Efforts Continue to Improve Lives of Persons with Disabilities

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Minister of Social Care, Steve Blackett speaking at the launch of BARNOD???s 30th anniversary celebrations while President, Errol Hurley; and Founder, Lucene Skeete listen attentively. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Government has undertaken, and will continue to implement a number of policy initiatives aimed at improving the lives of Persons with Disabilities.

This assurance was given by Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steve Blackett, during his address at the launch of the Barbados National Organisation of the Disabled’s (BARNOD) 30th anniversary celebrations, earlier today.

The Minister gave a brief update on some of the initiatives which were implemented by his Ministry including: The Provision of Assistive Devices on Loan Programme; The Structural Adjustment for the Accessibility Project; The Sign Language Programme; and the Computer Services for the Blind/Visually Impaired Project.

In addition, he highlighted Barbados’ ratification of the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which he deemed as "the jewel in the crown of my Ministry’s achievements".

According to Minister Blackett, the ratification of this Agreement will ensure that Barbados maintains the high reputation that has been diligently earned by its care for vulnerable persons.??

Emphasising the significance of the agreement which was approved by Cabinet on December 20 last year, the Social Care Minister explained that through the convention: "Persons with Disabilities must be recognised as persons before the law and enjoy legal capacity…; Persons with Disabilities shall have effective enjoyment of the universal rights to life as well as effective access to justice; and Persons with Disabilities shall enjoy liberty and security of person."

The Minister further revealed that the National Disabilities Unit would be moved to "a more access-friendly and commodious accommodation" in the near future, and identified Maxwelton House in Collymore Rock, St. Michael as its possible location.

sharifa.medford@barbados.gov.bb

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