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Interest groups call for full implementation of Disabilities Act

Published:Thursday | December 6, 2018 | 12:00 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer
Shahine Robinson

Labour and Social Security Minister Shahine Robinson has said that her ministry is committed to the swift implementation of the Disabilities Act, which was passed in 2014.

"The Government remains committed for the long term to guarantee full inclusion. Consequently, it has been working through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to ensure that persons with disabilities are constantly empowered," Robinson said.

"We recognise, however, the need for strengthened capacity, and so the organisational review currently taking place will provide many of the solutions for the issues and challenges raised."

'I am Able' campaign

The minister was speaking at the launch of a new comprehensive report on persons with disabilities on Monday, which was recognised as International Day for Persons with Disabilities. The 'I am Able' media campaign to promote the empowerment and inclusion of children with disabilities was also launched.

Robinson said that she has turned up the pressure on her team to get the required codes of practices in place.

"I have been pressing the entire team at the ministry to provide a timeline for when this is expected to be completed as implementation of the act is contingent on corresponding codes of practices, and I have been told that the code of practices will be ready early in the coming financial year," she said.

The minister's response came after a call by the Digicel Foundation, the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities, and the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund for the full enforcement of the Disabilities Act and for greater inclusion of children with disabilities.

Digicel Foundation Chief Executive Officer Karlene Dawson said that more must be done.

"The Government has made significant strides in addressing the problems faced by persons living with disabilities. However, the country has to move swiftly to enact the Disabilities Act," Dawson said.