Introduction to the books
Handicap International(Belgium) shared a series of inspiring stories of Maldivian children and adults with disAbilities. With each story we can see part of a new world, and meet a person with a different experience of life. Through the stories we are privileged to gain an insight into what each person values, and what they aspire to. We realize that each character has another aspect to his or her life as well – either a hearing, visual, intellectual, mental or physical impairment. But as we read, we understood that all people, whether with or without an impairment, have skills, talents and dreams, as well as challenges in life.
These are true stories, using real names, and were written during 2008 / 2009. Each person is trying to help us understand more about his or her life, so that we could realize that everyone’s equal, and deserve equality. Through our understanding how we can help to make a more welcoming environment for all on our islands.
And in the end of introduction, Handicap International thanks the stars of the stories, for taking the time to share these stories with them.
Download HI Awareness Materials
Handicap International: Testimonies from the Maldives
Artwork and design by Mooinc
How can you help?
When a child has cerebral palsy, there are many ways friends and family can help. Here are just a few of them:
- Caring for a child with cerebral palsy can be very tiring for parents. If you can, offer to give parents some time off by helping out in some way. If you are babysitting, make sure parents tell you the child’s usual bedtime routine and try to keep to it.
- Offer as much friendship and support as you can. Many parents of children with cerebral palsy feel “cut off” at a time when they may need friends and family more than ever.
- It may be difficult, but try not to be afraid of talking to parents about the child’s disability. Many parents will welcome the chance to share their feelings with people close to them. Having someone who will listen can make a real difference.
- Treat the child like any other child. Play with and talk to the child even if he or she cannot talk back. And if you have or know other children, encourage them to do the same. All children need other people. Children with cerebral palsy are no exception.
- Information can be helpful but don’t be tempted to show everything you see on cerebral palsy to parents. Give them time to sort out for themselves what is right for their child and their circumstances.
- Remember, children with cerebral palsy are first and foremost children: it is important to treat them as individuals and encourage them to join in activities as much as possible.
Do the words used to describe you have an impact on your life? You bet! Contrary to the age-old “sticks and stones” lesson we learned as children, words do matter!
For too long, people who happen to have conditions we call “disabilities” have been subjected to devaluation, marginalization, prejudice, and more. And the first way to devalue someone is through language, by using words or labels to identify a person/group as “less-than,” as “the others—not like us,” and so forth. Once a person/group has been identified this way, it makes it easier to justify prejudice and discrimination. Our language shapes our attitudes; our attitudes shape our language; they’re intertwined. And our attitudes and language drive our actions!
Using People First Language—putting the person before the disability—and eliminating old, prejudicial, and hurtful descriptors, can move us in a new direction. People First Language is not political correctness; instead, it demonstrates good manners, respect, the Golden Rule, and more—it can change the way we see a person, and it can change the way a person sees herself!
See the People First Language articles below.
Happy independence day Maldives.
It’s a good day to think about how dependent Persons with disAbilities are. How are the state decisions impacting PwD’s and their livelihoods? Are they independent? Are they able to move freely as others? How accessible are our scattered communities? Let us move forward with this year’s Independence day depending on others even to celebrate it.
-Yafaau’s Daddy on Accessibility
Controlled medicines are very difficult to acquire all the time. And the new Universal Health Insurance Scheme(Aasandha) requires us to be a bit more careful in planning to get these drugs via Aasandha.
Due to Yafaau‘s epilepsy, he has to take Clonazepam(Rivotril) 0.5mg 1/2 tab twice daily and has been prescribed from his first year on-wards. It has always been a challenge at times to get these medication because it is a Controlled Drug and will not be sold without a special prescription(Blue Prescription). Unlike normal Green ones these medicines are prescribed in Blue Prescription which will be kept at the Pharmacy. No copies would be provided by the Pharmacy if you don’t request for one.
We always make this prescription for 3 months but now that the new Aasandha is in-tact, their agreement with the Pharmacies limit prescribing for more than 2 months.
As the Blue Prescription will be kept with the Pharmacy, and it has nothing to do with Aasandha, you will have to remind your doctor that it should be written in the green prescriptions too as this will be kept with the Pharmacy for Aasandha billing.
Also, the Blue prescription had to be stamped from Red Area(Emergency/Casualty) but the Green prescription should be stamped from the PR counter near the Triage at IGMH.
