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. The vision of the Association is to have “An inclusive Bhutanese society that recognizes and respects the rights and needs of all persons living with disabilities in Bhutan, and promotes their long-term physical, psychological and social well-being”. The mission of the organization is to “facilitate the provision of inclusive education and improve the living conditions of persons with disabilities in Bhutan so that they can meaningfully participate in social, economic and political front”.
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 5 Board members and 15 Executive members. There are 19 Focal Persons (DYT 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:
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.