JIS News

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  • The Universal Service Fund (USF) has donated information and communications technology (ICT) equipment, valued at $1.5 million, to the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD), to improve the Council’s communication with its clients.
  • The devices, which include three laptops, two projectors, nine multifunction printers and two monitors, were handed over to the JCPD on May 12, at the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), Ripon Road offices in Kingston.
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the USF, Daniel Dawes, said the donation is part of its strategic direction to ensure that Jamaicans, particularly the young, the old, the financially challenged, and persons with disabilities, can be empowered through technology.

The Universal Service Fund (USF) has donated information and communications technology (ICT) equipment, valued at $1.5 million, to the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD), to improve the Council’s communication with its clients.

The devices, which include three laptops, two projectors, nine multifunction printers and two monitors, were handed over to the JCPD on May 12, at the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), Ripon Road offices in Kingston.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the USF, Daniel Dawes, said the donation is part of its strategic direction to ensure that Jamaicans, particularly the young, the old, the financially challenged, and persons with disabilities, can be empowered through technology.

“These devices are being provided to the JCPD at a time when technology is critical to facilitate the work-from-home strategy being implemented across the public and private sectors,” he noted.

Mr. Dawes pointed out that the donation is intended to assist the JCPD’s efforts to chart a new, more inclusive course for persons with disabilities.

The CEO said the Fund has also earmarked $50 million to fund projects aimed at empowering members of the special needs community.

“We want to use these funds to support the disabled community. Tell us where and how you want us to use this money within your space. It gives us a sense of achievement when we can provide support to this community,” he said.

In a message from Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Fayval Williams, read by Principal Director in the Ministry, Kaydian Smith Newton, she commended the USF for the initiative, which she said, is part of the Government’s mandate to build a digitally inclusive society where all citizens are equipped with the necessary tools and skills to upgrade themselves.

“We know that ICT provides opportunities and platforms for greater inclusion and integration of persons who are the most vulnerable and persons living with disabilities. We commend the USF for its work and for this donation as we continue to bridge the information gap and provide access to ICT technologies to everyone,” Minister Williams said.

Expressing her gratitude for the donated items, Executive Director of the JCPD, Dr. Christine Hendricks, said access to ICT technology is more important than ever for persons in the disabled community as the country continues to observe social distancing measures.

“Access to information and communications technology equipment serves to level the playing field, as it breaks the barriers of information and communication for persons with disabilities. The JCPD is truly heartened by [this] donation of laptops, monitors and projectors that will ensure that information is communicated to persons with disabilities and persons in society at large,” she said.

The USF has so far donated laptops and software valued at $13.5 million with the aim of empowering persons in the disabled community.

Additionally, the most recently commissioned community access point, outfitted at a cost of approximately $10 million and situated at the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf (CCCD), is one of several projects spearheaded by the Fund to facilitate ICT access to persons with disabilities.

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