Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn, has assured the disabled community in Barbados that Government is committed to addressing their transportation issues in a way that will give them the freedom to move around Barbados at will.
Speaking Friday at a ceremony for wheelchair assessors at the Barbados Council for the Disabled, Minister Straughn said: “We are in the process of reviewing how we can assist in ensuring that persons with mobility challenges have the same freedoms as I do, with respect to their transportation needs.”
He said that the Ministry of Finance was ensuring that its administrative process was streamlined, and its internal procedures modernized to ensure that benefits reach as many people as possible.
“Within the Ministry of Finance, in recent times, we have determined that from a policy perspective that we are going to administer and treat to this issue to give people choices with respect to their transportation needs, so that you don’t feel as if somehow you are trapped within your homes.”
He also said that there was some infrastructural work that needed to be addressed at a national level, and issues of accessibility, including to government buildings, would be prioritized.
“We are mindful that as we roll out solutions for citizens that persons within the disabled community are part of the conversation, and as we move forward we will ensure that there is collaboration every step of the way on these issues.”
He reminded his audience of government’s “constrained budget”, but said that his Ministry would work closely with the Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs to address the issues systematically.
Minister Straughn assured the community: “Government is listening to you. You are being heard…. We will find the best way to be able to advance in a way that gives you freedom, gives you options in terms of how you move around Barbados.”