Disability Commission recruiting volunteers for advocacy, awareness drive

The National Commission on Disability (NCD) has launched a one-year National Volunteering Disability Programme aimed at boosting the lives of disabled persons and aiding public understanding of the Persons with Disabilities Act 2010.

The programme’s role is to recruit three national volunteers from the disabled community who have received training from the Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE) Guyana Projects, a press release from the Government Information Agency said. The volunteers are expected to assist the NCD with implementing, monitoring and creating awareness of the Persons with Disabilities Act. The act lists the rights and fundamental principles that must be afforded to persons living with disabilities.

The volunteer recruited for the role of National Volunteer for Disability will be tasked with documenting referrals that are sent to the NCD, the National Volunteer for Accessibility will work on initiatives promoting greater accessibility for disabled people and the National Volunteer for Communication and Advocacy will raise the profile of the law and the work of the commission among the public and private sectors and media.

NCD Commissioner Vidushi Persaud said the commission’s effort is to ensure that the Persons with Disabilities Act 2010 is taken to its logical conclusion and does not remain a mere paper declaration. She also said that the programme recognises that local volunteers have a pivotal role to play in the successful implementation of the act.

In his address, Minister of Health Dr Leslie Ramsammy said that Guyana has accelerated the rate at which it guarantees fundamental human rights to all citizens. However, he also acknowledged that often only persons directly involved in a particular area know about them. The minister also said that although all the elements for respecting the rights of every citizen have been put in place, they often lack the necessary enforcement tools.

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