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Parents urged not to isolate children with disabilities

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Director of the Centre for Disability Studies at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus, Senator Dr Floyd Morris, is encouraging parents not to isolate, exclude or discourage a child with a disability, but to do everything to ensure that the child will be the best he or she can be.

He was addressing the recent launch of Child Month 2019, held at the GraceKennedy Office in downtown Kingston.

Child Month will be observed during May, under the theme 'Encourage, Enable, Include Me', with a focus on children with disabilities.

Senator Morris said he is very excited about the future of Jamaica, in the context of persons with disabilities. “There are a number of individuals and institutions getting involved and are making sure that the message gets out that children with disabilities can be whosoever they want to be and become a success story,” he said.

However, he said that “we have to encourage, enable and include these special children, so that they will be able to accomplish their dreams”.

Meanwhile, UNICEF Education Specialist, Dr Rebecca Tortello, who brought greetings at the launch, said that Jamaica was the first country to ratify the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities in 2007, and that was followed by the National Disability Act in 2014.

She noted that in recent years, UNICEF Jamaica has proudly supported the development of a revised curriculum for children with moderate to severe learning disabilities, with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.

Several activities will be undertaken in May by the National Child Month Committee (NCMC), along with several of its partners and sponsors.

Highlights of the Month will be the National Church Service, which will be held on Saturday, May 4, at the Kencot Seventh-day Adventist Church, 10-12 Osbourne Road in Kingston, beginning at 11:00 am. Churches across the island are being encouraged to host services focusing on children during the month.

On Friday, May 17, National Children's Day will be observed. On the day, adults are asked to take time out to recognise and appreciate the children, while paying special attention to those with special needs. Persons are also asked to wear sunshine yellow in observance of the day.

For Wednesday, May 29, a Day of Prayer will be held at the Maranatha Gospel Hall, 7 Deanery Road. Jamaicans are being encouraged to join the NCMC in praying for the nation's children.

Sponsors for Child Month 2019 are GraceKennedy Limited, the National Baking Company Foundation, Jamaica Producers, Jamaica Broilers Group of Companies, and the Sagicor Foundation.


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