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JIS News

The Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD) will be observing Disabilities Awareness Week from November 25 to December 3, under the theme: Jamaica: Removing Barriers…Creating Access.

Public Relations Officer at the JCPD, Adrienne Pinnock, said this year's observance will seek to promote the rights of persons with disabilities and the fact that they too, are entitled to the enjoyment of full and equal human rights.

“We want to demonstrate that persons with special needs are equal citizens and should be included in the economic, civil and political processes of our country,” she told JIS News in a recent interview.

She said the occasion will also be used to inform Jamaicans of the integral role, persons with disabilities play in national development.

“Persons with disabilities are capable of reaching their fullest potential, and their efforts should be recognised as valuable contributions towards nation building. With the celebrations, we will be highlighting the skills, achievements, and contributions that persons with disabilities have made over the years,” she noted.

She told JIS News that in keeping with the Jamaica 50th Independence theme: ‘A Nation on a Mission’, the week will also highlight the achievements of the Council over the years, as well as new initiatives for 2013/14.

“This year’s celebration takes on added significance in this jubilee year. As voices of the disabled community, we are going to be using this opportunity to highlight our achievements over the years, through a number of communication channels, such as public forums and sensitisations sessions island-wide. We aim to show Jamaica the direction in which the Government is moving as it relates to securing the well-being of the disabled community,” she informed.

She noted that the JCPD, which falls under the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, continues to work to meet the needs of persons with disabilities through a number of interventions.

The week gets underway tomorrow (November 25) with a benefit performance hosted by the Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD), at Stages Theatre, Knutsford Boulevard, starting at 5:00 p.m. Tickets are $1,400.

The JAD will stage its 34th Annual General Meeting on Tuesday (November 27) at the Alhambra Inn, 1 Tucker Avenue, starting at 3:30 p.m. The meeting, under the theme: ‘Realizing the Vision of Deaf Excellence’, will provide a platform for the JAD to highlight and reflect on its achievements, and to chart a course in moving forward.

On Wednesday (November 28) the Special Education Unit in the Ministry of Education, will be hosting an exposition at Caenwood Centre, 37 Arnold Road, starting at 10:00 a.m. The event will showcase products and services offered to persons with disabilities, as well as provide information on disability issues.

Church services and sensitisation sessions will be held at various locations throughout the week.  Activities will conclude with the observance of International Day for Persons with Disabilities on Monday (December 3), with a public forum, at a venue to be announced.

Disabilities Awareness Week has been observed in Jamaica since 1994.