The National Disabilities Unit (NDU) has finally found a home in Maxwelton, Collymore Rock, St Michael.
Speaking during the official opening, Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, Cynthia Forde revealed that it was a struggle to reach this point.
“It was a long hard struggle in achieving this point, but we are finally here. The Government of Barbados heard your several calls over the years, and this Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs made sure all was done to accommodate the NDU in a surrounding which is accessible to all Barbadians,” she said.
Forde highlighted that there is a need for persons to focus on eliminating the barriers created by society, that prevent those with disabilities from enjoying their human rights on an equal basis with others.
She explained that by eliminating attitudinal and environmental barriers as opposed to treating persons with disabilities as problems to be fixed, persons with disabilities will be able to participate as active members of society and enjoy the full range of rights.
In addition to the current programmes offered by the NDU, the Minister stated that they are excited to introduce a few more programmes.
“In addition to the present programmes, the NDU’s future plans include an agricultural project at Mangrove, St. Philip to enable persons who are intellectually challenged to have a productive life in agriculture. This programme seeks to increase the independence of these persons and their families through their ability to earn; a Flower Project, which will assist in teaching a marketable skill to the disabled and thereby creating an opportunity for employment,” she said.
Additionally, she revealed that there will be a beach activity that will provide opportunities for the disabled to enjoy the beaches of Barbados and also experience the benefits of hydrotherapy; the retention of the Adjustment to Blindness Officer, which will cater to the needs of the visually impaired; activities showcasing the work of the Disabled Community at Maxwelton, as they will now be able to cater to outdoor activities and entrepreneurial fairs, and the reactivation of the Integrative Summer Camp Programme for disabled and able-bodied children.