Disability Rights Enforcement, Coordination, and Therapies (DIRECT)

Hanoi, VN - August 2016
VNAH continues to make major impacts on the lives of Vietnamese with disabilities through the five-year program, the Disability Rights Enforcement, Coordination, and Therapies (DIRECT). This program is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The project aims to expand opportunities for persons with disabilities through higher quality and sustainable services, awareness, and advocacy strengthening. DIRECT has two objectives: 
1/ Enhance resources for disability programs and services. The project supports the development and delivery of quality rehabilitation services for persons with disabilities, especially those with severe and developmental disabilities in Binh Phuoc and Tay Ninh provinces.  
2/ At the national level. The project aims to improve the access to quality rehabilitation services. These will be achieved through supports to government of Vietnam's National Committee on Disability (NCD) to enhance coordination and enforcement of disability policies; with a focus on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and health insurance for rehabilitation services.  
In summary, the DIRECT will focus on following major activities:
- Assisting the GVN partners in the implementation of the CRPD, by harmonizing/mainstreaming its goals/plans with local mechanisms such as the disability action plans; and revision/improving sectoral/ministry-level policies and programs such as the insurance coverage for rehabilitation services for persons with disabilities; 
- Supporting local governments in two focused provinces of Tay Ninh and Binh Phuoc to develop and improve enforcement of CRPD and other disability policies. This would focus on annual review and planning, monitoring, as well as vertical and horizontal coordination;
- Developing/piloting a national disability database through expansion of the existing disability information system (DIS), making it a foundation for the national disability database;
- Supporting the newly established National Committee on Disability (NCD) and its two provincial branches to improve coordination, monitoring and evaluation in order to facilitate enforcement of disability policies and programs.
- Developing Physical therapy/occupational therapy (PT/OT) certificate-based training materials for short-term training in PT/OT
- Developing a force of rehabilitation workers with training courses for existing doctors and health care workers to become recognized PT/OT practitioners in the two project sites;
- Improving availability of and access to quality PT/OT services through setting up and provision of equipment for rehabilitation units at city and district levels in the two provinces;
- Delivering PT/OT services, priority given to children with cognitive disabilities and persons with severe disabilities through outreach and center based services, and other supports aimed at improving their activities of daily living (ADL) and social integration.
- Training for service providers and caregivers on gender issues.