Physically and intellectually challenged to be given bigger say in community
Physically or intellectually challenged people will have a larger say in the community, the Government said yesterday.
Tinee Furbert, the Minister of Social Development and Seniors, said the ministry had established the Disability Advisory Council and the National Strategy for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities, which will be formed next year, to give disabled people a bigger voice.
People with disabilities, as well as their advocates and service providers, serve on the Council, which helped organise events to commemorate the United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
According to the UN’s website, the day – held today – was founded in 1992 and seeks to “promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and wellbeing of persons with disabilities”.
One of the events leading up to the day was WindReach’s virtual conference, held today to talk about employment.
The National Strategy for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities was launched by the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute and will identify priorities and advance policies to tackle major gaps that affect Bermuda’s disabled population.
Ms Furbert said a list of all people on the island with disabilities is being developed.
“This register aims to assist with data collection for national planning purposes and to ensure that individuals receive the support they need for an improved quality of life.
“As a nation, we must reflect on our assumptions that create barriers and support the strengths and abilities of persons with disabilities.
“Evidence and experience shows that when barriers to inclusion are removed and persons with disabilities are empowered to participate fully in societal life, the entire community benefits.
“We must all come together as a community to remove these barriers and to advance the rights of persons with disabilities for a more inclusive and therefore better Bermuda.”