Jamaica Council for Persons with Disability
The Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities is the Government Agency responsible for rehabilitations, vocational training and placement of persons with disabilities in Jamaica. Under the Ministry of Labour & Social Security, it has as its objective the Equality of Opportunities between the disabled and the able-bodied. It seeks through its services, to establish social and economic independence for Persons with Disabilities through their own efforts and labour.
In helping persons with disabilities, every effort should made to enable them to live in their own communities and to support families and community groups who are working with this objective. In planning rehabilitation programmes, it is essential to take into account the customs and structures of the family and community and to promote their abilities to respond to the needs of the disabled individual.
Services for persons with disabilities should be provided, whenever possible within the existing social, health, education and labour structure of society. These include all level of health-care, primary, secondary and higher education; general program of vocational training and placement in employment; and measure of Social Security and Social Services. Rehabilitation services should be aimed at facilitating the participation of Persons with Disabilities in regular community services and activities. The best outcome is obtained if persons with disabilities are integrated with all other people, in the family, in the schools, at work, in training and educational establishment, in housing, in community affairs, and in the decision-making etc.
For the first time in the history of the country a National Policy for Persons with Disabilities was tabled in Parliament on September 26, 2000. The policy committee was convened in 1993 and has had numerous meetings and forums throughout the island since then with the objective of enlightening Jamaicans about disability issues.The National Policy has given the country a blueprint to make further gains towards the inclusion of the disabled in every sphere of Jamaican life.
The appointment of Sen. The Hon. Floyd Morris as Minister of State in the MLSS further underscored the Government’s commitment to putting the concerns of the disabled at the forefront of Government policy.
The National Policy for Persons with Disabilities is geared towards:
- Setting guidelines and directions for the Government, for the equalization of opportunities for people with disabilities.
- Assisting government in strengthening its capacity to address disability issues as well as assist individual agencies to improve their capacity to address disability issues within their area of functional responsibility.
- Providing a framework for agencies of government to cooperate in developing and implementing policies designed to provide equal opportunities for people with disabilities in all aspects of life.
- Assisting government in implementing the United Nations Standard Rules on the Equalization of opportunities for persons with disabilities.
The agencies for persons with disabilities that come under the umbrella of the MLSS are the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities, the Abilities Foundation of Jamaica and the Early Stimulation Project.
Jamaica Council For Disabilties Update
United Nations Convention on The Rights Of Persons With Disabilties
The Abilities Foundation Of Jamaica
The Abilities Foundation commenced operation on October 5, 1992 in response to a need for a specialized agency to serve "all types of disabilities" in terms of developing and implementing a vocational training programme, to produce confident and competent individuals at the work place and in society at large. Its existence is a "collective effort between the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and donations from a number of agencies, of and for persons with disabilities", as well as by the HEART/NTA.
The foundation provides skill training for people with disabilities in the trade areas, Garment Construction, Cabinet Making, Information Technology and Horticulture and Landscaping. In addition courses are provided in Entrepreneurship, Vocational Guidance, Related Math and English Language. There exist modularized programmes for the teaching and testing of trainees.
In summary, the overall mission of the institution is to provide quality vocational education to disabled individuals so that they can be channeled into creative and productive avenues.