MSDFS hosts Public Consultation on the Revised Draft National Policy on Persons with Disabilities
June 7, 2017: The Ministry of Social Development and Family Services (MSDFS) hosted the first of its series of public consultations on the Revised Draft National Policy on Persons with Disabilities on Friday 2nd June, 2017 at the Eastern Regional Sporting Complex, Orange Grove Road, Tacarigua.
Following a brief opening ceremony, Minister of Social Development and Family Services, the Honourable Cherrie-Ann Crichlow-Cockburn took the opportunity to interact with participants as they consulted among their various groups, on sections of the policy which included:
1 Legislation and equal rights;
2 Education and training, employment and public awareness;
3 Accessibility; and
4 Health and wellness
The Ministry aims to engage the national community, with particular emphasis on persons with disabilities, in a conversation which would lead to a comprehensive and an all-inclusive National Policy on Persons with Disabilities for Trinidad and Tobago. The National Policy will also provide a holistic framework for achieving equal opportunity for all citizens with disabilities. This is in keeping with the Ministry’s mandate, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which was ratified in 2015 as well as the 2030 development agenda.
Through the Ministry’s Disability Affairs Unit, sustained efforts are now proposed, to put the required structures and strategies in place, to meet the stipulations of the Convention. The National Policy for Persons with Disabilities will serve as a blueprint for advocating the cause and meeting the specific needs of the growing population of persons with disabilities on the national development agenda.
While the revised policy is being addressed, the Ministry is also moving apace with other initiatives and strategies to provide meaningful and tangible support to the community of persons with disabilities.
Some of these include:
- The Establishment of a National Register of Persons with Disabilities. This initiative, will comprise of a comprehensive databank on the types and incidences of impairment, as well as the social and economic conditions under which some persons with disabilities live, work and recreate.
- A strategy to address the employment of persons with disabilities. Minister Crichlow-Cockburn recently held a meeting with the Honourable Jennifer Baptiste-Primus, Minister of Labour and Small Enterprise Development, to discuss strategies for the Employment of Persons with Disabilities aimed at identifying measures towards improving marketable skills and enhancing the prospects for employment in the workplace for persons with disabilities.
- Enhancement of Health Services for Persons with Disabilities. The Ministry also recently conducted a meeting with the Chief Medical Officer of the Ministry of Health to address the strengthening of services for persons with disabilities in the Health Sector, primarily the health centres. A proposal to conduct a situational analysis in order to gather the main gaps present within the system was put forward.
- Continued provision of Financial support to Organizations and Schools Including: Trinidad and Tobago Association in Aid of the deaf, The Diagnostic Research Educational and Therapeutic Centre for the hearing Impaired , the National centre for Persons with Disabilities, Good Will Industries, and Princess Elizabeth Centres, to name a few. These annual contributions help defray the costs of operational expenses and infrastructural upgrades.
For further information please contact:
The Corporate Communications Unit
Ministry of Social Development and Family Services