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Minister of Sate in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Andrew Gallimore, says the wider society must recognise that deaf persons are making useful contributions to the country.
“Being deaf is not a major disability; the greatest disability that deaf people face is the response of the people around them. A deaf person is able to do anything that others can do physically, they only have one limitation,” the State Minister said.
Mr. Gallimore was addressing a national sport day for the deaf, held on November 27, at the Manchester High School, in Mandeville.
He implored business persons to utilise the skills of persons with disability in the workplace, noting that members of the disabled community have demonstrated positive attitudes toward work, and once given opportunities, they approach their tasks with loyalty and dedication.
“I want as many Jamaicans as possible, as many business people to open their doors, to put persons with disabilities on the front line. Let them greet people at the door. Let them sell in stores, because there are so many things that they can do,” Mr. Gallimore said.
He argued that persons with disabilities are some of the most enterprising individuals that he has met, and that in his interactions with them, they rarely seek to be fed, but to be given a fair opportunity in the work environment and other spheres of the community.
“You don’t want pity from people, what you want is to be able to participate fully in the society, and that is what we must find a way to do. Those in society who don’t have a disability, must remember that it doesn’t have anything to do with what they did,” the State Minister said.
The sport day was organised by Deaf Sports Jamaica (DSJ). The group aims to promote sporting games for the deaf community, and prepare them for national and international sporting events.