I happen to bump into a situation today where a customer at STO Pharmacy at IGMH was shouting at the Pharmacists because the prescription had a different name than National ID Card! And she suggested to go back to doctor to correct it. The man was furious and resisted. So if you happen to be someone in a similar situation as mine, be sure to help them understand these points and bear in mind as it is your responsibility and not the Pharmacists’ ;
1. Name in the prescription as in ID Card.
2. Controlled drugs via Aasandha need a normal green prescription too.
3. Blue prescription need to be stamped from Public Relations Counter near the Triage.
4. Green prescription need to be stamped from Emergency or Casualty.
5. I was told by prominent Pediatrician Dr.Niyaf to always keep a copy of the prescription as a new regulation requires that there be a prescription for every medicine which is prescribed for more than 14 days.
If you happen to forget one of these points, all your wait in the queue will be useless and you have to take a new queue number again! I hope this article was helpful for all those who use Aasandha and are taking Controlled Medicines via the new scheme.
It’s been couple of years since Maldives have been marking the International Day for Persons with disAbilities. As we mark yet another year for PWD’s there are lots of commitments yet to be looked upon.
Mainstreaming disAbility has been there since the UN first started the UN Enable movement and Maldives has never touched on implementing it.
Under this year’s main theme of IDPD 2011, “Together for a better world for all: Including persons with disAbilites in development”, are some sub-themes which are:
1. Mainstreaming disAbility: including a disAbility perspective in all development processes (more)
2. Gender: including women and girls with disAbilities in development (more)
3. Including children and youth with disAbilities in development (more)
4. Accessibility: removing barriers and promoting disAbility-inclusive development (more)
5. Promoting data collection and statistics on disAbility (more)
When we talk about Mainstreaming disAbility in the development agenda of our country, there are lots of important aspects we have to consider to even acheive the Millenium Developmental Goals.
In order for a person using a wheelchair to access decent work, the person needs to be able to physically move in and out of his or her home; needs to be able to access the public space and transportation; and needs to be able to access the work facilities, in terms of both the built environment and its information and communications systems.
Different entities need to ensure that their respective spheres of responsibility provide the necessary opportunities and access to persons with disAbilities, on an equal basis with others. If any one element of the network fails in this obligation, persons are not able to reap the benefit from the other elements. In order for them to be integrated and included in the development agenda, a comprehensive and holistic approach is required. Mainstreaming disAbility in development or disAbility-inclusive development is a useful and necessary strategy.
There is a strong bidirectional link between poverty and disAbility. Poverty may cause disAbility through malnutrition, poor healthcare, and dangerous living conditions. Case studies in developing countries show that higher disAbility rates are associated with higher rates of illiteracy, poor nutritional status, lower immunization coverage, lower birth weight, higher rates of unemployment and underemployment, and lower occupational mobility. disAbility can cause poverty by preventing the full participation of persons with disAbilities in the economic and social life of their communities, especially if the appropriate supports and accommodations are not available.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) established a unifying set of developmental objectives for the global community which includes our little but vibrant Maldives. Bringing together United Nations agencies, governments and civil society around eight key development issues, the MDGs foster collaborative action to reduce poverty, improve health and address educational and environmental concerns around the world’s most pressing development problems. The MDGs are specifically designed to address the needs of the world’s poorest citizens and the world’s most marginalized populations.
The high numbers of persons with disAbilities who are disproportionately represented among the world’s most marginalized groups have a profound significance with respect to the achievement of the MDGs, which thus far seems to have gone largely unnoticed in the international discourse on the Goals. Eighty per cent of persons with disAbilities live in developing countries, and the failure to include and integrate them in all development activities will mean failure to achieve the MDGs.
Furthermore, given the wide scope of contexts, actors and activities required to fully include persons with disAbilities in the development agenda, it may be helpful to consider the process in the light of the “no-gap policy”. The no-gap policy is a concept which illustrates that no entity, whether it be part of the United Nations system, a Government ministry or a non-governmental organization (NGO), can achieve the goal of equality for persons with disAbilities on its own. Rather, an interconnected network of actors is required to reach this goal.
