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  • The Ministry of Labour and Social Security says that a new committee has been named to expedite the passage of the National Disability Bill.
  • The committee was set up two weeks ago by the National Advisory Board on Disability, chaired by Dr. Patricia Dunwell, and comes against the background of renewed efforts by Minister of State, Hon. Andrew Gallimore, to have the proposed Bill brought before Parliament during the current legislative year.
  • Mr. Gallimore has portfolio responsibility for persons with disabilities in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security says that a new committee has been named to expedite the passage of the National Disability Bill.

The committee was set up two weeks ago by the National Advisory Board on Disability, chaired by Dr. Patricia Dunwell, and comes against the background of renewed efforts by Minister of State, Hon. Andrew Gallimore, to have the proposed Bill brought before Parliament during the current legislative year.

Mr. Gallimore has portfolio responsibility for persons with disabilities in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

The committee members are: Dr. Polly Bowes-Howell (chairman); former Senator, Floyd Morrison; Iris Soutar, executive officer of the Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD); and Ministry representatives Ann-Marie Dobson, Carla-Anne Harris-Roper and Collette Roberts-Risden.

According to Dr. Dunwell, the National Disability Bill is now in its ninth draft and has taken into account recommendations and suggestions from various stakeholders.

She has assured the community of persons with disabilities that the document has her full support, as well as that of Mr. Gallimore.

She said she welcomes public discussion on the Bill at the appropriate time, as the country has no option but to facilitate the full integration and participation of persons with disabilities into society.

In a release making the announcement, the Ministry said it notes recent comments by Mr. Morrison, regarding delays in completing the proposed legislation, and is assuring the public that seeming delays in consultation are not designed to retard the progress of the Bill, but to allow for full participation by persons with disabilities, so that the final document will genuinely reflect their views and contributions.

The Ministry said it continues to work, assiduously, to expedite this important legislation, “as the country prepares to implement its Vision 2030 National Development Plan, which is based on the principle of people at the centre of Jamaica’s transformation.”

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