In Nepal, the disability organisations that receive support via MyRight are working to ensure that the rights of persons with disabilities are honoured and that persons with disabilities are able to participate in society. The right to an education is a particular priority.
The joint work of the disability organisations is coordinated by a steering committee, which comprises representatives of the various partner organisations, the Nepalese umbrella organisation NFDN – the National Federation of the Disabled and officials from the relevant ministries, including the Education Ministry.
Nepal has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2009). Since then, the disability organisations have participated in several processes that can be seen as milestones for the disability rights movement in Nepal: an overhaul of the 30-year-old Disabilities Act, a proposal for a new Education Act and the creation of a new unit for inclusive education within the Education Ministry. These changes are based around a rights perspective, and have paved the way for the true empowerment of persons with disabilities.
A few years ago, in order to gather information about and strengthen the foundations for inclusive schooling, the steering committee appointed oversight committees comprising representatives of various disability organisations, the teachers’ union, journalists, teachers and local education authorities. There are now oversight committees in six districts. Their task is to visit, observe and monitor how different schools comply with the legislation and guidelines on inclusive education. The idea behind the committees is to lay the foundation for increased access to education and improved quality. There is also a central committee, whose task is to coordinate the district committees and submit recommendations to the government.
In recent years, the work of the disability organisations has helped to make curriculums and teaching methods more accessible and tailored to persons with disabilities. The language in the curriculum and the schoolbooks has been reworked to make it more inclusive, which has involved taking away words and comments that discriminate against persons with disabilities, for example.
Another key success is that persons on the autistic spectrum have been granted identity cards, giving them the right to receive certain support from the state social security system. Autism is also in the process of being recognised as a separate category of disability, as is haemophilia. The organisations for deaf persons have developed the Nepalese sign language, establishing over 2,000 signs. Their advocacy work has also led the Education Ministry to decide that for a five-year period deaf persons will be allowed to work as teachers without the requirement for a teaching qualification. This exemption enables teaching in sign language, despite the examination process for becoming a teacher not being accessible to deaf persons. Hopefully, in the future, the examination process will become accessible in sign language, so that deaf persons are also able to obtain a teaching licence.
Office in Nepal
Phone: + 977 985 111 2082
Phone: + 977 985 110 6774
Post Box 144 81
Kholagal Marga, Lazimpat, Kathmandu
Partner organizations in Nepal
- NDFN – National Federation of the DEAF Nepal
- NHS – Nepal Hemophilia Society
- NAHOH – Nepal Association of the Hard of Hearing Nayabazar
- DAOK – Deaf Association of Kailali
- BYAN – Blind Youth Association Nepal
- ACN – Autism Care Nepal
- GFPIF– Guardian Federation of Persons with Intellectual Disabiltities