JIS News

The National Policy for Persons with Disabilities, which was tabled in Parliament in the year 2000, should be enacted into law by the end of the 2004/05 legislative year.
Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Horace Dalley made this announcement during his address at a forum on disability issues, recently held at the Jamaica Conference Centre.
Speaking to the theme for Disabilities Awareness Week, ‘Nothing about us without us,’ Minister Dalley said his Ministry was currently working with all the stakeholders to fine tune and pass the National Disabilities Act. “We have some things we have to do as government and as a Ministry but we do not try to make new laws or policies unless we discuss it with the disabled community,” he told the forum.
As a result, Mr. Dalley said, the Labour Ministry had been collaborating with the leadership of the disabled community to get their input on policies that would be made into laws. Supporting the move, Minister of State in the Ministry, Senator Floyd Morris explained that when the National Disabilities Act was drafted, it would be reflective of what was contained in the National Policy, which had been initially coordinated by the disabled community. The National Policy for Persons with Disabilities, Senator Morris said, addressed education and training, employment, housing, family life, accessibility, amongst other issues that affected the economic and social life of disabled persons. The new Act, he said, would therefore serve to enforce the issues that were addressed in the National Policy.
The other significant piece of legislation that was expected to be passed by the end of this legislative year, Senator Morris noted, was the Amendment to the Road Traffic Act, which will allow hearing impaired persons to drive in Jamaica. The Bill is now before the Chief Parliamentary Counsel.

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