Don’t ignore the disabled
BARBADOS’ DISABLED community is an important part of the society and should not be ignored by businesses.
That’s the view of Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry council member Roxanne Brancker (below), who was speaking at the recent launch of the Barbados Council for the Disabled’s (BCD) Empowerment Card.
“According to the 2010 Population Census of Barbados . . . about five per cent of the total population are disabled in one way or other. Any business looking to expand its market share should realise that this is a segment that should not be ignored, but rather, be tapped into if they aren’t already doing so,” she said.
Brancker gave the assurance that BCCI “will be calling on its members to support the Barbados Council for the Disabled on this initiative”.
“I also want to thank all of those companies who are supporting the BCD in this venture. Your involvement demonstrates progressive thinking and an understanding that profits can still be generated in the midst of maintaining a social, corporate conscience and helping others,” she said.
The businesswoman also said that the card was clear evidence that disabled Barbadians were significant contributors to Barbados’ economic well-being.
“The card will be issued to persons with disabilities and further – to the parents of children (under 18) with disabilities. Through this card, the disabled will be able to access discounts on a range of goods and services. This arrangement is beneficial to both the disabled and the business community, as the latter can be assured of sales and patronage from those with disabilities.
“That’s right – the disabled and their family spend money,” she asserted.
“In fact, internationally, they spend billions of dollars a year. So why then, is this segment of the population largely ignored?”
Brancker lauded the BCD for not sitting back and waiting on others, especially Government, “to make things happen for them”.
She said the organisation showed “initiative, drive, forward thinking and determination by approaching the business community for its support with this card”.
“With the cost of living increasing as it is in Barbados, persons living with disabilities are faced with the further challenge of stretching already limited funds, further than ever, thus in an effort to offer some assistance to the community, the BDC proposed this discount card.”
About 20 businesses offering a range of products and services have partnered with the BCD on the initiative so far. (SC)