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  • Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson, says that issues affecting the disabled are high on the Government’s agenda.
  • The Minister was speaking at the Early Stimulation Programme (ESP) Valedictory Service, held on July 13 at the Apostolic Church of Jamaica, Central Avenue, in Kingston.
  • Advisor to the Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Sharon Hay Webster and Member of Parliament for Central Kingston, Reverend Ronald Thwaites, also brought greetings at the function.

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson, says that issues affecting the disabled are high on the Government’s agenda.

“Recently, I announced a new 17-member Management Board for the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities. This Board has the task of establishing the Disputes Tribunal and developing the Codes of Practice to accompany the Disabilities Act. We are giving priority to two of these codes in this financial year, namely education and employment and training,” she said.

The Minister was speaking at the Early Stimulation Programme (ESP) Valedictory Service, held on July 13 at the Apostolic Church of Jamaica, Central Avenue, in Kingston.

She said the achievements of the graduates, some with severe intellectual and physical disabilities, “underscore the importance of creating an enabling and appropriate environment for persons with disabilities to succeed”.

Mrs. Robinson called for an inclusive society, one that is accessible and provides opportunities for all Jamaicans.

The Minister also pledged to maintain regular dialogue with the disability sector and thanked the business partners that have been working with the ESP, including the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Food For The Poor, Guardian Life and Digicel Foundation, which donated a Centre of Excellence in Portland to support the work of the ESP in the parish and adjoining communities.

Advisor to the Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Sharon Hay Webster and Member of Parliament for Central Kingston, Reverend Ronald Thwaites, also brought greetings at the function.

More than 30 students graduated from the ESP, eight of whom will transition into the regular primary-school system and 22 into special-education facilities.

The ESP is a special intervention programme that caters to young children, up to six years, with various disabilities. It forms part of the Government’s social safety net designed to assist the vulnerable and poor within the society.