A Disabled People’s Organisation (DPO) is an organisation representing and/or working with disabled people. By definition, a DPO is also run and controlled by a majority of people with disabilities. The LDWDC is approved as a DPO under the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare.
The LDWDC is committed to working with Governments, Non-Government Organisations and Disabled People’s Organisations to more effectively achieve its objectives and vision.
The other official and non-official DPO’s in Laos P.D.R. are:
The LDPA is the peak advocacy body representing the interests of all people with disability in Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR). The LDPA has five main areas of priority which are (1) Rights training and awareness for disabled people at a provincial and national level; (2) Providing employment services connecting people with disability with suitable employers; (3) policy development and law reform; (4) social and economic inclusiveness programs such as income generation programs; and (5) creating networking opportunities and the opportunity for people with disability to have a voice through strategic events, radio and television programs. More information is available on the LDPA’s website www.ldpa.org.la
The Lao Association of the Blind
A group of visually impaired Lao people first joined together in 2002. At that time the group was supported by the LDPA. In 2007 the Lao Association of the Blind (LAB) was officially established and nowadays it is its own officially registered organisation. Headquartered in Vientiane Capital, the LAB has branches in Savannakhet and Luang Prabang and there are plans to create new branches in Xiengkhouang and Champasak in the near future. Each branch provides LAB members with a support network and the opportunity to learn new skills with a particular emphasis on massage, handicraft production and animal husbandry. For more information about the LAB, please call (+856) 21 414 949or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Lao Autism Association (LAA) was formally established in 2007 and seeks to assist children with autism and their families. The LAA focuses on raising awareness of autism in Lao PDR and providing quality education, training and therapy for children with autism enabling them to become involved within the community. The LAA also provides parents and carers of children with autism and their communities with a support network. For more information about the LAA, please call (+856) 21 480 488or email email@example.com, or visit the LAA website www.laoautism.org
The Lao Association of the Deaf (LAD) is emerging out of the Lao Deaf Unit (LDU) within the LDPA. The LAD is housed within the same building as the LDPA in Vientiane Capital. The LDU was established more than 8 years ago to raise awareness of issues affecting deaf people and assist deaf people to fully participate in mainstream society. Like the LDPA, the LAD is a membership-based organisation providing services to members based on their needs. These services include sign language and vocational training, advocacy and rights awareness programs. For more information about the LAD, please call(+856) 21 241 556, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the LAD website laodeafunit.blogspot.com.
The Intellectual Disability Unit
The Intellectual Disability Unit (IDU) was formed in 2008. Initially the IDU was set up to provide a small group of intellectually disabled children and young people with sporting and recreational opportunities at Chau Anouvong Stadium in Vientiane Capital as a way of encouraging their participation in mainstream society. News of the IDU’s work spread and more children, young people and their parents wanted to become involved in the IDU. The IDU is located in Nonkhor Village and currently has over 40 students with a range of intellectual disabilities. It has expanded its activities beyond the sport and recreation program and offers classes in Lao language, culture, mathematics, nature, daily living, art, dancing and music. The IDU also serves as an important social outlet for students. For more information about the IDU, please call(+856) 21 260 494.
Ban San Souk School
Ban San Souk School (BSSS) is the only specialist centre for children with cerebral palsy in Lao PDR. Located in Vientiane Capital, BSSS officially opened in 2006. Local staff provide a limited number of students with daily care, support and therapy. Students are also given the opportunity to learn Lao language and participate in activities like painting and games. As the only centre of its kind, BSSS provides parents and carers of children with cerebral palsy the opportunity to network with each other. For more information about BSSS, please call(+856) 21 222 317.