Sat | Dec 3, 2016

Do more for vulnerable groups - MIND forum

Published:Monday | September 29, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Jodi-ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer

Christine Hendricks, executive
director of the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities, has said
though the country has been making strides to cater to persons with
disabilities, more citizens need to get involved.

Speaking at the
Management Institute for National Development (MIND) policy forum that
was held in St Andrew yesterday, Hendricks made reference to the
disabilities bill, which was passed in the House of Representatives
recently, saying it is a step in the right direction.

"We still
have the attitudinal and environmental barriers that impede persons with
impairments and so in order to achieve our vision 2030 goal, we must
move to removing these barriers," she said.

"I am really proud of
where we have come as a country in passing the Disabilities Act. Though
it's not yet approved, I believe it shows that we are becoming a country
that is very serious in ensuring that the vulnerable groups in society
are catered to," she added.

Portia Magnus, acting director of the
National Insurance Scheme (NIS) at the Ministry of Labour and Social
Security, said work is underway to increase some of the benefits
provided through the NIS in a bid to cater more to the elderly
population.

"We know that we are going to sit and allow things to
continue the same way. I know there are things we have to do now so that
we can remain viable," she said.

"Later this year and beyond,
public consultations will be held. Also a large part of the labour force
is self-employed and that too creates a problem because there is
nothing to accommodate the informal sector," Magnus said.