- 6500 persons with varying degrees of disabilities have been added to the JCPD database
- Registration fairs to bring this number up to 50,000
- These services include: skills training; job placements; job coaching; housing benefits, etc.
An additional 6500 persons with varying degrees of disabilities have been added to the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD) database, through a series of islandwide registration fairs, currently underway.
The initiative, which began on July 22, forms part of the Council’s thrust to enhance its outreach programme to disabled persons across the society.
Executive Director of the JCPD, Christine Hendricks, informs that there are many disabled persons islandwide, who are unable to access the range of available services available to them, consequent on where they reside, or because they are unaware of these provisions.
Against this background, she says the JCPD has embarked on the registration fairs through which they are targeting to increase the current number of beneficiaries on the agency’s database to upwards of 50,000.
“We want persons with disabilities to know that it is important to register with the Council, and for us to have the numbers to be able to plan effectively so they can access the services available,” Mrs. Hendricks says.
These services include: skills training; job placements; job coaching; housing benefits; the provision of rehabilitation grants for persons interested in starting small businesses; and a bus pass service, at a concessionary rate of $20, on Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) buses.
Other provisions include: assistive aids; school related assistance; and an economic empowerment grant, provided to persons capable of managing a serious business venture, which ranges from $150,000 up to $400.000, if they are applying for assistance as a group.
Mrs. Hendricks informs that, to date, the Council has conducted registrations in Hanover, St James, Trelawny, St. Ann, and St. Mary, and will continue its drive, in the other parishes, until August 29.
The process continues on Monday, August 12, when the JCPD team goes to St. Thomas Technical High School, and Orange Walk in Golden Grove, St. Thomas.
The drive continues on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 13 and 14, at the Santa Cruz Primary and Junior High School, and Black River Primary School respectively, in St. Elizabeth.
Registrations will be conducted in Manchester at St. Mark’s Anglican Church and Mandeville Parish Church on Thursday August 14 and at Christiana High School on August 15.
The following week will see registration sessions at the following locations: St Gabriel’s Anglican Church, May Pen – August 19, and Clarendon College – August 20, Clarendon; and Linstead Anglican Church; Emanuel Apostolic Church; and Spanish Town Methodist in St. Catherine, on August 21, 22, and 23, respectively.
The drive moves next to Kingston and St. Andrew, and will be held at Genesis Academy, and Stony Hill Primary and Junior High School on August 26, and Emancipation Park, on August 27. It continues in Portland, at Lynch Park, Buff Bay, on August 28, and concludes at Folly Oval, Port Antonio, on August 29.
“The aim of this mass registration drive is to have an idea of the number of persons with disabilities that are living in Jamaica, so that we can provide for them effectively. We want to help as much persons as possible, because there are services available that can enrich the lives of persons with disabilities in Jamaica,” the JCPD Executive Director tells JIS News.
Mrs. Hendricks says persons with disabilities desirous of registering with the Council are required to have valid identification, a birth certificate, and Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN).
“If they do not have their birth certificates or TRN, they can still come to the fair, and we will assist them as best as possible. The first 25 persons who do not have a birth certificate, will receive a free copy, free of cost, compliments of the Registrar General’s Department (RGD), which will make way for all the other required documents. The others will have to pay the regular fee of $850,” she outlines.
She advises that Tax Administration of Jamaica (TAJ) will also be at the various locations, to assist with the registration process, by providing TRNs to persons not in possession of same.
Additionally, she says HEART Trust/NTA, which has been integral in the process, will also be present to provide information on training opportunities that persons with disabilities can access.
Where persons are unable to attend the registration fairs because of physical or financial challenges, community based officers, dispatched to the various parishes, will be conducting home visits, as part of the drive.
Mrs. Hendricks is encouraging family members, caregivers, and neighbours to be apprize themselves of the dates when the JCPD’s fairs will be held in the various parishes, and ensure that the persons in their care are registered and thus enabling them to take advantage of the various benefits available to them.
For further information on the JCPD fairs and other activities, persons can contact the agency at 926-9374-5 or 447-0444.