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Meet Earl Broad… wheelchair user, Traveler!
First time visitor to Barbados Earl Broad, is a wheelchair user who wanted to escape the bitter cold of the U.K. He decided to take a trip to the Caribbean and sought the advice of his Travel Agent who suggested he stay at the Hilton in Barbados as this was the only island of the three Earl had in mind where he could possibly enjoy an accessible vacation. Excited about his upcoming trip, Earl decided to do more research so he could plan his stay! He was delighted to discover the Fully Accessible Barbados website and even more so when he saw our beach wheelchair! Right away he sent us an email requesting details and booked it for three days in advance. Once he arrived he loved the experience so much he booked the chair for another two days because as he said “I live close to sea and I would love to have something like this so I can get into the water where I live, so this is a great experience for me.” On hearing this, we asked if we could meet Earl to learn about his experience using the chair. During this chat we got further insight into his overall view of his vacation and the island. “I love the sunshine” Earl told us. We could tell, he was lightly sunburned from head to toe. “I actually prefer to go into the sea only when the sun is shining full blast”, continued Earl. Earl was here with his caretaker John Butterworth who told us “we’re having a great time, we visited Bathsheba, St. Nicholas Abbey, we took in some Cricket at the Oval, there were three other persons in wheel -chairs there which we thought was great, of course the beach is lovely, we’ve walked into Bridgetown to do some shopping and that was an adventure as Earl had to drive his automated wheel chair in the road since the sidewalks are non existent.” Earl added “At first it was a bit scary as I was literally driving in traffic, but the people were quite nice and gave me a wide berth, eventually I did get accustomed, but this is definitely one thing I would like to see changed – wide safe sidewalks to roll on into Bridgetown would be a great benefit.” Earl and John would have travelled the road along Bay Street from the Hilton Hotel to reach Bridgetown. Had it not been for the FAB beach wheelchair, Earl would never had been able to enjoy the ocean as the hotel owned beach wheelchair had been damaged by previous guests and had not yet been repaired. However we are happy to report that upon learning that Earl rented the Beach wheelchair from the Barbados Council for the Disabled, the Hilton reimburse him for the cost of the rental. Earl is just one visitor who has been to Barbados with a disability, who despite a couple hiccups was able to enjoy the island but would love to see some infrastructural changes implemented which will make using our island’s amenities easier. Things like wide sidewalks, accessible ramps and slopes, accessible doorways, lowered door handles in public places, more affordable (public) accessible transportation, these are all a few things which play an integral part in making a “Fully Accessible Barbados” vacation possible. When we left him Earl was headed to Surfside Restaurant on the west coast. John was looking forward to trying their Rum Punch – “Go John, that Rum Punch REALLY packs a Punch!”
Not enough done for disabled – BCD
Don’t dictate to us. That’s the message from the Barbados Council for the Disabled to government and all other decision-makers in society as that organisation ends the year with an appeal for more efforts at inclusiveness to accommodate in the mainstream of life on this island. Delivering brief remarks at the BCD’s annual dinner and awards ceremony, President, Maria Holder-Small said “we have seen strides made towards a more inclusive society which embraces people with disabilities, but sadly not enough or in many cases nothing has been done to address critical areas that continue to impede the inclusion and independence of persons with disabilities”. Addressing a packed ballroom at Mahogany Ridge, she said there is still a lot more to be done, and “we must not let persons dictate and tell us what we are able to do but rather show them what we can do”. “Persons with disabilities are important and should be treated in the same manner you would like to be treated,” she added. This year the Council recognised its outstanding members for their work, and honoured organisations and individuals for sterling contributions in meeting various needs of the disabled on the island. In thanking the contributors for their efforts at enabling Council members, Holder-Small said that despite the good work, “an inclusive Barbados seems at times to elude us”. The BCD president made clear that all of Barbados will hear a lot more from members of this organisation in their quest for more inclusiveness in society as they, “continue to advocate as much as we can on behalf of persons with disabilities and will seek to foster new partnerships which will assist the Council in reaching new heights to break down even more barriers”. Article by George Alleyne Barbados Today
3 rd Annual Dorien Pile National Literary Competition
The Barbados Council for the Disabled is pleased to invite your Organization’s participation in the 3 rd Annual Dorien Pile National Literary Competition 2018. Mrs. Dorien Pile GCM – Former Educator and Principal of the Combermere School, played an integral role in establishing Programs within the Council which focused on empowering Persons with Disabilities in Barbados. Persons are invited to submit your Creative Expressions in one of the following areas: Format for Entries: – Written, Electronic (Email), Audio or Braille Format Animation: Video (No less than 3 mins and no more than 5 mins) Eligible Participants: Primary/Secondary Schools! Tertiary Institutions! Persons with Disabilities, General Public Categories: 8 – 12 years/ 13 – 17 years/18 years and Over Topic: “Leaving no one behind in an Inclusive Society… Word Count: ESSAY: 500 – 750 WORDS 8 – 12 years 13 – 17 years – 1200 words 18 years and Over – 1500 words Prizes: 1st Place $1,000.00 2nd Place $750.00 3rd Place $500.00 Animation: $500.00 Email your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org or deliver them to The Barbados Council for the Disabled, Harambee House, Garrison, St. Michael. For further information Contact Mrs. RoseAnn FosterVaughan at 6290570 , OR visit the Council’s website www.barbadosdisabled.org.bb DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: Friday, October 13 th 2018
Making disability the business of all
