Preparations are at an all-time high in Antigua and Barbuda as the country gets set to host a major international conference.
The Ministry of Social Transformation, Human Resource Development and the Blue Economy in collaboration with the Antigua and Barbuda Association of Persons with Disabilities (ABAPD) and the Caribbean CBR Network will host the 5th CBR/CBID Continental Congress of the Americas on October 25th – 27th at the Royalton Resort.
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Association of Persons with Disabilities, Mr. Bernard Warner said the conference will bring hundreds of people to the shores of the island to discuss issues relevant to the lives of disabled people.
“Hosting of this Congress is a phenomenal milestone as Antigua & Barbuda will be the first Caribbean Island to host. It aims to achieve rehabilitation, equalization of opportunities and social inclusion by involving people with disabilities in community development processes,” Warner said at a press conference.
Meanwhile, Social Transformation Minister Dean Jonas said the hosting of the 5th CBR/CBID Continental Congress of the Americas is but one of the many initiatives undertaken by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda to advocate and provide dedicated support for the disabled community in Antigua and Barbuda.
“In 2017 the Disabilities and Equal Opportunities Act was passed. Legislation that provides a clear and comprehensive national mandate to facilitate the elimination of existing cases of discrimination against persons with disabilities. In 2018 the Ministry of Social Transformation, Human Resource Development, and Blue Economy completed a phase one mapping of Barbuda and several urban communities in Antigua using Kobo toolbox, a free open-source tool for the mobile data collection on persons with disabilities,” Jonas said.
The Ministry of Social Transformation also reaffirmed its commitment to the most vulnerable and the disabled community within Antigua & Barbuda Dean Jonas vowed that the Government of Antigua and Barbuda will continue to strengthen its commitment to support persons with disabilities through further development and implementation of laws, policies and programs targeted toward rehabilitation, equalization of opportunities and social inclusion for the disabled community.
Initially launched by the WHO, Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) contributes to the social inclusion of people with disabilities, the improvement of their quality of life and fulfills the rights of persons with disabilities in the region.