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Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 11, 2019 (SKNIS): The Departments of Social Services and Community Development organized a workshop for persons with disabilities under the theme “Empowering through Knowledge – Everyone Matters”, which took place on February 11 at the Mc Knight Community Centre.

The workshop featured various topics including availability and accessibility to counselling services, accessibility to affordable houses by the National Housing Corporation (NHC), availability of benefits for persons with disabilities and the roles of Gender Affairs, Community Development and Social Services in assisting persons with disabilities.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Community Development, Gender Affairs and Social Services, Janelle Lewis Tafari, said that the ministry is primarily responsible for the special subset of persons in the population who needs special care and attention which include persons with disabilities.

“Every government, including the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that all citizens can enjoy a decent standard of life. The Ministry that I spearhead is well aware that there are several gaps when it comes to ensuring that persons with disabilities are able to enjoy that quality or standard of life that they are entitled too,” she said.

She said that the ministry received assistance from the European Union to create a policy for persons with disabilities that is now in its draft form and that there are some key points that they are implementing from the policy already.

“This workshop is an attempt to increase awareness amongst you as to what services we have available for you and how you can access them,” she said, while alerting the audience that they will have various speakers from the ministry, and social security addressing them throughout the day.

She told the participants that the department is filled with resources that are there for their benefit and encouraged them to utilize the resources that are available to them.  

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