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Panama – Disability

Panama is a country located in Central America with a population of approximately 4.3 million people. As with other countries, disability in Panama is a complex issue that affects individuals, families, and society as a whole. This article will explore common attitudes to disability in Panama, discrimination and legislation issues in relation to disability, public transport and building access, and any lobbying/advocacy groups for the disabled and their contact details.

Common Attitudes to Disability in Panama

Attitudes towards disability in Panama can vary depending on the region and community. There are positive attitudes towards disability, but negative stereotypes and discrimination still persist. There is a common belief that people with disabilities are not able to contribute to society and should be taken care of by their families or institutions.

In addition, there is a lack of understanding about the needs and abilities of people with disabilities, and accessibility barriers are often present. This can make it difficult for people with disabilities to access education, employment, and other essential services.

Discrimination and Legislation Issues in Relation to Disability

Although Panama has made progress in terms of disability legislation, discrimination still occurs in various areas of life. The National Council for the Comprehensive Care of People with Disabilities (CONAPREDIS) is the agency responsible for promoting and ensuring the rights of people with disabilities in Panama.

However, there are still several issues related to disability discrimination, including limited access to employment, education, and public services. In addition, people with disabilities often face negative attitudes and stereotypes that can lead to social exclusion.

The government of Panama has taken some steps to address these issues by passing laws and creating programs to support people with disabilities. For example, Law 15 of 2013 established a quota system for the employment of people with disabilities in public and private sectors. Additionally, Law 42 of 2019 requires that new buildings be constructed in compliance with accessibility standards.

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Public Transport and Building Access

Public transport and building access in Panama can be challenging for people with disabilities. Many public transport vehicles and buildings are not equipped with accessibility features such as ramps, lifts, or audio-visual signals. This makes it difficult for people with disabilities to move around independently and access essential services.

Despite the existence of legislation requiring accessibility in new buildings, many older buildings have not been retrofitted to be accessible. This can make it difficult for people with disabilities to access services such as healthcare or education.

Advocacy and Lobbying Groups for the Disabled

There are several organizations in Panama that advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. Some of them are:

1. Asociación Nacional de Personas con Discapacidad Física (ANPEDIF)

ANPEDIF is a national organization that aims to improve the lives of people with physical disabilities in Panama. It works to promote the rights of people with disabilities, provide them with legal support, and improve their access to education, employment, and public services. ANPEDIF also offers various services to its members, such as job training, counseling, and health care.

Contact details:

2. Fundación Soy Capaz

Fundación Soy Capaz is a non-profit organization that promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities in Panama. It aims to change the negative attitudes and stereotypes associated with disability and increase the participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of society. Fundación Soy Capaz provides training and education programs, legal support, and advocacy services for people with disabilities.

Contact details:

3. Asociación Nacional de Sordos de Panamá (ANASOP)

ANASOP is a national organization that works to promote the rights of deaf people in Panama. It provides education, training, and advocacy services to its members and aims to increase the participation of deaf people in all aspects of society. ANASOP also offers sign language interpretation services and works to improve the accessibility of public services for deaf people.

Contact details:

4. Asociación de Autismo de Panamá (AAP)

AAP is an organization that provides support and advocacy services for people with autism and their families in Panama. It works to increase public awareness of autism, provide training and education programs, and improve the access of people with autism to health care, education, and employment. AAP also offers counseling services and organizes social activities for its members.

Contact details:

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