physical environment and public buildings were accessible more persons with disabilities will be visible, will be able to go about their business in an independent manner and person with disabilities will really feel part and parcel of society.”
However, it is the hope of the D.A.P.D that the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will grant them the accessibility they require.
According to Michael Murphy, “there is a specific article in the convention that deals with accessibility, access to public buildings, access to the physical environment, access to information technology, access to justice, access to political participation, whatever the majority of persons have access to should be accorded to persons with disabilities.”
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