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Gildernew praises centre on Human Rights for people with disabilities at Disability Action

27 March, 2009

Minister Michelle Gildernew, MP MLA, has presented certificates to a group of disabled people in Enniskillen who have recently completed a Human Rights training programme.

The programme was the first human rights focused training for disabled people to be held in County Fermanagh and hosted by the Centre on Human Rights for People with Disabilities at Disability Action.

Speaking during the presentation ceremony, Minister Gildernew said: “It is clear that this type of training is very valuable. Participants develop a better understanding of the current equality and human rights laws that apply here and what they actually mean in practice for disabled people. It also helps raise awareness of key issues that impact on the lives of disabled people, especially the needs of those living in rural locations such as Fermanagh.”

Monica Wilson, Chief Executive of Disability Action said: “We would like to congratulate all those that have completed this training which has been designed to enable people with disabilities to become human rights activists in order to campaign and lobby securing the human rights of disabled people and ensure their voice is heard on issues that matter to them.

"This is the first time this particular programme has run in Fermanagh and has had a very successful start in targeting and engaging disabled people from rural communities. It is vital that disabled people know how the work of the Assembly impacts on them and how to use this to increase the level of protection of disabled people’s human rights through effective lobbying and engagement with the Assembly and all stakeholders.”

Following successful completion of the training programme, participants become part of the Rights Empowerment Action and Lobbying (REAL) Network which aims to encourage people with disabilities to work closer together as well as to lobby and campaign on important issues of particular concern to disabled people.

The Minister added: “I encourage all the certificate winners to put this training to good use, to work with others across the REAL network and beyond and help bring about the changes that you want to see in place to ensure that the rights, needs and aspirations of all disabled people are fully upheld and respected.”

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