Disabled Persons’ Association of Bhutan (DPAB) was founded by group of persons with disabilities and is registered under Civil Society Organization Authority (CSOA) since 2010 under the Royal Patron of His Royal Highness Prince Namgyel Wangchuck. With the vision to be ‘an inclusive society that recognizes, respects and promotes the rights and needs of all persons with disabilities in Bhutan’ DPAB aspires to promote physical, psychological and socio-economic well-being of persons with disabilities through inclusion and empowerment.
The Association is governed by a Board of Trustees whose members are elected from among members of the Association for a fixed term of office. DPAB has seven Board members and fifteen Executive members. There are twenty Focal Persons (DT secretaries in Dzongkhags) who support DPAB with the data update of PWDs of their respective Dzongkhag, support with the coordination and communication at the Dzongkhag level whenever needed. In the management team, there are 6 staff, who oversee the day to day functions of the organization. DPAB is the only DPO in the country that has PWDs, playing an active role, as Board Members, Executive members and in the management team. The functioning of the Association is guided by its charter and the Articles of Association, as per the requirement of the Civil Society Organization Act 2007. Financial transactions and performance of the Association are subject to external auditing and scrutiny by the board and donors.
The Objectives of DPAB are to:
Raise awareness and advocate on the rights of persons with disabilities;
Promote inclusion and effective participation of persons with disabilities in the community;
Enhance the livelihood and independence of persons with disabilities in the society;
Facilitate the empowerment and involvement of persons with disabilities in socio-political decision making and
Explore and strengthen the communication, coordination and collaboration with relevant organizations within and outside the country.
DPAB today, as the central organization between the Government and beneficiaries at large, is creating opportunities for persons with disabilities and at the same time lobbying with the government for support. Ever since inception, DPAB’s main task has been to educate the general populace about the rights of persons with disabilities and also to lobby with the government of the day for support to beneficiaries. Further, DPAB’s major contribution has been in alleviating many of the persons with disabilities from poverty to dignity through skill-based programs and education.