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Listening to the voices of people with disabilities

RT Hon Sir Malcolm Bruce and Ms. Pauline Latham OBE interacting with Mr.Joel Montero by teleconference.
© CBM
RT Hon Sir Malcolm Bruce and Ms. Pauline Latham OBE interacting with Mr.Joel Montero

RT Hon Sir Malcolm Bruce and Ms. Pauline Latham OBE of ‘International Development Committee’ informal interaction with Mr.Joel Montero by teleconference on January 30, 2014.

Mr. Joel Montero was interviewed by the International Development Committee, of the United Kingdom parliament.

The International Development Committee represented by the Chairman Rt. Hon. Sir Malcolm Bruce and Ms. Pauline Latham OBE spoke to Mr. Joel Montero, a member of Self Advocacy Forum of India (SAFI). CBM supports Parivaar, a parents association of people with intellectual disability, which has developed the SAFI initiative to enable people with intellectual disabilities to speak for themselves. The teleconference was an opportunity to speak to an international audience about the challenges faced by people with disability with respect to employment, sustainability and independency. The interview was facilitated by CBM UK and CBM India.

The International Development Committee sought to understand the issues affecting people with disability in order to make UK development programmes more effective. During the discussion, Mr. Joel said, "People with disability need respect”. He said that when he goes out in Mumbai, people do not treat him very well. Mr Joel said people with learning disabilities need greater empowerment, and a forum to express their views. He would very much like to get a job after leaving school. He hopes to work with computers, and has had IT training. Not all the graduates from his school have found work. If he cannot get a job he will have to rely on his family and charity.

Over the discussion, RT Hon Sir Malcolm Bruce said, “Since people with disability want to acquire skills and get jobs the committee will look into setting up means to so that it ensures things happen.”

International Development Committee

The International Development Committee constituted by UK Parliament monitors the policy, administration and finances of the Department for International Development by the Government of United Kingdom and takes an interest in the policies and procedures of the multilateral agencies and non-government organisations to which DFID contributes.

About Joel

Joel Montero is a 22 year old youth with intellectual disability. He is the spokesperson of Self Advocacy Forum of India (SAFI) Chapter of Thane in Maharashtra. He represented Maharashtra at the first National Convention of Self-Advocates Forum of India (SAFI) held in 2013 at Delhi. The initiative was organised by Parivaar with the support of CBM and The National Trust.
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