Fashion program for people with disability

People living with disabilities (PLWDs) will be given the opportunity to take part in fashion programs.

This has been made possible through a partnership between the PNG Fashion & Design Week and the Australian government.

For this year the PNG Fashion Festival has been made inclusive and accessible.

During the launching of the festival yesterday in Port Moresby, chairperson of the PNG Fashion & Design Week, Janet Sios, said people living with disabilities will be given every opportunity to participate in all their programs.

“And they too must be empowered to leverage the opportunities presented through our programs,” Sios said. “It is our aim to see people living with disability rise up in the fashion sector, not only as producers but also as consumers.

“We want to also use our platform to raise the profile of people living with disabilities and advocate for the full inclusion and integration of people living with disabilities in our communities.”

Jean Parkop, who is a PLWD advocate, will be part of the fashion team this year.

She spoke of the discrimination PLWDs faced in the past until society started accepting them as human beings with abilities.

“Society started making itself more accessible to people with disabilities. And in many countries, we see their buildings have been made accessible, so people in wheelchairs can go up to the hotels. And we see that roads are also made more accessible,” said Parkop.

“In areas of transportation, we see that their public vehicles have been modified so people with wheelchairs can also go inside and sit in there. Public buses also have buttons where people with visual impairment can press when they want to get off.”

Parkop also mentioned the modification of sporting apparel as well as teaching curriculum to include people with disabilities.

She added that the UN made a number of declarations where sadly, PNG was slow to take affirmative action.  

(PLWD advocate, Jean Parkop)

Carmella Gware