Workshop on the opening of the Project "Empowering People With Disabilities to Claim Their Rights and Entitlements'"

The Centre for Development Studies at BZU held a workshop on 28 March 2011, on the occasion of  launching the first of its kind project in Palestine "Empowering People With Disabilities to Claim Their Rights and Entitlements,'" targeting the issue of disability, funded by the UK Department for International Development, delivered in partnership with Medical Aid for Palestinians. The workshop was attended by the Vice-President for Community Affairs, Dr. Munir Qazzar, and Ms. Kathy Jubeh from Medical Aid for Palestinians, and the Director of the Center, Dr. Samya Butmeh. The project targets young people with disabilities in four districts in the West Bank and Gaza Strip namely: Jenin, Hebron, north of Gaza, Rafah

The workshop was held at the conference hall,-Said Khoury for Development Studies building, and a similar workshop at al-Quds International Hotel (Gaza Strip), in which a number of institutions working in the field of disability, youth, human rights, as well as a group of persons with disabilities have participated.   

In his opening address, Dr. Qazzar stressed that the University in its different departments implement the policy that provides access for all individuals to educational services, and the keenness of the university to address the development and rights perspective, without ignoring any of the issues, asserting that disability is one of the vital issues that is part of BZU's projects on the academic and community levels.

Prior the starting of this project, a study was conducted by the Centre to monitor the extent of the availability of substantial disability indicators to be included in the policies and programs of institutions to ensure actual integration of people with disabilities. Also, the Centre carried out in the preparatory phase of the project field work manifested in a domestic survey for people with disabilities and a survey for local community institutions in  the four targeted districts. In addition to holding a number of focus groups, targeting  those with disabilities, members and activists from the local community in the targeted areas of the project. 

These activities have produced a set of conclusions, most notably the results that reflect the impact of environmental and institutional constraints that prevent persons with disabilities to access educational, rehabilitative and health services, as well as the labor market, and to participate in the social and civil life on an equal basis with others. This discrimination, which is  based on disability, limits the possibility tof enjoying  the rights stipulated in Palestinian law for Rights of Disabled Persons No. 4/1999, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons.