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UWI MONA: A SHINING EXAMPLE FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

“Nothing about us, without us” is the mantra for persons with disabilities globally. I have drawn for this quotation amidst a sensationally written article in the Gleaner on Sunday May 21, 2017, captioned: “Disappointing the disabled- UWI plans to make the Mona campus disabled friendly-going at snail’s pace.” In the article, the author sought to assess UWI Mona’s efforts to make the institution friendly for persons with disabilities and in this assessment, basically gave the institution a failing grade.

WHAT MORE CAN WE DO?

Persons with disabilities are an integral part of any society. However, they have not been treated with the level of respect and dignity that they should. After years of advances, many still view these individuals as persons who should be confined to their homes or be placed in infirmaries. They are still being viewed as individuals who should be on welfare rather than being involved with gainful employment.

WE NEED REAL EMPOWERMENT; NOT HANDOUTS

On Monday October 3, 2016, an article was published in the Jamaica Gleaner, chronicling the experience of the National Youth Service (NYS) in getting placements in the private sector for persons with disabilities that they have recruited and trained. It is a heart rending story that was outlined by the NYS because persons with disabilities are willing to make the effort to be trained and ultimately, employed.

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