In 2004 South Africans celebrated a decade of democracy. Access 2004, held in Cape Town from 30 November to 2 December, coincided with the decade of democracy celebrations, and with the International day of Persons with Disabilities celebrated on 3 December every year.
Key to the conference was what the effect of democracy has been on people with disabilities in terms of access to ensure equal participation in and benefit from mainstream society.
Access 2004 helped take stock of access related achievements and best practices benefiting persons with disabilities since the first democratic elections in 1994. It also looked at the key challenges that remain and opportunities for forming sustainable partnerships towards programme implementation that improve quality of life and have grassroots impact.
To draw on achievements and best practices the past 10 years of our democracy and addressing key challenges that remain.
Continue to assist in improving the quality of life of persons with disabilities
Stimulate innovation, skills, knowledge and expertise transfer in the areas of access legislation, policy and programmes; economic empowerment, social development, assistive devices and technology; structural and environmental accessibility as well as capacity building.
Stimulate the development of integrated responses in service provision within the public and private sectors.
Structural and environmental accessibility with a special feature on tourism, public buildings, places of work in the private sector, housing and government subsidised facilities ensuring that persons with disabilities are able to access services (e.g. children’s homes and educare centres)
Access resources, markets and economic empowerment opportunities
Accessing opportunities and reducing inequality through increased areas of employment and broader participation in the economy.