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Disabled community to get special support from NIDS

Published:Monday | November 13, 2017 | 12:00 AMEdmond Campbell
Opposition Senator Dr Floyd Morris.
Government Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, during the debate on the National Identification System legislation in Gordon House yesterday.

Leader of government business in the Senate, Kamina Johnson Smith, has indicated that the Government will cover a critical cost associated with the registration of persons with intellectual and other disabilities in order for them to provide accurate information to the authorities with jurisdiction over the National Identification Registration Act or (NIDS).

Failure to provide accurate information to the authorities under NIDS could attract sanctions.

While deliberating at the committee stage on the NIDS bill during a special sitting of the Senate yesterday, Opposition Senator Dr Floyd Morris argued that a medical specialist has to verify that an individual has an intellectual disability. He said it would incur a significant cost to carry out such a diagnosis, noting that many persons who are disabled could not afford it.

"The Government does not have the appropriate assessment mechanisms to assess individuals with intellectual disabilities and these services are, by and large done by private individuals."

Morris noted that provisions in the NIDS bill made it mandatory for persons to get a national ID. Failure to comply could ultimately attract sanctions.


'Tangible' support


In her response, Johnson Smith said it was contemplated that NIDS would provide "real and tangible" support to persons with disabilities.

"The NIDS project is providing for the medical support to get these certifications and diagnoses so that they can be properly identified as persons with disabilities so that we can plan and provide support for them.

"We will be bearing the cost of whatever process we agree is appropriate for their inclusion in the system and to support the planning to give better support to persons living with disability," Johnson Smith said.