Thu | Sep 24, 2020

Jamaica Council for Persons With Disabilities being given greater autonomy

Published:Thursday | August 22, 2019 | 4:25 PM
State Minister in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Zavia Mayne, speaking at a public consultation on Codes of Practice for Employment at the St Mary Parish Church Hall in Port Maria, St Mary on August 21, 2019 - Contributed photo.

The Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities is being given greater administrative autonomy by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

State Minister, Zavia Mayne, says that under a newly-developed regime the council will operate as body corporate.

“What that means is that it will be able to run things its own way. Not that we are saying they won’t be accountable to anybody. But they will be placed in a position where they will be better able to take care of their own affairs, in direct consultation with [their] members,” Mayne added.

He was speaking at the final in the Ministry’s series of public consultations on the proposed Codes of Practice for Employment for persons with disabilities at the St. Mary Parish Church Hall in Port Maria, St Mary on Wednesday.

The Codes are intended to provide guidance on the engagement and facilitation of persons with disabilities in the workplace.

Those individuals will be entitled to the same treatment in working environments as persons considered normal.

The Codes are being developed in accordance with the Disabilities Act, which was passed in the Houses of Parliament in 2014, and will provide practical guidance on matters in the legislation.

They will also provide minimum standards by which the public is guided on how to interact with and facilitate the participation of persons with special needs.  

Mayne said the Government is taking steps to ensure wide-ranging stakeholder consultations are held islandwide and consensus secured, prior the Codes’ enactment.   

“We recognise that persons with disabilities [have] to be treated with a certain degree of sensitivity, and this is why the Act provides for all these things being proposed,” he pointed out.

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