The legacy of the Barbados Council for the Disabled has been built by a core of volunteers who have over the years committed their human and physical resources towards creating a platform whereby the voices of Persons with Disabilities can aggregate confidently for their rightful place within our Society.
It was not by accident nor provocation that those early stalwarts saw a need and based on a SHARED vision to bring about positive change for Persons Living with Disabilities, selflessly gave to a cause where the returns is a slow cumulative process.
Established in 1976, the Council has over the years maintained its commitment as a Non- Governmental Organisation to partnering with all sectors of the community and International Agencies to effect change and champion the rights of all persons with disabilities, ensuring there full and effective integration into society.”
Much has evolved through the formation of the Barbados Council for the Disabled, and as such many of its Programs has been specifically designed in keeping with its commitment to constantly monitor and review the work being done on behalf of persons with disabilities in Barbados.
It is evident, that by working cohesively over the years with all sectors of the society, that the Council has earned a high level of respectability for its due diligence and transparency in the execution of all of its Projects and Programs; this is evidenced in the many positive changes towards inclusion of persons with disabilities.
Through its national Fully Accessible Barbados (FAB) Program, an Accreditation Program which focuses on physical access as well as attitudinal awareness, the Council has been able to advance the Program’s initial focus from the tourism sector, to incorporate all sectors of Barbadian life.
The FAB concept also extends to many of our major Programs and partnerships which the Council has established, for example Sexual Reproduction Health Program, Sensitivity Training to Governmental and Private Sector Entities, national Parking ID Service, an Empowerment Discount Card, among others. These programs not only benefits the Council’s 19 affiliated organisations, but our advocacy for equal rights and benefits extends to the wider society of Persons living with Disabilities both locally and internationally. The Council is now reaching out to the wider region (CARICOM) by sharing Best Practices in many of our Programs which can be replicated for the benefit of their citizens.
Through the Council’s successful lobbying efforts that led to the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2013, a concerted effort to bring a greater level of maturity and open-mindedness to issues relating to Persons with Disabilities continues. The Council has no doubt that these efforts would lead to “levelling of the Playing Field”, within the lives of persons with disabilities.
In continuing to build on the inroads made by successive President’s and most recently Senator Kerryann Ifill whose parting sentiments of “society has begun to show a deeper respect and understanding of the needs, rights and abilities of persons living with disabilities”… I Maria Holder Small am now privileged to pick up the mantle and continue as President of the Barbados Council for the Disabled for the Period 2015 – 2017. I am encouraged by the new Board of Directors: Vice President –Senator Kerryann Ifill, Treasurer – Dr. Jennifer Campbell, Secretary – Joseph Tudor, PRO- Errol Hurley, Directors –Edmund Hinkson MP, Roger Vaughan, Elviston Maloney, Patricia Padmore-Blackman, Dawn Rudder BSS, and Colbert Ashby all of whom shares the Council’s vison of the realisation of a society which values, respects, empowers, accepts and includes persons with disabilities and the recognition of the Council as a catalyst in the process.
Mrs. Maria Holder-Small