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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • To highlight issues affecting the disabled, a school group has launched a public awareness campaign.
  • The National Secondary Students’ Council (NSSC), Region One, revealed its ‘I Respect You’ (IRY) campaign recently, geared towards generating discussion around the social inclusion of disabled youth, particularly the hearing impaired.
  • One of the events for the campaign is the NSSC’s first Inter-School Football Competition, called the IRY Cup, at St. George’s College on January 30, 2016.

To highlight issues affecting the disabled, a school group has launched a public awareness campaign.

The National Secondary Students’ Council (NSSC), Region One, revealed its ‘I Respect You’ (IRY) campaign recently, geared towards generating discussion around the social inclusion of disabled youth, particularly the hearing impaired.

Vice President of NSSC, Region One, Benjamin Fraser, told JIS News that the campaign seeks to “intensify the awareness [of] issues which affect hearing impaired students among their hearing peers and, by extension, the general public.”

Some of the issues include bullying, sexual abuse and social exclusion of this group, Mr. Fraser noted.

He was speaking at a meeting, held at the Karam Speid auditorium, at Merl Grove High School, in Kingston.

The objective of the meeting was to inform the students of Region One, including schools in Kingston and St. Andrew, about the campaign and their roles as student ambassadors.

He informed that the students from the Lister Mair Gilby School for the Deaf were specially selected as the target for the campaign after the NSSC Region One reached out to them and realised the magnitude of their concerns.

Youth Empowerment Officer for Kingston at the Ministry of Youth and Culture, Ruth Lawrence, charged by the Ministry to provide technical and financial support to Region One of the NSSC, has lauded the project.

“I must commend the initiative, as Region One saw the need to raise some level of awareness about the challenges that deaf students face,” she said.

Meanwhile, students at the Lister Mair Gilby School for the Deaf welcomed the campaign.

Head Boy at the School, Rudolf Walker, said he wants members of his community to be treated with respect.

“Don’t call us dumb, call us deaf. When we’re called dumb it makes us upset, depressed and we feel bullied. We just want everyone to treat disabled persons fairly,” he said, through an interpreter.

Rudolf said he is hopeful that the campaign will help in the inclusion process of the disabled youth.

One of the events for the campaign is the NSSC’s first Inter-School Football Competition, called the IRY Cup, at St. George’s College on January 30, 2016. Sixteen high schools in the region, including the Lister Mair Gilby School for the Deaf, will compete for the trophy. The competition is aimed at promoting social inclusion for hearing impaired students.

Another activity is a workshop for the newly installed members of the students’ council executive on student rights, advocacy and effective communication, at the Lister Mair Gilby School for the Deaf.

Region One of the NSSC will also upgrade the bathrooms and install wall fans at the Lister Mair Gilby School for the Deaf, with proceeds from its fundraisers.