Increased access to data and statistics will increase the ability to ensure that programmes are targeting the areas of greatest need. The development and dissemination of such data, as well as knowledge including good practices, lessons learned, and sources of expertise, will assist all actors in the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with disAbilities at the local, national and international levels. The integral involvement of civil society, including of organizations of persons with disAbilities, in national and international mechanisms is an essential ingredient in effectively guiding the development agenda towards integrating and including persons with disAbilities. Efforts to incorporate and include persons with disAbilities into the development activities have been gaining momentum over the past several decades.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with disAbilities offers an ideal opportunity to consolidate disAbility-related activities, and to develop policies and structures that ensure that persons with disAbilities are mainstreamed within the United Nations system. Lessons learned from gender and HIV/AIDS mainstreaming can provide valuable guidance, and there are an increasing number of tools to inform and guide this process, which when coupled with strong political will can lead to significant positive gains.
Furthermore, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with disAbilities also provides the opportunity for human rights and development actors to actively combine and integrate these two areas. New and innovative thinking and collaboration are required to utilize the Convention so as to bring the maximum benefit to persons with disAbilities and society. It is both a human rights and a development instrument that elucidates how all categories of rights apply to persons with disAbilities, and identifies practical measures to create development programmes that are inclusive of, and accessible to, persons with disAbilities.
Resources and Documents
Selected examples: best practices at the international, regional, subregional and national levels for including persons with disabilities in development efforts (Updated: 8 July 2011)
“Mainstreaming disability in the development agenda” Note by the Secretariat to the Forty-sixth session of the Commission for Social Development to the, 6-15 February 2008 (E/CN.5/2008/6)
Panel Discussion: Mainstreaming Disability in the Development Agenda, United Nations Headquarters, 12 February 2008
Disability Dimension in Development Action: Manual on Inclusive Planning United Nations in collaboration with the National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (STAKES) in Finland (Revised online version 2003)
Priority Themes: Mainstreaming disability in the development agenda
Photo Credit: Hani Amir http://www.flickr.com/photos/haniamir/3972177053/
Thanks to CARE Society for conducting a session to “Creating Awareness on United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with a Disability(UNCRPD) & disAbilityLaw 8/2010“. It brought a lot of professionals from our community dealing with disAbility and highlighted the need to meet up frequently to work together and create a better Maldives for Persons with disAbilities. I hope more similar platforms would be created in the future and am looking forward for the next disAbility forum by the Disability Council on 3rd December(disAbility day 2011).
Thanks again CARE Society.
- Persons with a disAbility ( ނުކުޅެދުންތެރިކަން ހުންނަ މީހުން )
- Vision Impairment ( ފެނުމުގެ ނުކުޅެދުންތެރިކަން )
- Totally Blind ( ފެނުމުން މަޙްރޫމުވެފައިވުން )
- Low Vision ( ފެނުމުގެ މިންވަރު ދައްވުން )
- Hearing Impairment ( އަޑުއިވުމުގެ ނުކުޅެދުންތެރިކަން )
- Deaf ( އިވުމުން މަޙްރޫމުވުން )
- Hard of Hearing ( އިވުމުގެ މިންވަރު ދައްވުން )
- Communication disAbility ( މުޢާމަލާތް ކުރުމުގެ ނުކުޅެދުންތެރިކަން )
- Speech and Language disorder ( ވާހަކަދެއްކުމާއި ބަސްމޮށުންތެރިކަމުގެ ނުކުޅެދުންތެރިކަމުގެ ދަތިކަން ) Suggestion: *1 ވާހަކަދެއްކުމާއި ބަހުރުވައިގެ ނުކުޅެދުންތެރިކަން
- Intellectual disAbility ( ސިކުނޑީގެ ނުކުޅެދުންތެރިކަން )
- Down Syndrome ( ޑައުންސިންޑްރޯމް )
- Mild Intellectual disAbility ( ސިކުނޑީގެ ނުކުޅެދުންތެރިކަން ކުޑަކޮށް ހުރުން )
- Moderate Intellectual disAbility ( ސިކުނޑީގެ ނުކުޅެދުންތެރިކަން މެދުމިންވަރަކަށް ހުރުން )
- Severe Intellectual disAbility ( ސިކުނޑީގެ ނުކުޅެދުންތެރިކަން ބޮޑަށް ހުރުން )
- Profound Intellectual disAbility ( ސިކުނޑީގެ ނުކުޅެދުންތެރިކަން ވަރަށް ބޮޑަށް ހުރުން )
- Autism ( އޯޓިޒަމް )
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
( | ސަމާލުކަން ދިނުމަށް ދަތިވުމާއި ހަލަނިވުން | އޭ ޑީ އެޗް ޑީ )
- Physical disAbility ( ޖިސްމާނީ ނުކުޅެދުންތެރިކަން )
- Cerebral Palsy ( ސެރެބްރަލް ޕަލްސީ )
- Mild Cerebral Palsy ( ސެރެބްރަލް ޕަލްސީ ކުޑަކޮށް ހުރުން )
- Moderate Cerebral Palsy ( ސެރެބްރަލް ޕަލްސީ މެދުމިންވަރަކަށް ހުރުން )
- Severe Cerebral Palsy ( ސެރެބްރަލް ޕަލްސީ ބޮޑުކޮށް ހުރުން )
- Profound Cerebral Palsy ( ސެރެބްރަލް ޕަލްސީ ވަރަށް ބޮޑަށް ހުރުން )
- Mild Physical disAbility ( ޖިސްމާނީ ނުކުޅެދުންތެރިކަން ކުޑަކޮށް ހުރުން )
- Moderate Physical disAbility ( ޖިސްމާނީ ނުކުޅެދުންތެރިކަން މެދުމިންވަރަކަށް ހުރުން )
- Severe Physical disAbility ( ޖިސްމާނީ ނުކުޅެދުންތެރިކަން ބޮޑަށް ހުރުން )
- Profound Physical disAbility ( ޖިސްމާނީ ނުކުޅެދުންތެރިކަން ވަރަށް ބޮޑަށް ހުރުން )
*1 Suggested by Latheef
Please note that these terminologies are not official. These are the terminologies that I feel is appropriate in terms of usage. There is no work done on terminology right now and different official documents contain different terms for these disAbilities.
Care Society in association with Dhiraagu is conducting a “Special Sports Festival” on 1st October 2011 solely for the Children/Persons with Disabilities. The purpose of this Festival would be to provide opportunity for children and adults with disabilities in various institutions to participate in a sports event. This will also create a platform for further collaboration among institutions and moreover provide a unique opportunity for persons with disabilities. This will serve as an opportunity for Care Society to advocate for the persons with disabilities. This festival would also be a stepping stone to the nationwide special sports event and also would be further developed and expanded based on the experience. Care Development Centre (Care Society), Jamaludhudheen School, Imaadhudheen School and Maldives Deaf Association will be participating in this festival. The sports items are flower picking, baton relay, water balloon relay, sand bag pulling, tunnel, water balancing and many more.
Aslam Shakir calls upon the intn’l community to work with Maldives to implement programs promote the rights of Persons with disAbilities
9 September 2011 : – The Fourth Conference of the Parties for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was held at the United Nations Headquarters on 9 September 2011. The theme of this three-day conference was “Enabling Development, Realizing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” and the sub-themes of the Conference were “Realizing the Convention through International Cooperation”, “ Political and Civil Participation” and “ Work and Employment”.
Minister Shakir preceded his official remarks by stating “Let me initially say that I deliver this statement with a heavy heart having just heard the news of the tragic drowning deaths of four Maldivian school children and their principal during a fisheries science trip. My heart, along with the hearts of all Maldivians, is with the victims and their families. May god bless their souls.”
In his official statement the Minister reiterated that Maldives fully supports the purpose of this important human rights instrument, namely, to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.
Minister highlighted the remarkable progress made in the short span of two years since the first democratic election in 2008, these include acceding to numerous international human rights instruments and the landmark ratification of the Disabilities Act (Bill 8/20) on 9 July 2010.
The Minister expressed the eagerness of Maldives to engage with civil society, other states and international organizations to work on these important issues.
He also noted that the Maldives must work to protect and promote the rights of the most vulnerable citizens through the mainstreaming of the rights of persons with disabilities.
He concluded his remarks by unequivocally stating that Maldives is firmly committed to meet its responsibility to ensure that persons with disabilities are supported and encouraged to fully participate in Maldivian society and called upon the international community to work with Maldives to develop and implement programs and policies that protect and promote the rights of persons with disabilities.
via: Miadhu news (link)