Maldives hosted the first forum of its kind to discuss how to make development disability-inclusive. The forum for ‘Promoting Disability Inclusive Development’, which was organized with the combined effort of Housing Development Corporation, Ooredoo Maldives and UNDP, was held in Hotel Jen on 23rd June 2018.
The forum was attended by Minister of Gender and Family Ms. Zenysha Shaheed Zaki as Chief Guest and representatives from HDC, Ooredoo and UNDP. Individuals from several NGOs and other stakeholders were among the 100 participants of the forum as well.
This forum, which was held under the ‘Smart Cities’ project initiated by the three partners, aimed to review and improve inclusivity of Persons with Disabilities and to empower them to become an active member of the society through minimizing their barriers to participate.
The focus of the forum was mainly focused on highlighting the several challenges faced by Persons with Disabilities in exercising their rights as equal citizens and how to enable mechanisms and opportunities to reduce these challenges. The forum also reflected on the progress made in the implementation of policies, programs and legislation to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities and finally, developed recommendations and roll out plan to eliminate barriers to accessibility.
The ‘Smart Cities” initiative was launched in the year 2017, focusing on Hulhumalé as a pilot zone. Through this project, one of the main aspects focused on is to ensure the technological solutions introduced in a smart city remains inclusive and accessible to all its population.