Stereotyping people with disabilities continues to be a major challenge in the society.
The issue was raised at the International Day of Persons with Disabilities celebration in Suva yesterday.
Pacific Disability Forum Chief Executive, Setareki Macanawai says the stigma and misinformation surrounding people with disabilities need to be addressed to ensure full inclusivity and equity is achieved in the society.
“So when they turn up to school, apply for jobs, apply for scholarships or even stop a taxi, in some instances where taxi drivers do not stop. It’s because they are looking at that impairment or condition, defining that person.”
Macawana says there is also a lot of misinformation regarding persons with disabilities, such as ancestral curses or parental misdeeds, which needs to be addressed.
The Chief Executive says if such negative perception of disabilities can be corrected, then they can achieve a genuinely inclusive society.
The theme for this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities is “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world”.