There is no proper implementation of the disability rights and protection act in the country due to the inactivity of the committees concerned and the unawareness of the government officials, said experts at a seminar in the capital.
They also said that there is no alternative to an inclusive education system for the children with disabilities in Bangladesh.
Society for the Welfare of the Intellectually Disabled (SWID), Bangladesh, organised the seminar on Tuesday in association with The Daily Ittefaq, The Business Standard and ATN Bangla.
The seminar was organised to mark the 51st anniversary of the United Nations' declaration on the rights of intellectually disabled persons.
AHM Noman, executive director of the Centre for Disability in Development, said at the event, "There are laws and legal frameworks for the rights of the disabled people, but they do not work. There are committees but no meetings."
Mahbubul Munir, secretary-general of the SWID Bangladesh, said that many government officials do not even know about the disability rights act.
He suggested the inclusion of the topic in the foundation training of the BCS cadres. He also said that the imams of the mosques should be informed about the rights of the disabled people.
Sharier Khan, executive editor of The Business Standard, said, "Nowadays, people know that intellectually disabled people can do something if we can ensure proper care for them. All lives are valuable. The SWID is working like a guide for the intellectually disabled persons. The Business Standard will cooperate with them in these works."
Vashkar Bhattacharjee, national consultant, accessibility, the Aspire to Innovate (a2i), who is a person with visual impairment, has digitally converted to audio the books for the persons with the same disability like him. He said, "People with disabilities can do anything with the power of education and technology."
Presenting the keynote speech at the seminar, Rabeya Baby, staff reporter of the Daily Ittefaq, said, "It is necessary to ensure transport facilities for the disabled people and to make health services, mobile, internet facilities available for them. There is no progress in establishing at least one school in every union for the persons with disabilities."
Mohammad Salim Chowdhury, counselling psychologist of the National Academy for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (NAAND), Ministry of Education, said, "Students with disabilities are given 30 minutes extra time only in the public examinations. But the benefits have not been implemented in the tests outside board exams. Most of the teachers do not even know about it."
Jowaherul Islam Mamun, president of the SWID Bangladesh, moderated the event.