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  • The Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD) will host the eighth staging of the Jamaica Inclusive Education Conference and Accessibility Exposition from October 28 to 31, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, in St. James.
  • This will be done in partnership with the Nathan Ebanks Foundation, a local non-profit organisation that provides support to children with disabilities.
  • Executive Director of the JCPD, Christine Hendricks, told JIS News that the decision to partner with the Foundation came out of last year’s US Embassy sponsored International Visitor Leadership Project (IVLP), where a five-member delegation from Jamaica travelled to the United States to learn best practices in disability policy.

The Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD) will host the eighth staging of the Jamaica Inclusive Education Conference and Accessibility Exposition from October 28 to 31, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, in St. James.

This will be done in partnership with the Nathan Ebanks Foundation, a local non-profit organisation that provides support to children with disabilities.

Executive Director of the JCPD, Christine Hendricks, told JIS News that the decision to partner with the Foundation came out of last year’s US Embassy sponsored International Visitor Leadership Project (IVLP), where a five-member delegation from Jamaica travelled to the United States to learn best practices in disability policy.

“We are having an inclusive education conference, so we partnered with them to flesh out what inclusion means for Jamaica in the different spheres, not only in education but inclusion in employment, the environment, transportation and other areas,” she said.

Mrs. Hendricks said the conference is important as coming out of a recent Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) survey, there is an obvious need for more awareness of disability issues in Jamaica and to establish networks with similar institutions.

“After doing the study earlier this year, we realised that the level of knowledge of disability needed to be raised. Therefore, the conference is  aimed at raising public awareness through social and economic inclusion of persons with disabilities and also promote and stimulate individual, community, private and public sector and national action on disability matters,” she noted.

The conference is targeted at leaders from across the country, including policy makers, child care and protection workers, teachers, social workers, development officers, school and business leaders as well as social service providers, faith based organisations and non-government organisations.

Day one of the conference will take the form of a round table discussion to focus on the inclusion framework, while on the other days there will be an accessibility exposition where information will be shared for persons to know where goods and services for persons with disabilities (PWDs) are available.

“It is a marketplace for PWDs who are in business to showcase their goods and to also show society that they have abilities and capabilities,” said the Executive Director.

Mrs. Hendricks informed that coming out of the conference a document will be created that will form part of the Codes of Practice and Regulations that will “facilitate the practicality of the [Disabilities] Act.”