Jamaica: According to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the disability act came into effect on February 14, Monday. The Ministry had urged the people of Jamaican to encourage the decision by wearing royal blue and celebrating the milestone.
The Jamaican government has implemented the act under its “Respect-Ability: Disability Rights Mater” motive.
Dione Jennings, the Ministry’s Chief Technical Director, stated, “The ground-breaking legislation will “promote, protect, and enhance the full and equal enjoyment of persons with disabilities (PWDs) in terms of privileges and benefits that they can obtain, on an equal basis, with other persons in society.”
“The Disabilities Act emphasises that we as Jamaicans must ensure and accept, as well as reinforce, that persons with disabilities have the same fundamental rights as anyone else in society,” she said at the Universal Service Fund’s (USF) Special Groups Program launch at the Portmore Self-Help Disability Organization in Portmore.
“It will ensure that their rights are respected, their dignity is protected, and discrimination against people with disabilities would be prohibited and prevented,” she continued.
The Chief Technical Director welcomed the act and further claimed that the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD) will be not just a department of the government but will be a body corporate. The corporate body will now function under the Public Bodies Management Accountability Act.
Furthermore, Alando Terrelonge, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, has urged PRDs to register for the JCPD and access the benefits provided by the government. He further notified that around 500,000 Jamaicans have been living with disabilities, and only 40,000 have registered with JCPD.
He continued and explained that the person could access start-up projects worth $150,000; similarly, a group of persons can have as many as $400,000.