Government is committed to building capacity and improving the quality of life of persons living with disabilities. In this regard, the National Commission on Disability commenced the execution of a National Household Survey of Persons with Disabilities in Regions Two, Three, Five, Six and 10, which will guide decision-making, policy formulation and service delivery.
This development was vocalized by Minister of Finance, Mr. Winston Jordan, who pointed out “we need to recognise that persons with disabilities are still willing and able, if given the opportunity, to contribute to the workforce.”
It is for this very reason, he said that Government, in 2018, provided vocational skills training to 114 persons with disabilities and another 140 will be trained in 2019.
Further, the Open Doors Vocational School, which was established to offer technical and vocational training to persons with disabilities, added to its programme after-school activities such as martial arts, swimming, football, cricket, dance and drama.
But government is prepared to see even more done for persons with disabilities. As such in 2019, Jordan said that a special Montessori classroom, designed to develop the critical thinking skills of children with mental disabilities, will be built at the Centre for Stimulation and teachers will be trained in this methodology. He disclosed too that all special needs teachers are now benefitting from a risk allowance, which became effective in January 2018.
Meanwhile, the Finance Minister revealed too that government is moving to implement a tax concession for private vehicles specially equipped for transporting persons living with disabilities. The Government will also examine the feasibility of providing a tax rebate on cell phones with accessibility features for persons with visual or hearing impairments, he informed, adding, “These two initiatives will solidify government‘s commitment to equity and inclusion for all its citizens through the use of ICT.”