February 23, 2007
Parent advocacy group launched

After three unsuccessful attempts over the last three years, an advocacy group was formally launched here for people with disabilities.

The committee, called the Association of Parent Advocacy for People with Disabilities, was officially launched last Thursday at the Salvation Army Church in Kingstown, with parents and caregivers being awarded for their training over the years.{{more}}

According to chairperson Corletha Ollivierre, the mentally challenged and disabled do not have a voice to speak for themselves, so its is necessary for such a group to be formed on their behalf.

Ollivierre said that the group is being set up to offer assistance and training to parents and caregivers associated with the care of persons with developmental disabilities. A data base is also being developed which will outline to parents, caregivers and children, their disabilities and what type of skills they may possess.

Heavy emphasis will also be placed on public information, in an effort to receive support from all levels of the community, let the public know the concerns of the advocacy group, and provide employment for persons who are capable of working.

Meetings with professional bodies and agencies are planned in the near future, and the group will attend churches which parents and disabled persons attend in an attempt to bring awareness to the communities.

Workshops for parents and a number of area groups are also being planned in the upcoming months.

Meanwhile Minister of Social Development Mike Browne, who has responsibility for people with disabilities re-confirmed his administration’s commitment to working with civil agencies and entities, to improve and advance opportunities for citizens with disabilities.

He encouraged the advocacy group to be another strong force making smooth any rough way, and working for the pursuit of the quality of life, equality and realization for and by persons with disabilities.