Athletes competing in the 32nd Annual National Games of Special Olympics Barbados parading around the track of the National Stadium today.

The Ministry of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment, Urban and Rural Development is examining the problem of employment for persons with disabilities.

This was disclosed today by Minister, Christopher Sinckler, during his address at the opening ceremony for the 32nd Annual National Games of Special Olympics Barbados, at the National Stadium.

Noting that all over the world persons with disabilities perform a wide range of jobs and are trusted and dependable workers, he said: “One of the issues that our Ministry is addressing is that of employment among this group, since many employers exclude persons with intellectual disabilities from the workplace because of myths, fears and stereotypes. Studies show… that workers with intellectual disabilities are absent no more than other workers.” 

Minister Sinckler also revealed that his Ministry, through the Bureau of Social Policy, Planning and Research, was in the process of contracting a study which “will point us to some of the difficulties and possible solutions in relation to this important matter”.

Calling on persons to see that disabilities should not be used as a discriminatory factor, he remarked: “The prowess and abilities of the athletes that we will see here today, will help to let others see the great talents of this special group in our nation (who will be able) to realise that if they can perform in this manner on the field, then they should be given a chance to perform equally well off the field.”

Meanwhile, Minister Sinckler lauded the work of Special Olympics of Barbados, especially its year-long ‘Reaching Out’ programme. He said: “Many organisations can learn from your dedication, creativity and organisational capacity. To make a day like this possible, based mainly on the assistance of volunteers, special organisational skills and excellent planning were essential requirements.”

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