Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 3rd 2013 Contents A30
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, December 3, 2013
How some disability organisations are marking today
The NCPD teamed up with UWI St Augustine to host a seminar on
November 28 titled Break Barriers, Open Doors: For An Inclusive Society
For All at which Barbados Senate President Kerry-Ann Ifill was the feature
Ifill has been visually impaired since the age of four. In 1999, she received
a degree in sociology and psychology from UWI, Cave Hill, making her the
first visually impaired person to graduate from the Cave Hill campus.
Visit their Web site at www.ncpdtt.org.
Princess Elizabeth Home
At the Princess Elizabeth Home for physically handicapped children,
director Felix Pierre said the centre is putting special focus on motivating
the disabled community.
"It's important that they know it's not the disability but the ability that
counts," Pierre said.
Throughout the year, the home has been hosting a number of lectures
and workshops on disability. The speakers include people who have turned
their disabilities into opportunities. One such speaker is Florida-based
triathlete Rajesh Durbal. In 2010, he became the first triple amputee to
complete the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon in Kona, finishing the notoriously
tough race in 14 hours, 19 seconds.
Pierre believes that working with and
for the disabled must be done year-round,
and not just for the International Day of
Persons with Disabilities. To this end, the
Princess Elizabeth Home has been
working closely with the T&T Paralympic
Committee so that more disabled
youngsters can participate in sport.
Also, a vacation camp
sponsored by bpTT was held
during the August vacation
to develop the children's
natural creative skills.
"Today is like a
birthday, but we want to
work well beyond,"
For more info,
contact them via e-
Respect, and Equality,
(Care) is a self-funded
NGO formed 15 years ago
by a qualified transportation
planner for the disabled,
Anton La Fond. Its primary
objective is to honour
people from within the
La Fond told the T&T
Guardian he believes the
disabled community is not
seen as a priority, and is
"just an afterthought."
To commemorate the
International Day of
Persons with Disabilities,
La Fond said the
organisation will be
hosting a church service
Theresa's RC Church, De
Woodbrook. There will
be lunch and live
Helping Hands Prosthesis Foundation
Since 2009, the Helping Hands Prosthesis Foundation has been providing
amputees with prosthetics and training them to use the replacement limbs
properly. On November 23, it hosted a charitable event in recognition of the
International Day of Persons with Disabilities, where over $307,000 in
much needed equipment was donated to disabled individuals.
The foundation was founded by a six-member team headed by Dr Ian
Visit their Web site at www.hhprosthetics.org.
• From Page A30
Asked if the unit had statistical
information on how many people
are disabled in T&T, Reid said it
didn t have updated information
from the Central Statistical Office
(CSO). The last information com-
ing out of the CSO suggested an
estimated 15 per cent. This was in
CEO of NCPD Dr Beverly Beck-
les said disability organisations are
frustrated by the tardy response
of those in charge.
"The greatest challenge in going
forward with issues surrounding
disability, is getting the policy mak-
ers to respond in a positive way
to what should be deemed as an
urgent concern," said Beckles.
She said the organisation has
written several letters to the powers
that be, asking for a review on the
national policy on the convention
on the rights of people with dis-
abilities, but it hadn t received any
"If all we have is a policy, how
is that in sync with the UN con-
vention?" she asked.
Beckles said in November last
year, at the opening ceremony of
a two-day conference on the UN
convention on the rights of persons
with disabilities, Senate President
Timothy Hamel-Smith who was
a speaker, agreed the convention
needed to be ratified and pledged
However, a year later it has not
had any communication from the
Government on the issue.
"The disability organisations are
not a problem. We continue to
support each other, but we can
only do so much. As organisations
we cannot ratify, we can only
lobby," Beckles lamented.
She added that if a decision is
not made soon on the ratification
of the convention, the organisation
plans on intensifying its lobbying
---With reporting by Bobie Lee
Groups frustrated by tardy
response to 'an urgent concern'
A year after UN convention on disabilities...
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