Sydney hosts International Symposium on the World report on disability
4 December 2011
Thought leaders and policy makers in the disability field from throughout Asia and the Pacific will come together at the University of Sydney on Monday 5 and Tuesday 6 December to discuss a way forward for the region in response to the first World report on disability released in June this year by the World Health Organization and the World Bank.
Key findings of the report suggest:
· More than a billion people, about 15 per cent of the world's population, have some form of disability;
· Nearly 200 million people experience significant difficulties in everyday life;
· Rates of disability are increasing due to population ageing and increases in chronic health conditions;
· Outcomes for people with disabilities are unequal to others, in part due to poor access to services such as health, education, employment, transport and information.
The symposium will be opened by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas, Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, with a video message from the Hon Kevin Rudd MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
A distinguished line up of speakers includes: Ms Alana Officer, WHO Executive Editor of World report on disability; Professor Ron McCallum AO, Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disability; Mr Graeme Innes, Disability Discrimination Commissioner; Rex Bernardo, the World Economic Forum Young Global Leader 2011; and Setareki Macanawei, from thePacific Disability Forum.
The Hon Andrew Constance MP, New South Wales Minister for Ageing and Minister for Disability Services will open day two of the symposium.
With participants from 22 countries, presentations from local and international speakers will cover a wide range of topics such as inclusive education in Nepal and Fiji, and the challenges faced by Indigenous Australians with a disability.
"We are delighted to be hosting this important gathering," said Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney.
"A number of our staff have made significant contributions to the World report on disability and it is fitting that we can bring so many people together to consider the implications for future research, policy and practice."
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