Today marks a truly remarkable day as we observe International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Since 1992, the United Nations has promoted the Worldwide Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3) as an international observance. The day’s purpose is to raise awareness of the status of individuals with disabilities in all aspects of political, social, economic, and cultural life, and to support their rights and well-being at all levels of society and development.
The 2021 theme for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world.”
The University of the South Pacific (USP) has long played a critical role in assisting disabled students.
USP’s inclusive programme has a strong commitment to creating an inclusive, barrier-free working and learning environment for its students and staff from its twelve member countries.
Disability Resource Centre (DRC) Manager, Alfred Anthony said the University’s aim is to contribute to positive change by providing quality education within a supportive teaching and learning framework.
He said that since the inception of the Disability Resource Centre in 2013, it has supported over 200 students with disabilities across the region pursue their studies.
“In addition, 59 students have graduated with qualifications ranging from Certificates to Masters Degrees,” added Mr Anthony.
“Our most recent graduate, Mr Edwin Babanisi from the Solomon Islands, was the first fully blind student to attain his Bachelor of Laws and Professional Diploma in Legal Practice in Semester 1, 2021 which is indicative of one of many achievements our students are producing.”
He said that DRC facilitates the USP-funded Regional Disability Scholarship, which began in 2018, providing persons with a disability an opportunity to upskill and make a difference within their respective communities throughout the region.
To learn more about the Disability Resource Centre, please visit: https://www.usp.ac.fj/campus/home/disability-resource-centre/