Publié sur mars 4, 2024

Disability Inclusion in Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic - As part of the “Communities of Care” project, financed through the Joint Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Fund, the discussion “Personal Autonomy, Human Personal Assistance, and Disability” was held, led by the international consulting firm on inclusion issues and human rights activist, Damaris Solano.

This discussion, held at the Ministry of Economy, Planning, and Development (MEPyD), primarily targeted civil society organisations working in favour of the rights of people with disabilities and contributed to the dissemination of the first personal assistance program in the country.

During her presentation, Solano emphasised that disability results from the interaction between functional limitations and environmental barriers, which becomes an issue when they interfere with people's development opportunities. “Disabilities can be categorized, not people,” said the Costa Rican human rights activist during the activity, which aimed to approach basic concepts related to disability from the human rights paradigm.

The event also held space for participants to reflect on the barriers faced by people with various functional limitations, such as visual, physical, motor, auditory, cognitive, and psychosocial. Likewise, various types of support were presented to assist participants in carrying out daily activities that upheld their autonomy and social participation.

“The most important barrier is one of attitude,” said the specialist, who advocates for a cultural change in how society thinks about inclusion and diversity.

The activity supported the Dominican government's efforts to strengthen, diversify, and expand the training and certification of caregivers in the country.


Evaluation of the conversation

Ángel Serafín Cuello P., sector coordinator of the Directorate of Analysis of Poverty, Inequality, and Democratic Culture, kicked off the conversation by framing the event as an opportunity for exchange, reflection, and analysis of the different challenges regarding disability in the country. He also highlighted the Government’s efforts to advance the development of an adequate training strategy for caretakers that guarantees safe, decent work.

In this vein, he described the new program, “Personal assistance for people with disabilities who demand support,” as an important innovation in training that has been promoted by the Ministry of Economy, with the support of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the National Institute of Professional Technical Training (INFOTEP).

“This effort contributes to the strengthening of the Government’s role as co-lead on fostering communities of care and helps to guarantee the right to care and to care with dignity. Together, it advances the effort to construct a national and comprehensive care system in the Dominican Republic,” said Cuello Polanco.

The technical director of the National Disability Council (CONADIS), Ana Luisa Martín, echoed these sentiments and expressed how much she valued the discussion. She also shared that important steps are being taken in the public policy arena to uplift communities of care, with an emphasis on early childhood, people with disabilities, and older adults.

Likewise, the director of the ILO for Central America, Haiti, Panama, and the Dominican Republic, Juan Felipe Hunt Ortiz, reaffirmed their commitment to support the country by expanding decent work and life opportunities for people with disabilities and ensuring decent working conditions for people who provide personal assistance and care services in the Dominican Republic.




Representatives of government institutions linked to the Intersectoral Care Roundtable and civil society organisations that work in favour of human rights also participated in the discussion.



Together with the Dominican Government, the United Nations System (SNU), through its Joint Programme that involves composed of UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women, and ILO, has established a cooperation agreement to implement the Project “Communities of Care: design and Implementation of the pilot the National Care Policy in prioritised territories of the Dominican Republic”, financed through the Joint SDG FundSustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG).

Within the framework of the Joint Programme, INFOTEP, with the support of the International Labor Organization (ILO), developed the “Professional qualification program for personal assistance to people with disabilities who demand support”.


The pilot unites the efforts of ten 10 government institutions: Ministry of Economy, Planning, and Development (MEPyD), Ministry of Labor; Ministry of Women; the Supérate Program; the Single Beneficiary System (SIUBEN); the National Institute of Technical-Professional Training (INFOTEP); the National Institute for Comprehensive Early Childhood Care (INAIPI); the National Council for the Aging (CONAPE); the National Council on Disability (CONADIS), and the National Council for Children and Adolescents (CONANI).


Originally published by United Nations Dominican Republic



The Joint SDG Fund's joint programmes are under the prestige leadership of the Resident Coordinator Office and implementing United Nations Agencies. With sincere appreciation for the contributions from the European Union and Governments of Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and our private sector funding partners, for a transformative movement towards achieving the SDGs by 2030.