THE Government of Barbados is taking every opportunity to eliminate all barriers to accessibility of the disabled in our community.
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, Neil Rowe, gave this reassurance recently to scores of persons living with disabilities.
He was at the time addressing a Service of Thanksgiving at Berean Bible Church, Hothersal Turning, which signalled the start of activities for the Month of the Disabled 2020.
“Barbados continues to create an enabling environment that promotes equal opportunities, integration and participation in all aspects of society and provides a platform for us to realise our full potential, through ongoing collaboration and commitment of state and non-state actors,” he told the congregation made up of the National Disabilities Unit (NDU), Barbados Council for the Disabled (BCD), and other organisations which represent the disabled community in Barbados.
“Over the years with support from national, regional and international development partners, the government and the civil society organisations have intensified their efforts to reduce poverty, inequality and the exclusion of persons with disabilities.
“The Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs is committed and supportive of all organisations representing the disabled. Our Ministry will continue to foster the integration of the Barbadian society, leaving no one behind,” he further expressed.
President of the BCD, Kerryann Ifill, said that the month of March has been observed for several years as a time for persons with disabilities to highlight their triumphs, abilities, challenges, opportunities and claim their rightful place as members of society.
The month-long activities being held under the theme “Gatherin’ Unity and Acceptance to Empower”, will include the Shine Like A Diamond Pageant; Social Workers Entrepreneurship Market; Deaf Calypso Project and Walk A Mile In My Shoes.
“We invite everyone to reflect on how we can strengthen each other. It is only through unifying with a purpose, it is only through acceptance of each other, that we can empower ourselves,” she stressed.
“As we begin another month for persons living with disabilities in Barbados, we acknowledge all that has come before – all the hard work, all of the encouragement, the struggles that we have all faced. We acknowledge what God continues to do for us… March is only another opportunity for us to even more highlight our struggles.”