“A SteppingStone” contains 29 stories of UBP members, including six UBP Board Members. These members come from both the Western and Central Divisions of Fiji. Twelve of the stories are from those employed in a range of industries including manufacturing, teaching, human rights training, banking, office work, media and the garment industry. Six stories are about persons working in the disability sector, including two working on the IDEA Program. Five stories are about persons who are self-employed in the farming, music or massage industries. Three are studying full-time and one is studying part-time. Three are looking for employment.
Persons with disability are renowned for their loyalty as employees and these stories testify to that. Three of the workers have been with the same employer for over 20 years and another two have been with the same employer for over ten years. These stories also highlight sporting achievements – four persons mentioned that they had represented Fiji in international athletic competitions for persons with disabilities.
Access to education is an issue which dominates these stories. Eleven of these persons are studying or have completed their studies at University of the South Pacific (USP) or Fiji National University (FNU). Two have studied or are studying in Australian universities. They either have completed or are working towards a range of qualifications – Extension Studies (3), Foundation Studies (2), Teaching Certificate (3), Diplomas (3), Advanced Diploma (1), Bachelor Degree (3) and Masters Degree (1).
This booklet will be a wonderful resource for UBP. It will raise awareness of the issues faced by vision-impaired and blind per¬sons throughout Fiji.
It will also be a tool with which to advocate for their human rights including access to inclusive education and decent employment.