Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 16th 2013 Contents CONTINUES ON PAGE B2
Association continues to try to convey, is that
blindness is not the end of the world.
He commended the move by President Anthony
Carmona to appoint Hugh Russell Ian Roach,
who is paralysed and uses a wheelchair, to the
position of temporary Independent Senator.
"This shows that we are getting past that igno-
rance that once disabled you cannot live a normal
life," said Ragoo, in a telephone interview.
He continued: "The Association s objective is
that a blind person must be able to survive and
be as independent as possible and that is what
they are taught at the institution."
In addition to traditional basketry, some of
the craft skills taught include chair caning, sea-
grassing and furniture building.
Students also learn music, cooking and a num-
ber of other basic functions. They are now also
keeping fit with the physical education programme
recently added to the Association s list of activ-
Ragoo said the Association had a lot to be proud
"We have had so many success stories, so many
have left here and done well," he said.
He made specific mention of extempo champ,
Joseph "Lingo" Vautor-La Placeliere and deceased
pianist Maurice Connor who for many years was
the musical accompanist on talent shows Twelve
and Under and Teen Talent.
Workers at the Blind Welfare Association spoke
passionately about their growth since they have
Handicraft instructor Leon George, said he
lived with fear and low self esteem for years until
he went to the Association. "I came here in 1994
to learn braille and typing and it just opened up
a whole new world for me. I became more con-
fident and my self-worth and dignity were
restored," said George.
Tricia Bruce who is pregnant with her third
baby is in her final year at the University of the
Southern Caribbean in St Joseph, completing her
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, May 16, 2013
In March, the Association's South office staged a
protest demanding equity in the distribution of gov-
Deonarine Ragoo said from 1974 to date, only
three visually impaired people from South received
assistance from the HDC.
"We are quite satisfied with the level of service
our blind colleagues in Port-of-Spain have received
from HDC, but there seems to be a problem in San
Fernando. I have been working with the Blind Associ-
ation since 1974, and about seven blind people have
received accommodation from HDC. But of the
seven, four were from Port-of-Spain," he said.
Ragoo who is also a former local government
councillor for the district of Reform Manahambre,
said the association has been keeping in touch with
HDC's managing director Jerlean John.
It is also Ragoo's hope that disabled Senator
Roach, will use his position to lobby for the rights of
the visually impaired and other differently-abled peo-
"We are hoping he uses his esteemed office to
raise some of our concerns in the senate. These con-
cerns would speak to the issues of policies and legis-
lation for the disabled an also the question of
ratification of the UN Charter for the disabled which
our government is a signatory to," said Ragoo.
"We are just hoping with the year long activities
planned in commemoration of the anniversary, would
highlight the work done by the association and also
encourage people to render their services to the in-
"We want the public to support or celebration, visit
us, come and see how we function...operate and
come and be a part of something that is positive and
rewarding," said Ragoo.
For more information call 624-4675 or use this link
HOUSING FOR THE BLIND
degree in education. The computer instructor
who formerly taught at primary school level at
the School for the Blind in Santa Cruz, said she
met her husband at the Association when started
teaching computer literacy in 1997.
"The best part of being here is that you meet
like people who are just as driven as you are,"
Bruce told the T&T Guardian.
PR consultants Janelle Jacob and Joan Lall who
are promoting all upcoming events for the
anniversary said the institution made most of
them who they are today. "Most of us got our
start here," said Lall.
'So many success stories'
Baskets made by the blind and visually impaired at the workshop at the the Blind
Welfare Association. PHOTOS: KEARRA GOPEE
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