Communication Inclusion Workshop for the Disability and Gender-Based Violence Workstream Partners and National and sub-national-Level Government Counterparts

Communication Inclusion Workshop for the Disability and Gender-Based Violence Workstream Partners and National and sub-national-Level Government Counterparts

During October 2021, the OIC Cambodia, who are specialists on the development of speech therapy and supports for people with communication and swallowing disabilities in Cambodia, organized a series of workshop on Communication Inclusion for Disability and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) workstream implementing partners and government counterparts at the national and sub-national levels. These half-day workshops were financially the Australian Government through the Australia-Cambodia for Equitable Sustainable Services (ACCESS) program.

The objectives of the training were 1) to share knowledge about the needs for effective communication for people with communication disabilities; 2) to understand the barriers they face in communication and their communication rights; and 3) to introduce supportive methods and materials for effective service provision for persons with communication disabilities.

Participants from the disability workstream included the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA), the Disability Action Council (DAC), the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation, the People with Disability Foundation, the Cambodian National Council for Women, the Ministry of Economic and Finance, the Ministry of Interior, and ACCESS Implementing Partners from the Disability and GBV workstreams.

The workshop identified that barriers to communication can include lack of support from service providers, human resources (speech therapists), and availability and acceptance of other forms of communication such as sign language, braille, picture/ symbol-based communication for persons with communication disabilities.

During the training Her Excellency Prak Thavak Pheary, Deputy Secretary-General of DAC, encouraged participants to continue to collaborate and discuss with one another to find solutions to support the disability sector, with increased attention on persons with communication disabilities and engage them in the development process. She thanked OIC Cambodia and the ACCESS Program for making this valuable workshop happen.

Her Excellency Nhem Morokat, Under Secretary of State of MoWA, highlighted the efforts of MoWA in providing capacity development on gender equality and disability inclusion​ and promoting responsive services to persons with disabilities and implementation of National Disability Strategic Plan. Additionally, she encouraged participants to adopt an inclusive approach towards persons with communication disabilities and promote their participation in these discussions and developments.

Inclusion of persons with communication disabilities requires their access to all services, including disability-related services and services to support women affected by gender-based violence. Raising the profile of persons with communication disabilities whilst enhancing the capacities of civil society organisations and service providers is essential in improving the quality and inclusiveness of existing disability-related and gender-based violence support services.

The Australian Government through the ACCESS Program is working in partnership with the Royal Government of Cambodia and local partners in providing equitable sustainable services to persons with disabilities and women affected by gender-based violence.