THE Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD) has extended its awards nomination period for compoanies and individuals who cater to the disabled.
The previous deadline for closure of nominations was Friday, September 21, 2012, but the organisers have extended the period to Saturday, October 6, 2012 at the Wyndham Kingston Hotel.
The winners will be presented at the inaugural Disabilities Friendly Awards Gala to be held on Monday, November 19, 2012.
The first week in November is observed as National Disabilities Week in Jamaica and the JCPD is seeking to award organisations and inspirational persons that have made outstanding contributions to improve the lives of adults and/or children with disabilities.
The function is geared at recognising, via an award, a hotel that is championing the way to create an accessible experience for persons with disabilities.
According to public education sub-committee chairman for the National Advisory Board for persons with Disabilities, Maia Chung, awards will be presented in seven categories. These are: Disability Friendly Lifetime Achievement Award, Disability Friendly Excellence in Accessibility Award, Disability Friendly Hotel Award, Disability Friendly Business Award, Disability Friendly Excellence in Special Education Award, Disability Friendly Excellence in Parenting Award and Disability Friendly Positive Images in the Media Award.
Chung adds that the Jamaica 50 Secretariat has endorsed the nation's first Disabilities Friendly Gala as an event to further enhance the lives of the nation's disabled populace.
The theme of the gala is Jamaica Removing Barriers... Creating Access which is this year's United Nation's 2012 World Disability theme.
Organisation of the event is spearheaded by the JCPD in association with the Ministry of Labour Social and Security, the National Advisory Board for Persons with Disabilities, partners and stakeholders within the disabilities sector.
Other objectives of the Gala include bringing disabilities issues to the national developmental agenda; raising funds to support the sector and promoting greater awareness around issues of accessibility for persons with disabilities to the private sector.
The event has also received endorsement from the Ministry of Tourism as well as the Ministry of Youth and Culture.