Services for the disabled must be provided in all spheres including education, transportation, healthcare delivery and social services, Health Secretary Dr Agatha Carrington said on Monday.
Speaking at an event to observed International Day of Persons with Disabilities, held annually on December 3, Carrington said that “at least 10 percent of our population, globally, regionally and nationally, are differently-abled and we still find exclusion in many spheres.
“Days like these are important for us to come together where we recognise and continue our advocacy with respect to the differently-abled. There is much more to be done … we need to minimise widespread exclusion, even in the services that we provide.” The event was hosted by the Tobago Co-ordinating Committee for Persons with Disabilities (TCCD) at the Canaan/ Bon Accord Community Centre. The theme of this year’s observances was “Empowering Persons with Disabilities and Ensuring Inclusiveness and Equality.” Dianne Baker-Henry, Administrator in the Division, urged parents to change the conversation about their differently-abled children to “Yes, they are different but they are well able to achieve all that God has in store for them.”
“We are called to empower the children for good and remind them that they are indeed special,” Baker-Henry said.
The event included a Praise and Worship session by Ria Paria, Committee Member of the TCCD, who encouraged both parents and teachers to continue the “good fight,” and drumming and dance performances by students from the Happy Haven School and TECVOC.