Campbell: Protect rights of disabled
November 16, 2007
Campbell: Protect rights of disabled

A person without an obvious disability is only an accident; one unfortunate occurrence away from becoming a person with a disability.{{more}}

This is according to former Attorney General Parnell Campbell QC.

The veteran lawyer challenged policy makers, and citizens on a whole, to be very thoughtful when establishing polices for, or dealing with persons with disabilities.

“Persons without obvious disabilities should bear in mind that in the twinkling of an eye, an ordinary person can become a person with a disability,” Campbell said.

He was at the time addressing the Annual General Meeting of the National Society of Persons with Disabilities (NSPD) last Saturday, at the University of the West Indies Centre.

Campbell noted that to some extent each person is a “person with disability”; saying that he too has a disability; because he has worn glasses since age 10.

Campbell said that Minister with responsibility for the disabled, Michael Browne, has also become, to some extent, a person with a disability.

Last week, Browne announced that he will be bowing out of politics following this term in office. He said this is because of a persistent, non-malignant throat problem, which has been affecting his vocal cords.

Browne says that his medical problem requires daily attention.

Campbell lamented that the laws of St Vincent and the Grenadines are limited in its protection of the rights of the disabled. He said that when the laws were written, international sensitivity for the cause of the disabled had not yet developed.

However, Campbell, who headed the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC), and is now the chairman of the Constitutional Reform Steering Committee (CRSC), said that the protection of the elderly and persons with disabilities has been included in the discussions about the new constitution.