‘Tourism is everybody’s business’ goes the slogan of Barbados’ number one economic sector, but based on the numbers it can be argued that disability is also everybody’s business. An average of one in every 24 people has some form of recognized physical disability. This makes getting all Barbadians in tune with the needs of the disabled comparable to the need for all to get involved in tourism, the island’s bread and butter industry. Supported by 2010 national census figures that put the number of people with disability at 11,546, out of a total population of 288,821, the Barbados Council for the Disabled has conducting sensitivity training for service industry workers on relating to the special needs of the disabled. Airline bag handlers, ‘red c airport porters, lifeguards, National Conservation Commission workers, immigration officers, policemen, restaurant workers, hotel workers – all who contribute to making Barbados’ host tourism product enjoyable for everyone, including the disabled, have received the training. BCD’s outreach is under its Fully Accessible Barbados (FAB) project and at the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc workers are the prime users of the programme. Fully Accessible Barbados “recognizes the importance of accessibility in order to achieve the truly inclusive society which is part of our vision,” said the council. “FAB enlisted the support of a number of key stakeholders. These include representatives from tourism, education and other service related sectors.” BTMI has been the main user of the council’s disability sensitivity training programmes for public service providers, according to the council’s operations manager, Rosanna Tudor. Through a specially designed ‘Host Tourism’ element of the programme, the BTMI has been sending its frontline workers for training on an almost monthly basis. “The training is to get them to become aware of the need and how to respond to the needs of persons with disabilities,” Tudor said. “It’s a cross-section of tourism industry providers that we train through that host tourism programme. That’s been going on now for the past couple years,” Tudor said. Emphasizing the tie-in of tourism economics with service needs of physically challenged the residents and visitors, Tudor spoke of a US survey of travellers with disabilities that reported them “saying they would go back to a place, or facility or country where the people’s attitudes were more accommodating”. Being ‘accommodating’ in the service industry involves more than simple provision of ramps for wheelchair users, but with the understanding and helpful attitude of providers of that service, she said. In Fully Accessible Barbados, “not only do we assess buildings and facilities, but we also have to provide this service because you have to be able to respond and recognise the various needs of those who come to use your service,” Tudor added. Staff of about 15 organizations have so far participated in the sensitivity training sessions. Drivers at the Transport Board and some supervisors devoted last Saturday to a sensitivity class at the BCD’s Harambee House headquarters, the Garrison. The management of this essential service saw the importance of the training and has so far sent their frontline employees for two sessions, with more attending whenever classes can be scheduled to suit the bus company’s work shifts, she said. But the disabled community official also pressed the state-owned enterprise to seek a large proportion of buses designed for the disabled whenever Government is restocking its fleet. And momentum is gaining for various organizations in Barbados to sign up for disabled sensitivity training, as the council has conducted 40 to 50 training sessions annually for the last three years. At this rate, the BCD may be well on its way to making disability the business of everyone in Barbados. (GA)
New Champions Rule Special Olympics Football
Davio Harding of the Derrick Smith School and Vocational Centre is an athlete not to be denied. Last year, he scored five goals and was named Most Outstanding Senior Player as his team fell short of winning the Special Olympics Barbados National Games Football Championship. The 2017 senior title went to the Alma Parris Memorial Secondary School, but the closure of that school left the title open this year, as well as another opportunity for Davio to capture the crown. He took full advantage of that opportunity as he scored four goals in leading the Derrick Smith School and Vocational Center to the Division A Senior crown at the recent Special Olympics Barbados National Games Football Championship. Second place in the division was captured by the Learning Centre, with the Ann Hill School taking third. There was also a blistering performance in the Division B Senior competition, with Renako Bellamy of the Ann Hill School scoring six goals as he led his team to the Division B Senior title. That division was rounded out with the Derrick Smith School taking second, the Challenor Creative Arts and Training Centre in third and the Special Olympics Outreach and Skills Training Centre finishing in fourth place. Among the younger players in the Special Olympics Barbados National Games Football Championship, all eyes were on Torian Chase of the Erdiston Special School. His four goals led to the upset of the defending junior division champion, the Ellerton Primary Unit and earned him the title of Junior Division Most Outstanding Player. Ellerton finished second in the junior division. The intellectually disabled athletes of Special Olympics Barbados are being allowed to build and display their skills as a result of the generous support of The Maria Holder Memorial Trust. In keeping with its mission “to improve the quality of life of vulnerable people”, the Trust provided the primary funding for the Special Olympics Barbados National Games Football Championship. In addition, The Maria Holder Memorial Trust is giving like financial support to the major Special Olympics sports event of the year, the Special Olympics Barbados Track and Field National Games and the Special Olympics Barbados National Games in cricket and swimming. The support provided by The Maria Holder Memorial Trust helps create the individual confidence and the societal structure needed for the understanding, acceptance and inclusion of persons with intellectual disability. *Photo tag: “Shamar Smith of the Special Olympics Outreach and Skills Training Centre defends an attack from Raymond Delphi of the Challenor Creative Arts and Training Centre.” Photo compliments of A3KD.