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Partnering with persons with disabilities for an inclusive, accessible and sustainable world

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By Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

As the world observes the International Day of Persons with Disabilities today, we honor the leadership of persons with disabilities and their tireless efforts to build a more inclusive, accessible and sustainable world. At the same time, we resolve to work harder to ensure a society that is open and accommodating to all.

An estimated 690 million persons with disabilities, around 15 percent of the total population, live in the Asia-Pacific region. Many of them continue to be excluded from socioeconomic and political participation.

Available data suggests that persons with disabilities are almost half as likely to be employed as persons without disabilities. They are also half as likely to have voted in an election and are underrepresented in government decision-making bodies.

Just about 0.5 percent of parliamentarians in the region are persons with disabilities. Women with disabilities are even less likely to be employed and hold only 0.1 percent of national parliament positions.

One of the main reasons behind these exclusions is a lack of accessibility. Public transportation and the built environment in general ― including public offices, polling stations, workplaces, markets and other essential structures ― lack ramps, walkways and basic accessibility features.

Accessibility, however, goes beyond........

© The Korea Times

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