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New home for disabilities unit

1st Vice President Patrick Forde delivers the welcome, while President Errol Hurley and Minister Steve Blackett look on.

1st Vice President Patrick Forde delivers the welcome, while President Errol Hurley and Minister Steve Blackett look on.

The pleas of persons in the disabled community for the National Disabilities Unit to be more physically accessible to them may have finally found a favourable ear.

Minister of Social Care, Steve Blackett, announced this morning at the Barbados National Organisation of the Disabled’s 30th anniversary launch that a home, with easy access had been earmarked for the NDU.

“I am happy to report that the National Disabilities Unit’s long-standing cry for a more access-friendly and commodious accommodation is being actively worked on. Maxwelton House in Collymore Rock has been identified for the unit’s new location. I am told that the National Disabilities Unit staff seems quite pleased with the proposed location for their new home,” said the minister.

Blackett told members of the disabled community that BARNOD’s call for a home and its request for a subvention were also not insurmountable, assuring them that every effort would be made to assist in the realisation of these goals.

“I believe that there is a lot of work that we can do collectively in order to achieve transformative change in the lives of persons with disabilities. We need to build social capacity in order to fully utilise the talents of all our citizens. New and renewed efforts must be made to facilitate collaborative structures embracing non-profit organisations such as BARNOD. I dare you to imagine the possibilities which can flow from undertaking such initiatives,” he challenged.

The minister had moments before told the gathering how proud Government was of the decision to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities last December, noting that this was just the beginning.

“The ratification of this agreement will ensure that Barbados maintains the high reputation that has been diligently earned by its care for vulnerable persons. The main points of the convention are: persons with disabilities must be recognised as persons before the law and enjoy legal capacity. They must be able to own and inherit property and have access to credit.

“Persons with disabilities shall have effective enjoyment of the universal rights to life as well as effective access to justice; persons with disabilities shall enjoy liberty and security of person. I am certain this news will bring great joy to the disabled community and to the wider public in Barbados,” he said. (LB)

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