WFD President’s visit to Panama

20th January – A visit to Institutio Panameno de Habilitacion Especial, (Special Habilitation Institute in Panama) with the President of ANSPA. They presented their work to WFD President and then they discussed how to develop deaf education. Deaf students of the institute joined the meeting also. Blind and deafblind and other students with disabilities also study in the same institute which has also has shelter work activities.

In the afternoon, there was a productive meeting with the leaders of SENADIS, an umbrella organisation of people with disabilities. WFD President introduced of the work of WFD and they discussed how disability work should be organised. WFD President also talked about the Finnish Disability Council under Ministry of Social Affairs and Disability Forum run by non-governmental organisations of people with disabilities. The leaders were surprised at such a system. WFD President and President of ANSPA stressed importance of a close cooperation with them and ANSPA.

21st January – In the morning, a meeting was held with the officials of Ministry of Social Development with a President of the association of the Deaf of Panama (ANSPA). A point was to find out whether the Ministry received the ANSPA’s application for their administrative support. They asked the President of the association of the Deaf to send a copy of their application. WFD President encouraged the officials to be in a closer contact with the association of the Deaf of Panama.

After the meeting with the Ministry of Social Development, a meeting was held in the Parliament House of Panama with Mr. Diego Enrique Lombana Franceschi, Vice Member of Panama Parliament. The President of the ANSPA also attended in the meeting. A 25 year old man is the first ever deaf and a person with a disability in Panama who works in Parliament. His main duty is legislation work. Topics of the discussion were: development of Panama legislation, cooperation with ANSPA and WFD.

WFD President continued the meeting with the delegates of the association of the Deaf of El Salvador in the hotel. They discussed how to develop deaf education in El Salvador through curriculum with bilingual education, teacher training and development of legislation in education. An idea is to arrange international of education in cooperation with WFD was also discussed.