Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment, Urban and Rural Development, Christopher Sinckler

Come early next year, Government will be looking to find better accommodation for its National Disabilities Unit (NDU) which is now located on the top floor of the National Union of Public Workers’ headquarters, Dalkeith Road, St. Michael.

New Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment, Urban and Rural Development, Christopher Sinckler, disclosed this today during a tour of the Unit.  He was concerned about its clientele having to climb two flights of stairs to reach the office.  

Noting that government had to take responsibility for the NDU’s location, Mr. Sinckler said that many people who were immobile would have difficulty accessing the agency.

“There’s no lift, there’s no ramp … there’s no way for them to get up here. I don’t know who would have come up with this brilliant idea to place a Disabilities Unit up two flights of stairs.  It is unacceptable and I am going to be speaking with my Permanent Secretary and Deputy Permanent Secretary to put the requisite pressure on whichever Ministry it is; I believe it is the Ministry of Housing and Lands responsible for accommodation issues in the government; they would have to change this circumstance.  And … the Ministry of Social Care, as Chair of Cabinet’s Sub-committee on Social Policy, this will be agenda item one…” Minister Sinckler remarked.

He added: “I know that it is difficult in Barbados to find good accommodation, particularly for government offices, but we have to find it.  You cannot expect to treat clientele with this kind of disregard for their physical challenges.  If we really want society to follow a lead that is positive in responding to persons with disabilities we too have to ensure that we are in the lead and that we don’t do things that reflect in contradistinction to what we ourselves would like to see other people do. So I am hoping that we can get this changed as speedily as possible…”

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