NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The annual observance of Disability Awareness Week in The Bahamas is officially underway, with the Ministry of Social Services noting a lineup of related events scheduled for November 29 through December 4.
The week kicked off on Sunday with a church service at Bethel Baptist Church, Meeting Street. The service was livestreamed as part of physical distancing protocols to reduce the community spread of COVID-19 among parishioners and participants.
The week’s events also include the observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2020, under the global theme “Building Back Better: Toward a
Disability-inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable post COVID-19 World” on Thursday, December 3.
“The day is used as another opportunity to highlight and promote an understanding of disability issues; to mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities; and to increase awareness of the benefits of the inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. It is part of the year-round education and awareness campaign,” the ministry noted in a statement.
Also on Thursday will be a virtual town hall meeting hosted by the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities. The guest speaker for the meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 6.30pm, will be former President of the Jamaica Senate Dr. Floyd Morris.
“Dr. Morris, who is blind, served two terms in the Jamaica Senate, and is the CARICOM special rapporteur on disability, a director at the University of the West Indies Centre for Disability Studies and a lecturer and political communication specialist,” the statement read.
“Senator Morris was first appointed to the Jamaica Senate in 1998 and served there until 2007. He returned to the Jamaica Senate in 2012 and was elected President in 2013.”
Continuing with the events, Friday, December 4, T-Shirt Day will be observed as T-Shirt Day.
Minister of Social Services and Urban Development Frankie Campbell, during a contribution in the House of Assembly last week, highlighted the importance of supporting the community of people with disabilities.
“We have to think about caretakers, about the financial impacts, the financial implications, because the truth of the matter is, Mr Speaker, that not everyone who is living with a disability at this time, were born that way,” Campbell said.