DAPD celebrates 40 years in existence


Hon. Miriam Blanchard addressing attendees of DAPD 39th annual meeting

Dominica Associations of Persons with Disabilities (DAPD) celebrated 40 years in existence at its 39th annual general meeting under the theme ‘40 Years of barriers, obstacles and other challenges, yet standing.’

The event took place on Wednesday.

One of the speakers at the event was Parliamentary Representative Roseau North Constituency, Hon. Miriam Blanchard who assured one of the executive members, Nathalie Murthy, who has done exceptional work for the organization that she has her full support in the continued upliftment of DAPD.

“Please be assured that you can count on my full support in your efforts to widen opportunities for your membership and build more wholesome and equitable lives for them,” she said

“ I am aware that one of your goals is to empower your members to participate actively in society to access jobs that [suit] their various skills and to be given a chance to develop their untapped talents and potential.”

She said the government understands that it is important for members of DAPD to have a voice and to achieve maximum independence by being equal participants in and contributing to the growth of our society.

“In turn, we have a responsibility to help you carve a more active role for yourselves to promote tolerance and mutual respect and to reduce any form of discrimination or negligence of persons with disabilities.”

Blanchard expressed her commitment to DAPD, stating that they can count on her to support various programs that assist members as they work to improve their skills, become a part of the workforce, build better lives, and contribute to our economy

During the event, it was stated that following the resumption of normal operations, DAPD continues to “Pursue Access, Social Inclusion and Equal Opportunities through Increased Advocacy for persons with Disabilities” and the implementation of the third year of its 2020/2024 Economic, Social and Personal Development Programme against an unpredictable and ever-changing global landscape.

DAPD stated that plans were afoot to continue the educational, public advocacy, and social programmes which form the basis of its development work and with which members and the public at large have become familiar for over thirty years.

They also intended to introduce and undertake increased activities and provide additional services and programmes to members during the year.

“However, as our stake-holders will discover, 2022 was a year whereby DAPD was not spared the unprecedented nature and effects of the myriad of crises, humanitarian challenges, and economic difficulties which continued to affect the global community,” their program stated.

DAPD began the year with a planning session on Thursday, January 20, 2022, during which time a programme of activities was formulated. As it turned out, implementation proved extremely difficult due to the prevailing conditions, and in light of the dwindling of funds, many activities were cancelled or scaled down.

In the circumstances, the majority of activities were centered around deepening its linkages, relationships, and collaboration with various organizations, and participation in their programmes with its interventions being of an advocacy nature.

“Modern technology, such as online learning, work from home, and webinars taught us that persons with disabilities can all be an integral part of this new normal, and during the past year, we were able to get some of our members in tune with this exciting and transformative innovation. This means of technology was utilized for the few activities that were undertaken,” it said.

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