Call for more help for disabled
BARBADOS NEEDS to place greater emphasis on carrying out the provisions of conventions aimed at helping people with disabilities, according to social activist Corey Lane.
“It’s all good and well to have the nice, fancy talk and so on, but at the end of the day we need the delivery, the action,” he said while hosting Sunday Brass Tacks, Starcom Network’s call-in radio programme.
“There are a lot of drafts, white papers and conventions and so on and we sign on to these things and we say this is our demonstration that we are interested and we care about persons living with disabilities. I argue not. Your demonstration is to implement the features of the conventions, not [just] to sign the conventions.”
He was reacting to expressions of concern by his panel – Elviston Maloney and Andwele Boyce – as well as other people with disabilities about the provision of housing, jobs and transportation.
Boyce, a former member of the board of the Barbados Council for the Disabled, said Barbados had to create the structure to give people with disabilities more jobs.
“Employment integration is critically important,” he said. “We want as many people as possible to contribute to moving this country forward and that includes persons with disabilities.
“We need to create the structures that allow for persons with disabilities to find employment and to flourish and to advance . . . .
“We cannot negate the contribution of a large portion of our population in this regard. The economic benefit of moving towards full employment of persons with disabilities, certainly [employment] as full as is possible, would redound to the benefit of Barbadian society.”
Maloney, public relations officer of the council, said transportation was a major problem for people with disabilities.
“We try at the council, wherever possible, to accommodate individuals, schools and in some instances some of its affiliates by providing a limited transportation system,” he reported.
“But it’s overwhelming in terms of the demand for transportation from within the disabled fraternity. I know Government has its own challenges but really Government has to come on board and assist in this area as well.”
He added: “When the Transport Board does provide services for persons with disabilities, they seem to have a perception that this service is only to take persons to school, to work or to a medical appointment and, in some limited instances, church.
“The social activities are definitely a no-no and I can understand that, given the limited transportation, but persons with disabilities need . . . to socialise as well.” (TY)