JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Newly crowned National Festival Queen, Krystal Tomlinson, says she is targeting heightening the awareness
  • The project for disabled students is slated to be launched on August 29
  • The project’s execution will include a conference, training workshop, and competition

Newly crowned National Festival Queen, Krystal Tomlinson, says she is targeting heightening the awareness and changing the attitude of students toward persons with disabilities, specifically their peers, as one of her parish projects.

The project for disabled students is slated to be launched on August 29 at a selected school in Manchester.

“I want to start inside our schools because a lot of young people see persons with disabilities (experience significant) discrimination; that… further (marginalizes) them by excluding them from social activities,” Ms. Tomlinson told JIS News.

She described the language toward disabled persons as ‘disempowering’ and underscored the need to develop a culture of tolerance, particularly among youngsters in schools, towards students and other persons who are disabled.

“I hope to create a space that builds tolerance among young people in schools, especially primary schools, to better treat their disabled counterparts,” the 2013 Festival Queen said.

She disclosed that the project’s execution will include a conference, training workshop, and competition.

Ms. Tomlinson explained that the conference aims to address and alter the culture which dictates the manner in which students treat persons with disabilities.

“It will put able-bodied students in the shoes of disabled students. An able bodied student (will be placed) in a wheel chair (and) will experience how it feels not to have a ramp to access the bathroom or a cubicle big enough to accommodate the wheel chair…things that affect the dignity of somebody with a disability,” she outlined.

Ms. Tomlinson advised that the training workshop aims to encourage young persons to engage in and utilize debates as a tool for conflict resolution, consensus building, and engendering tolerance. She said the competition, details of which are being developed, is slated for September, adding that “once the project is successful in Manchester, I can replicate it across the island.”

 

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