MIND Hosts Discussion Forum On Disabilities Act Thursday


The Management Institute for National Development (MIND) will host a discussion forum on the Disabilities Act on Thursday (June 30), from 9:00 a.m. to12:00 p.m.

The event is being staged in tandem with the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) under the theme: ‘Public and Private Sectors’ Readiness to Embrace Jamaica’s Disabilities Act’.

It is being delivered in a hybrid format where participants will be engaged online using the Zoom platform, while others will participate physically from the JSE building at 40 Harbour Street, downtown Kingston.

The Disabilities Act came into effect on February 14, 2022, following passage in Parliament in 2014 and approval of the Disabilities Regulations in 2021.

The Act makes provisions to safeguard and enhance the welfare of persons with disabilities across Jamaica.

Director for Business Development and Communication at MIND, Prudence James-Townsend, told JIS News that among the objectives of the discussion session are: encouraging a mindset that embraces the inclusion of persons with disabilities within the workforce; promoting the rights of persons with disabilities to equal employment opportunities; sharing obligations of the employer to ensure that recruitment practices are not discriminatory against applicants with disabilities; and highlighting benchmark practices that create a more inclusive physical work environment.

Mrs. James-Townsend noted that “with approximately 17 per cent of Jamaicans [having] disabilities, all efforts are being made to enhance the full and equal employment of [these] persons, to contribute to the economic growth and development of the country on an equal basis, with other persons in the society.”

During the discussion, participants will be provided with a comprehensive understanding of the main provision under the Disabilities Act; discuss the implications of the Act on the business and public sectors; share issues that affect persons with disabilities in Jamaica; facilitate the readiness of organisations to implement the Disabilities Act; and showcase best practice in public and private sector entities that have structured their business models in consideration of persons with disabilities.

Key presenters are Interim Head of the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities, Dr. Christine Hendricks, and Director, Centre for Disabilities Studies, University of the West Indies (UWI), Senator Dr. Floyd Morris.

Other speakers will include Manager, Combined Disabilities Association, Gloria Goffe, and Chief Executive Officer, Digicel Foundation, Charmaine Daniels.

“The composition of this panel will stimulate and provoke discussions and audience engagement and will also bring diverse perspectives on the topic,” Mrs. James-Townsend said.