The Dominica Association of Persons With Disabilities (DAPD Inc) has held a two day workshop designed to empower persons with disabilities for climate resilience through capacity building and livelihood support.
President of DAPD, Irma Raymond Joseph, said the purpose of the workshop is to empower DAPD members to ensure that they are aware and have the same information as the general public, she said that information will be broken down in a way that the members will understand.
“Many a times we are marginalized; we are left behind. Sometimes, they send an invitation to DAPD asking for a representative. I don’t know if is to make numbers but we are always left behind because when the practical part of it is being done, we are left behind. We get all the theoretical part but not the practical part,” she stated.
She also said that the executive members of the organisation have received an Amateur Radio License to operate in the Commonwealth of Dominica and that is one step in the best direction for DAPD.
She said this will help them to better meet the needs of their members.
“We want to ensure that our members have the best practices, how to do what, before, during and after a disaster. So, we are here as DAPD to teach our members how to do what in times of disaster. Also, to develop their own disaster plan,” she explained.
The president said that every community has either a development committee or community resource centre, but persons with disabilities are often last on the list. Therefore, she believes that DAPD members need to have their own disaster plan in case of a disaster.
“A person on a wheelchair, what do they do if there is an earthquake? A person who is blind, what is their escape route at home or if they are in a building; wherever they are? So, this is one of the things we will be looking at and also, we will be working with the shelter managers to ensure that the shelters are adequately accessible to persons with disabilities, especially persons who are wheelchair users,” she stated.
She said they are working together with the GEF Small Grant Project and it is all in an effort to enable them to do what is right.
The workshop was held from Wednesday July 17th to Thursday July 18th, at the DAPD’s office in Goodwill and was funded by the United Nations Program, Global Environment Facility Small Grants Project (UNDP GEF SPGPROJECT)..