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Belize – Disability

Belize is a country located in Central America, bordered by Mexico to the north, Guatemala to the west and south, and the Caribbean Sea to the east. It has a population of around 400,000 people and is known for its natural beauty, diverse cultures, and rich history. Like many countries around the world, Belize has a population of individuals with disabilities. In this article, we will explore common attitudes to disability, legislation and discrimination issues, public transport and building access, and advocacy groups for the disabled in Belize.

Common Attitudes to Disability in Belize

According to a report by the World Health Organization, there is a lack of awareness and understanding of disability issues in Belize. Many people with disabilities are seen as unable to contribute to society, and there is a stigma attached to disability that can lead to discrimination and exclusion. However, there are also many people and organizations in Belize that are working to promote disability rights and raise awareness of the issues faced by people with disabilities.

Discrimination and Legislation Issues in Relation to Disability in Belize

There is no specific disability discrimination legislation in Belize, but the Constitution of Belize does prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. However, there have been reports of discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, education, and access to public services. In addition, many buildings and public spaces in Belize are not accessible to people with disabilities, which can further limit their opportunities and access to services.

Public Transport and Building Access in Belize

Public transport in Belize is generally not accessible to people with disabilities. Buses are the most common form of public transport, but they are often overcrowded and do not have wheelchair ramps or other accommodations for people with disabilities. Similarly, many buildings and public spaces in Belize are not accessible to people with disabilities, including government buildings, hotels, and tourist attractions. This lack of access can make it difficult for people with disabilities to participate fully in society and can limit their opportunities for education, employment, and social interaction.

Advocacy Groups for the Disabled in Belize

There are several organizations in Belize that advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. Here are a few examples:

  • National Council on Aging and the Disabled (NCAD): The NCAD is a government agency that promotes the interests and rights of older persons and people with disabilities. They provide a range of services and support, including access to healthcare, rehabilitation, and social services.

  • Belize Assembly for Persons with Diverse Abilities (BAPDA): BAPDA is a non-governmental organization that works to promote the inclusion and integration of people with disabilities in Belizean society. They provide advocacy, education, and support services to people with disabilities and their families.

  • Special Olympics Belize: Special Olympics Belize is a non-profit organization that provides sports training and competition opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. They also promote awareness and understanding of intellectual disabilities in Belize.

  • Belize Association of Persons with Physical Disabilities (BAPPD): BAPPD is an organization that advocates for the rights and needs of people with physical disabilities in Belize. They provide support and services to people with disabilities and their families, including access to mobility aids and assistive devices.

In conclusion, disability issues are a growing concern in Belize, with a lack of awareness and understanding of the issues faced by people with disabilities. Discrimination and access issues are prevalent, making it difficult for people with disabilities to participate fully in society. However, there are also many organizations and individuals in Belize that are working to promote disability rights and improve access to services and support. Advocacy groups such as BAPDA, BAPPD, and Special Olympics Belize play an important role in raising awareness and advocating for the rights of people with disabilities in Belize.


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