Persons with Disabilities

returnCooperation with Haiti


Symposium for the Reconstruction of Haiti (September 2010)

Report of the Symposium (only available in French)

The International Symposium for the Reconstruction of Haiti - ties with the Accessibility and Inclusion, was organized by the Secretariat for Integration of Persons with Disabilities in Haiti (SEIPH) and held on September 22nd and 23rd, 2010. During the symposium, the then Department of Special Legal Programs of the OAS, within the framework of the Program for Vulnerable Groups in Haiti, accompanied the SEIPH in this important initiative to take in consideration the needs of all sectors of society and rebuild the country based on the principles of universal accessibility.

Accessibility to all services and spaces allows inclusion of all sectors of society and results in a sustainable and enduring development. The SEIPH held this symposium with the objective of raising national and international awareness on the importance to consider, in the reconstruction phase, the persons with disabilities, the elderly and all other vulnerable groups. This inclusive approach emphasizes that the accessibility standards are as important as the standards to resist earthquakes and cyclones.

During the symposium, several presentations of experts in accessibility and regional authorities were coordinated by the OAS:

  • Architect Claudio Benardelli (Argentina)

  • Architect Angela Cunha (Brazil)

  • Engineer David Rojas (Trust for the Americas)

  • Manager Sigifredo Díaz (Archangels Foundation of Colombia)

  • Lawyer Paul Claude Berube (International Senior Lawyers Project)

  • Lawyer Jean Vandal (OAS Program for Vulnerable Groups in Haiti)

Lastly, on September 24th, 2010, at the request of SEIPH, a meeting took place in the conference room of the National Office of the OAS in Haiti, on the importance of employing universal accessibility to the new Building Code of Haiti, as an important aspect in the reconstruction of the country. In this meeting, participated the experts brought by the OAS, representatives of Haitian government, representatives of the company engaged in developing the Building Code and other engineers and architects invited.