BASSETERRE, St. Kitts –- Workshops for persons with disabilities with the theme “Empowering through Knowledge – Everyone Matters,” was held Feb. 11 by the Departments of Social Services and Community Development.
Many topics were discussed including, availability and accessibility to counselling services, and accessibility to affordable houses by the National Housing Corporation (NHC).
The availability of benefits for persons with disabilities and the roles of Gender Affairs, Community Development and Social Services in assists persons with disabilities was discussed by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Community Development, Gender Affairs and Social Services, Janelle Lewis Tafari. She said the ministry is primarily responsible for the special subset of persons in the population who needs special care and attention, which includes persons with disabilities.
“Every government, including the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that all citizens can enjoy a decent standard of life,” said Tafari. The ministry is well aware there are several gaps when it comes to ensuring that persons with disabilities are able to enjoy that quality or standard of life that they are entitled to.”
Tafari said the ministry received assistance from the European Union to create a policy for persons with disabilities that is now in its draft form and that there are some key points that they are implementing from the policy already.
“This workshop is an attempt to increase awareness amongst you as to what services we have available for you and how you can access them,” said Tafari. She alerted the audience they will have speakers from the ministry, and social security addressing them throughout the day.
She told the participants that the department is filled with resources that are there for their benefit and encouraged them to utilize the resources they have available.