Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Kelvin Charles has said that citizens have a responsibility to help people with disabilities to live as much of a normal life as possible.
He said so at the appointment ceremony of the Tobago Coordinating Committee for Persons with Disabilities (TCCD) and the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the TCCD.
The events were held at the Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development on Tuesday.
The Chief Secretary commended the Division for “recognising that persons living with disabilities deserve a level of priority” and noted the importance of inclusion and educating the wider public.
He said, “it is important for us to adopt a broader approach to the issue so that we can create greater sensitivity about the disability spectrum, acknowledging the various forms of disabilities and the needs of the people, instead of only highlighting a few main ones.”
Secretary of Health, Wellness and Family Developmen Dr Agatha Carrington stressed the need for pursuing inclusiveness and equality of all sectors in the population, and reminded all of the Division’s mandate of “leaving no one behind.”
She said, “Currently there are services available for the differently-abled through the Social Welfare Department, but that is not enough to support the differently-abled on the island.”
The Tobago Coordinating Committee for Persons with Disabilities is an amalgamation of differently-abled organisations throughout Tobago.
Following are the members of the newly-installed Tobago Coordinating Committee for Persons with Disabilities and the organisations in which they represent:
•Cordella Pantin, Chairman – Tobago School for Deaf, Speech & Language Impaired
•Dotsie Bacchus, Deputy Chairman – Technical Vocation Centre for Persons with Disabilities (TecVoc)
•Ria Paria – Secretary – Autism Tobago
•Janet Polle-Peters – Liaison Officer
•Karen Boatswain – Member - Division of Education, Innovation and Energy
•Jason Clarke – Member - Disability Unit, Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development
•Dianne Le Cointe – Member - Tobago Council for Handicapped Children – Happy Haven School
•Leeanna Alexander – Member – Down Syndrome Family Network
•Linda Phillips-Samuel – Member – Tobago Affairs Committee for the Blind and Visually Impaired
•Wren Gray – Disabled People’s International (DPI), Tobago Region