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President of the Barbados Council for the Disabled (BCD), Senator Kerryann Ifill (third from left) sits with members of the congregation after the service.

 
   

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Persons with disabilities are contributing members of society

3/5/2012

“DO not regard persons with disabilities as objects of pity or recipients of charity.”

This was the directive from President of the Barbados Council for the Disabled (BCD), Senator Kerryann Ifill.

The Senator made these comments during her welcoming remarks at the Council’s church service to mark the beginning of the Month of the Disabled at the Breath of Life Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Whitehall, St. Michael yesterday.

She advised members of the public to take the opportunity to engage in the various activities spread throughout the month in order to have a better understanding of persons with disabilities.

“Often, we are segregated and told that we would be contented to be amongst ourselves. However, I invite the public to find activities in order to commemorate and understand that we are not objects of pity or recipients of charity. We are your brothers and sisters; we have value. Give us the opportunity to shine to show [our] value and [our] worth and in that way your lives will be enriched. Our lives, too, will be enriched by an opportunity to share with you,” she said.

She continued by stating that just as disability had the ability to touch the lives of any person, the BCD community embraced persons from all strata of society.

“Disability is not something that is sidelined to one or the other of a denominational affiliation; therefore it was decided that we share our message with all people on occasions such as these,” expressed Senator Ifill.

She furthered that the Month of the Disabled was not the only time to remember persons with disabilities; however, it provided the Council with the opportunity to encourage others in the community to recognise that persons with disabilities were contributing members of the society.

“Therefore, as I bring greetings on behalf of the community of persons with disabilities, I leave you with one thought: In what way can you enrich the lives of people around you? How can you, as a person with or without a disability, make an impact so that when you leave this place others will say it was good that she or he was here?” she concluded. (JM)

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