For this fiscal year, the Government will seek to strengthen its efforts to improve the lives of the country’s disabled population.
This will be facilitated through funds set aside in the 2012/13 Estimates of Expenditure, currently before the House of Representatives.
The allocation of $24 million will go towards improving the framework for the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to advance social protection policies that will impact the welfare of persons with disabilities.
Specifically, the funds will be used to strengthen the capacity of the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD) to identify and target persons with disabilities for social benefits (rehabilitative benefits) on a continuous basis, through the establishment of an Individuals with Disability Database.
The money will also assist with efforts to improve the quality of life for children with developmental disabilities through technical support and early intervention strategies.
Up to March 2012, behaviour modification training for parents of disabled children was completed; and furniture and equipment were procured.
For 2012/13, it is expected that the capacity of the JCPD will be improved; a living condition survey of the elderly as disabled population is to be conducted; social workers are to be trained; a public education plan is to be prepared; and the services of a consultant for data collection and information technology will be procured.
The funds were provided by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter