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International Affairs > Networking and Conferences

Asia and Pacific Disability Forum (APDF)

 

Eden joined Regional NGO Network (RNN) in 2000, which promoted “The Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons : 1993-2002” launched by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). The RNN became Asia and Pacific Disability Forum (APDF) in 2003. In the same year, Eden became an official member of APDF and committed itself to promote the Second Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons (2003-2012). Eden chaired the Working Committee on Accessible Tourism in APDF from 2006 to 2010, and chaired the Working Committee on Accessible Tourism and Transportation from 2010 to 2012.

 


From 29 October to 2 November, UNESCAP convened a high-level intergovernmental meeting in Incheon, South Korea and subsequently launched the new Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2013-2022. In conjunction with this meeting, several international disability organizations organized membership meetings in Incheon, including the Disabled People International, the Rehabilitation International and the Asia and Pacific Disability Forum (APDF). Eden’s representatives attended the APDF Conference 2012: Action to Make the Right Real, and made a presentation entitled “Building up Accessible Communities from a NGO Perspective—Experiences of Eden Social Welfare Foundation.” In addition, Eden was once again elected to chair the Committee on Accessible Tourism and Transportation, 2013-2015.

 

 

The 4th International Conference on Accessible Tourism (ICAT)

 

Tourism is the best indicator for human rights and basic freedom. Persons with physical or mental disabilities, however, often face additional barriers in this field. Therefore, the promotion of tourism, including accessible tourism for persons with disabilities, would help fulfill the UN declaration of rights for persons with physical or mental disabilities.

 


As the Committee Chair of Accessible Tourism and Transport at Asia and Pacific Disability Forum, Eden had convened the 4th International Conference on Accessible Tourism in 2011. We invited over 200 activists committed to the promotion of accessible tourism from 16 countries and regions including Japan, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Korea. The main theme of this International Conference was National Development by Accessible Life Circle. We discussed four main topics - national economic development and accessible tourism, the development of human rights and social welfare with accessible tourism, construction of friendly life circles, and accessible transportation and amenities. The conference also arranged an accessible tour, allowing our guests to inspect accessible services in Taiwan's tourist landmarks.


In addition to sharing existing accessible services and concepts, attending representatives also partook in the conference declaration and confirmed the direction of future development in the Asia-Pacific region. These include designing accessible tourism SOPs, establishing general certification guidelines for accessible tours, training courses for personnel involved in accessible tourism, and supporting relevant industries in establishing accessible environments and services. Also, the conference hoped to construct a data exchange network platform to compile and update accessible tourism information around the world and promote international collaboration.

 

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