Registered members of the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD) are being encouraged to apply for the various benefits that are available to them through the Council.
Executive Director of the JCPD, Dr. Christine Hendricks, told JIS News during a recent interview that the Council has more than 200 assistive devices that its members can access.
These include wheelchairs, crutches, and white canes for persons who are blind. The items were acquired through the ‘We Care Programme’ under the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service and with assistance from the public. The Council also gets support from Food For the Poor when the need arises.
According to Dr. Hendricks, these assistive devices are to enable the independence of members of the disabled community.
To get the devices, persons may visit JCPD’s head office at 18 Ripon Road in Kingston or the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) offices islandwide to speak with a social worker and complete an application form.
The assistive devices are among several benefits that the JCPD offer its members. In preparation for back-to-school, whether at the pre-school, early childhood, primary, secondary, tertiary or any other training institution, persons may apply for support, such as assistance with school fees, books and other school supplies. The JCPD is presently accepting applications for the Margaret Moody Scholarship, which is open to persons pursuing studies at the tertiary level. Deadline to apply is August 31.
“We do not bar anyone because of their age. Once you have a disability and are registered with the Council you can access all our support programmes,” Dr. Hendricks said.
An economic empowering grant is also available to members of the JCPD who wish to start a business. They can access from $30,000 to $150,000. Dr. Hendricks pointed out that being a registered member is critical for persons to access these benefits, so, she is encouraging members of the disabled community to register with the JCPD.
Persons with the full range of disabilities (physical, mental, intellectual, sensory (blindness and hearing) may become a member. Registering with the JCPD includes filling out a registration form and verification of a disability, through the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
Presently, the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities has more than 12,000 fully registered members.