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NCPD embarks on ministerial consultation on Draft National Policy for Persons with Disabilities

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Contact: Julita Peter


Friday, May 8, 2009 – The situational analysis of people living with disabilities was one of several areas addressed at a ministerial consultation, to consider a draft national policy for the advancement of people with disabilities. 


The consultation, which took place at the NIC Conference Centre on Thursday, was organized by the National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Wellness, Family Affairs, National Mobilization, Human Services and Gender Relations.



Executive Director of the NCPD Lancia Isidore said despite the efforts by several advocates over the past decade to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities, there was still a number of shortcomings that needed to be addressed.  Disability, she noted, still remains a highly stigmatized human condition.  


“Legislation that pertains to the social dimension of development are silent on measures to ensure that  the undeserved and vulnerable groups such as people living with disabilities are provided with equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from actions in their interest,” said Isidore.


Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Felix St. Hill, in his key note address, said the consultation was opportune, since without the necessary legislative framework, the rights of people with disabilities may not be guaranteed.


The Ministry of Health, he said, is committed to ensuring that government ratifies the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.


“We at the Ministry of Health have noted significant strides and contributions made by non-governmental organization such as the NCPD, in the advancement and welfare of people with disabilities. Although there has been some measure of governmental supportive in that direction, we have also noted that there is more that needs to be accomplished and so we will continue to support your initiative geared at improving the welfare of people living with disabilities,” he said.


The draft policy is based on five fundamental concepts including equalization of opportunities, prevention, rehabilitation, support and development. These concepts are considered to be pivotal to the socio-economic development of people with disabilities.


The consultation included panel discussions on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of people with Disabilities, the law and people with disabilities in Saint Lucia and the building code—is it disability  friendly?


The consultation was held under the theme “Strengthening the policy and legislative framework for people with disabilities.”

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