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Lament - 11 November 2007

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I have had some interesting meetings this past week.

On Friday I was at the Ministry of Construction, for two meetings about developing construction education. The morning was a gathering of construction industry representatives, lamenting the underpreparedness of construction graduates. One person at the meeting called for better pay for graduates, while others suggested the government do more research, claiming that the present consultation was too brief. In the afternoon meeting, the various construction colleges represented suggested that they should be working more closely with professional associations to assess skill shortages and demand for graduate qualities. They suggested the government do more research for them.

On Thursday I had helped to convene a new working group on Building Access in Mongolia. The meeting, hosted by the VSO director at the NGO headquarters, was also attended by the Wheelchair Users association, three architecture students, two teachers, and two translators including Bishrel, VSOs new champion for mainstreaming disability. Chuuluundolgor, the first mentioned representative, was carried up the stairs to the top floor meeting room. We agreed to work with the designers of the future VSO office accommodation, and to disseminate and further develop information about access standards already developed by the Wheelchair Users association. Existing accommodation standards were elusive and unenforceable, but the architecture students agreed to make a small presentation on incorporating accessibility in their designs. We also discussed an approaching action whereby fourteen wheelchair users would visit five public venues on international disability day, the 3rd of December.

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