Disabilities Week Activities to Generate Respect for the Disabled


The Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD), will be using ‘Disabilities Week’ activities this year to generate awareness about and respect for the abilities of disabled persons.
“This year, we are ensuring that persons with disabilities are highlighted as much as possible,” said Acting Executive Director of the JCPD, Valerie Spence. “We want to showcase to Jamaica that persons with disabilities can live an independent lifestyle and that they can compete and achieve if the opportunity is provided. It must be shown that we can participate to the fullest in society,” Ms. Spence told JIS News in an interview.
Disabilities Week is being observed from November 30 to December 6, under the theme: ‘Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Dignity and Justice for all of us’.
Ms. Spence told JIS News, that the selection of the theme, which ties in with the Declaration of Human Rights, is to remind and inform persons that the disabled community has rights just like everyone else.
“This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights and our theme ties in with this Declaration, as it is also the United Nations Enable theme. The theme is also saying that persons with disabilities are persons first and the disability is secondary, therefore, we are entitled to all the rights and privileges that society has to offer to all the other citizens of this country,” she emphasised.
Appealing for more employment opportunities for the disabled, the JCPD Acting Executive Director said: “we want to see persons stop looking at the disability and look at the person’s potential and see how best you can help that individual achieve his/her goals. The discrimination is evident when persons with disabilities go for employment. We have equal rights to participate in society.”
The weeklong islandwide activities started with a church service in Westmoreland on Sunday and continue today with a public education forum in the same parish, and another at the UTech Auditorium.
Later in the week, there will be a radio promotion at the Landillo School of Special Education in Westmoreland, an awards dinner for parents of disabled children, and an outside broadcast on Power 106.
Additionally, the Rotary Club will be hosting a luncheon where State Minister of Labour and Social Security, Andrew Gallimore will be the guest speaker.
There will also be a fun day at the Landillo School of Hope; a sensitisation workshop in Kingston at the Alhambra Inn; and a National Domino Tournament in Portland. The weeklong celebrations culminate on December 6, with a blind cricket match and family fun day event in Portland, and a church service in St. Elizabeth.
Disabilities Week is being supported by a number of Government and Non Government Organisations (NGOs), including the Canadian High Commission, Island Grill, Rotary Club, and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and its agencies.

JIS Social