JIS News

The Abilities Foundation of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security will be observing Abilities Day, with a civil registration exhibition on Friday, October 5, at its 191 Constant Spring Road Office, Kingston, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

Themed, 'Removing Barriers, through Empowerment and Technology', the exposition will provide a platform for persons who want to access civil registration documents, to facilitate their daily lives.

Managing Director at the Abilities Foundation, Suzanne Hamilton, informed that the day's observance will also highlight the work of the Foundation since its inception.

"We will be providing access to Tax Registration Numbers (TRN), information regarding the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH), as well as the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD)," she said.

She noted that many persons with disabilities do not have registration documents, such as TRN, and birth certificates to access employment opportunities.

In addition, she said that the exhibition will provide persons with disabilities, the opportunity to obtain civil registration documents, as well as information to access social services.

Highlighting the theme, Miss Hamilton said that oftentimes persons with disabilities are ignored, and as such, the Abilities Foundation is committed to securing the wellbeing of this sector of society, through several interventions.

"We know that we can remove barriers by empowering persons with disabilities, letting them feel good about themselves.  We have students who are visually impaired, deaf, intellectually disabled, but despite the various disabilities, we use technology as an assistive aid regarding training, so that they can reach their fullest potential," Miss Hamilton said.

She pointed out that one of the first aspects of empowerment is for beneficiaries to accept their disability, after which they are empowered with life skills classes, to equip them for the world of work.

"We empower them through professional day classes. They are taught how to dress for an interview, and how to speak. We also have a programme where social workers and guidance councillors come in and interact with them, in an effort to build their self esteem," she said.

Miss Hamilton is urging the public to lend a helping hand by sponsoring students, or making donations, whether in cash or kind, to help persons with disabilities at the Foundation to pursue their studies.

For more information, persons can contact the Foundation at 969-5720 or visit their Kingston Office at 191 Constant Spring Road, Kingston. Abilities Day has been observed in Jamaica since 1992.