WHILE the Fiji National Budget 2016 – 2017 allocation towards the people with different abilities was a sign of progressive realisation, lack of facilities towards accommodation was still a concern for many. According to some youth representatives of the different abled people, while the initiatives outlined in the budget were commendable, allocations within the budget towards providing persons with different abilities appropriate support mechanisms on a daily basis was something they would have liked to see more of .
Fiji Disabled People’s Federation youth group vice president Luisa Mana explained that persons with special needs had different impairments that required different sorts of support to go through the day without any health complications or misunderstandings in communication – and it made matters worse as most people living with impairment are below the poverty line.
“Most persons with disabilities who are unemployed, need medical supplies like diapers, dressing materials for sores, urine bags and mobility device like wheelchair, walker, crutches not forgetting carers, sign language interpreters and guides,” she said. “All needs mentioned are expensive and not easily accessed by all persons with disabilities here in Fiji. Hence, most persons with disabilities are still below the poverty line struggling to make ends meet, is the reality for many of us. Arti Devi, person with different abilities from a private sector acknowledged that major buildings in the city area did have “pretty good accessibility”, but not all people with special needs lived in the urban area.
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