Disability inclusion a priority for discussion series

The discussion series provides a platform for diverse voices to participate in conversations of national importance.

The Toktok Bilong Strongim Nesen discussion series has continued remove barriers to participation in the public events by persons living with disabilities.

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities was observed on 3 December each year to promote an understanding of persons with disabilities and encourage support for their dignity, rights and well-being.

This year’s theme is ‘promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda’.

The Toktok Bilong Strongim Nesen discussions include a diverse range of people get the opportunity to express their views and ask questions.

At the most recent event Kaman Kelly, the PNG Assembly of Disabled Persons treasurer, brought a perspective from his lived experience to a discussion on tax and development.

Mr Kelly said that Papua New Guinea stood to benefit from enabling people from marginalised groups – such as persons living with disabilities – to become economically productive and pay taxes.

The discussions now feature sign-language interpreters so that people with hearing impairments can engage with the panel and provide their perspectives on topics of national importance.

The most recent event in the series included sign-language interpreters to ensure people with hearing impairments could be part of the discussion.

The venue for the series is the University of Papua New Guinea’s fully wheelchair accessible New Lecture Theatre, which was constructed with Australian Government support.

PNG and Australia are partners in strengthening social inclusion – diversity results in more innovation, increased productivity and reduced discrimination.