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Chair of the Simulated Head of Government Conference, Dr Ena Trotman Jemmott, receiving the petition for the ‘Decade of the Disabled’ from Eudalie Wickham-Ashby, Vice President of by the Barbados National Organisation of the Disabled (BARNOD).

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President of the Senate of Barbados, Her Honour Senator Kerryann Ifill, delivering remarks to the Simulated Head of Government Conference, yesterday.

Persons with disabilities must insist on inclusion

In order to be included, persons with disabilities need to be present.

According to Her Honour Senator Kerryann Ifill, “We have to infiltrate and insist on being part of the discussion.” She said this was the conclusion reached at the inaugural meeting of Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) in partnership with the Nova Scotia House of Assembly held the first conference of its kind, bringing together over 50 Commonwealth Parliamentarians with disabilities, carers and parliamentary officials from eight of the nine regions of the CPA, from August 31 to September 1, 2017.

The President of the Senate of Barbados shared the outcome with representatives of the Simulated Head of Government Conference “Opening Doors for the Disabled Community”, hosted by the Barbados National Organisation of the Disabled (BARNOD), yesterday.

“Participants gathered from all corridors of the globe to discuss issues of concern to all of us. Under the guidance of the Speaker of the House of Nova Scotia, the Honourable Kevin Murphy – himself a wheelchair user – we explored many interesting topics of similar importance,” she revealed.

“I am therefore extremely pleased to be associated with this activity – resting assured in the knowledge that as we continue along the path, we are heartened by how far we have come and we are ready to go further to realise objectives that we all embrace – that is – to create a region that not only provides for us, but truly includes and embraces us.”

Senator Ifill also observed that “the situation of persons with disabilities must occupy the minds of all right thinking”.

“It is for this and many other reasons that events like this one are so essential. It is our responsibility to continue to ventilate the issues that are of significance to our sector because our challenges and triumphs do not impact only those of us living with disabilities – but our mothers, fathers, spouses, children, etcetera.”

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