Wed | Dec 1, 2021

Stop neglecting the disabilities community

Published:Saturday | March 30, 2019 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

In previous weeks, we have all heard the different plans that the Government has outlined for the economy to grow and in order for us to achieve Vision 2030 to make ‘Jamaica a place to work, raise families, and do business’.

I write this specifically in light of the recent initiative by the social security ministry to make the Implementation of the Disabilities Act for 2019-2020 a priority. I applaud this wholeheartedly.

Members of the disabilities community are what we would call in the minority group and the most underlooked individuals in society.

When I look at Senator Floyd Morris, I see hope for the disabilities community. This man has achieved so much despite the challenges he had becoming the first blind member of the Senate. Senator Morris has a Master of Philosophy in Government from the University of the West Indies (UWI). He also acquired a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from that institution. And most importantly, he is the director of the Centre for Disability Studies.

Members of the disabilities community are neglected and discriminated against daily. This proposed legislation protects and promotes the equal rights of the disabled and prohibits discrimination against them.

This is a very promising movement for the disabilities community and for the Jamaican economy.

I see buildings where there are only stairs and no wheelchair ramps.

Not enough educational opportunities for us, such as scholarships, are being advertised in the mass media. In addition to that, not enough is being done in the healthcare sector for these individuals.

The disabled need to be more integrated in the work force to contribute positively to the well-being of the country, and, by extension, be able to support their families financially.

More needs to be done for the disabilities community to make our country all-embracing. Let us all join forces in supporting the ethical and philosophical utilitarian theory: an action is right if it results in the happiness of the greatest number of people in a society or a group.

KELLY ANN SMITH

kelice1416@gmail.com