Papua New Guinea National Policy on Disability

The policy was first discussed at a workshop of disability stakeholders held at the Department of Community Development, Waigani, from 16-17 May, 2005 and further developed at a series of workshops held in nine Provinces over August, September and October 2005. This document represents the conclusions reached through many consultation processes both at the national and provincial levels as well as with our development partners. Many people with disabilities from around PNG have contributed to the policy as well as service providing organisations such as Callan Services, Education Resource Centres, Cheshire Homes, health and education professionals and Provincial Community Development officers, representatives of church agencies, NGOs and community organisations, representatives of the PNG National Board for the Disabled Person and the National Assembly of Disabled People as well as families of children with disabilities.

People with disabilities in recent times have been totally invisible in all areas and at all levels of the development processes of this country. They appear to be the most discriminated group of the marginalised sector of our population. It is time we changed our values and understandings with respect to those who are disabled. Whether the disability is psychological, physiological or whether it is a function of accidents or genetics, people with disabilities are people first and they deserve the same set of rights as every citizen of this country.