Information on how to address persons with disabilities was launched yesterday by the National Commission on Disability (NCD) in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Protection.
The messages, which are available in print (posters), audio (CDs) and video (sign language on DVDs) were described by Simone Poole, the receptionist and clerk of NCD, as informative tools that will sensitize persons on how to correctly address those who have disabilities.
“The objective is to bring awareness to the populace on disability etiquette when communicating,” Poole said. She added that the organization aims to have posters placed in governmental and non-governmental organizations across Guyana so persons can be sensitized.
Speaking at the Ministry of Social Protection where the launching was held, Poole went on to say that apart from the messages which indicate, “what to say and what not to say” to those who have disabilities, a registration of persons with disabilities Public Service Announcement (PSA) will also be aired on radio. This PSA is to encourage the public to ensure that their families and friends who have disabilities are registered with the National Commission on Disability. “Being registered ensures that an individual with a disability can access public assistance and other benefits available [through] social services,” Poole said.
John Adams, advisor to the Minister of Social Protection, who officially launched the posters and the PSAs on behalf of the minister, said that a person who has a disability can still make a powerful contribution to the country’s development and so the ministry is very pleased to partner with the organization to ensure that persons with disabilities are respected.
Adams also spoke of the necessity of implementation of ramps at every building to ensure mobility and easier access for those who cannot use the stairs. He promised that the Ministry of Social Protection will ensure that no one is discriminated against.