Speech disorder a disability: Stutterers

Kathmandu, December 13:

Right activists today urged the Constituent Assembly to ensure rights of stutterers at par with other physically challenged people.

Addressing a programme organised here today, Upendra Prasad Adhikari, under-secretary at Ministry of Women,

Children and Social Welfare (MoWCSW), said, “The government is preparing to propose to the CA to ratify the UN convention on physically-challenged people.”

He asked the Nepal Stutters Association (NSA) to come up with recommendations for the the new constitution. “The government is in the process of revising existing laws related to differently-abled people. So, we request them to submit their joint recommendations,” Adhikari said, adding, “The NSA should also advocate for the rights of female stutterers.” He said the INGOs should help the NSA financially so that they could advocate for their rights before the new constitution was written.

Sudarshan Subedi, president of Disabled Human Rights Centre, said they were failing to pay more attention to the issues of stutterers, as they were still unable to identify whether or not they were disabled.

Birendra Raj Pokharel, president of the Federation of Disabled-Nepal, said the definition of disabled would not be complete without defining stutterers as disabled. “All should be informed that communication/speech disorder is also a form of disability,” Pokharel said.

Renu Lohani from Disabled People of Denmark urged the NSA to include more women in the association.