Blind community speaks out against govt. neglect

Members of the Bahamas Alliance for the Blind and Visually Impaired organization have claimed unfair treatment as it has reportedly been overlooked and more or less neglected by those in government.

President of the organization Desmond Brown told media last week that he and members of his organization are often overlooked and that their access to training institutions and material that can help them get by are limited.

Brown added that any printed materials, they are actually provided with, are often not written in braille or provided electronically to accommodate the blind or visually impaired.

“Another challenge that we have is the challenge to employment,” said Brown.

“And for us to get adequate employment we must have access to education and training.

“If our training institutions are not equipped for persons who are blind and visually impaired, it means that we are not getting the education that we need and it means that we are not getting the jobs that we can do.”

Brown also said the public is not always understanding with members of the blind community and feel agitated with their demands but, he said, their demands do not surpass those they have a right to make.

“We have the right to participate fully in society. We are equal human beings and they should provide the necessary things so that we can get by in life.”

Brown said a national commission was formed so that he and members of his community would be able to voice their concerns.

However, he said, during the last year or so, the board has not been as active as it should be.

He said that he has been assured by the relevant authorities that things will soon change.

“They are organizing themselves into a strong force to make sure that they do the work that they are constitutionally mandated to do,” explained Brown.

“And to make sure that the rights of persons with disabilities, in general, are protected.”

There was no specific date or time frame given as to when the revised board would come into effect but, Brown said, he and his members will do their best to inform people and advocate for their community during Blindness Awareness Month.

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This article was written by GINELLE LONGLEY, Eyewitness News intern.