Include PwDs as part of global crisis response plan - US Special Advisor Sara Minkara
14 Sep 2022 05:21pm
Bernama Chairman Senator Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi (right) interviewed the United States Special Advisor on International Disability Rights Sara Minkara (left) during the 'Think Differently' Program at Wisma Bernama today - Bernama photo
The United States (US) Special Advisor on International Disability Rights Sara Minkara said that the advocacy to consistently gather the PwDs and their viewpoints must be seen as important and crucial to simultaneously address their challenges due to the pandemic.
"In general, when a crisis happens, be it Covid-19, climate change or disaster, PwDs are often disproportionately impacted. In many ways, we are left behind and not seen.
"Our advocacy here now is to ensure PwDs are part of the conversations at the table and consider their perspectives. On top of that, the PwDs also could tap into some innovative ideas and values that they can bring forwards in terms of how they respond to a crisis.
"Hence, let’s address them, bring them and let’s make sure they’re part of the table from the get-go, not as an afterthought,” Sara told Bernama in an exclusive interview after she appeared on Bernama TV’s programme ‘Think Differently with Ras Adiba Radzi’ held at the news agency’s headquarters, here, today.
Earlier, she paid a courtesy call on Bernama Chairman Senator Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi.
In the same development, Sara pointed out that social media platforms are impactful tools that could further increase the public's awareness of PwDs with various challenges, especially in the post-pandemic era today.
She said social media plays a huge role that must be utilised to bring forward more PwDs’ voices, experiences and challenges on the ground.
"The challenge from getting into the space, from accessing information and challenges that we’re actually not included and valued is very much across the board and therefore, how do we get society to hear those words from our system can be a powerful tool.
"Social media can also be a tool where we (PwDs) can also mobilise people. With the presence of all social media platforms we have today, we really need to think creatively about how we can bring that forward.
"As social media is about connecting and bringing things forward, I think this is where it’s important on how we can craft the narrative,” she added.
Sara, who was appointed by US President Joe Biden last year, is currently in Malaysia to meet with civil society, government and international organisation representatives for discussions on addressing challenges facing persons with disabilities.
Previously, she travelled to Berlin, Germany and attended the G7 Global Inclusion Summit early this month and later to Thailand to engage disabled person organisations and the provincial government on disability rights issues in Chiang Mai. - Bernama
Melaka Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry (KPDN) director Norena Jaafar inspecting the container used for the diesel embezzlement syndicate. Photo: BERNAMA