Vietnamese Delegation Visits U.S. to Learn about Disability Policy
Drafters of Vietnam’s First Law for People with Disabilities Take Home Lessons Learned from Americans with Disabilities Act
(L to R) Dr. Nguyen Hai Huu, Ms. Joan Durocher, Mr. Micahel Collins and Vice Minster Dam Huu Dac
McLean, VA – A delegation of six Vietnamese officials who are drafting their country’s first law promoting access and opportunity for people with disabilities visited the United States in early October as part of a study tour to learn more about the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The study tour was organized in connection with Viet-Nam Assistance for the Handicapped’s (VNAH’s) Inclusion of Vietnamese with Disabilities project, a three-year project funded by USAID to help Vietnamese government agencies develop and promote enforcement of disability-related policies and programs. Vietnam has one of the highest per-capita rates of disabled persons in the world, accounting for more than 6 percent of the population.
Among the delegates who spent a week in Washington, DC, was the vice minister of the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), the Vietnamese agency spearheading the drafting of the new law. Delegates met with representatives from the U.S. State and Labor departments and the U.S. National Council on Disability, as well as non-governmental organizations and American attorneys with expertise in disability law.
The tour was organized after MOLISA officials expressed to VNAH an interest in meeting with American organizations and individuals to discuss implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, lessons learned and best practices. The delegates expressed great appreciation for the information they acquired during their visit and expected to use the knowledge when they returned to Vietnam to continue drafting the law.
“This study tour was a true partnership between USAID, VNAH and MOLISA,” said Ca Van Tran, president of VNAH. “MOLISA and the other Vietnamese government agencies are committed to developing a law that not only serves people with disabilities, but also fully complies with the new United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This tour was one step towards that end.”