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Oct 13, 2016

Special Envoy for Women and Children Hosts Regional Disability Conference

Kim Simplis Barrow

Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow is hosting a regional partnership conference for children with disabilities. Simplis Barrow invited spouses of Prime Ministers in CARICOM and Presidents in SICA countries, as well as leaders in disability care and education, to share best practices for better inclusion of children with disabilities in the region. The day and half conference held under the theme “Breaking Barriers for an inclusive society and empowerment for children with disabilities” kicked off today in Belize City. News Five was there:

 

Kim Simplis, Special Envoy for Women & Children

“Inclusion is about valuing all individuals, giving equal access and opportunities to all. And removing discrimination and barriers to the participation to all persons in all aspects and facets in society. Yes, all those all’s are necessary because the truly inclusion embodies the concept of without exception. That is our mission over the next day and half, to critically examine the nature and scope of problems and barriers facing children with disabilities and to identify concrete actions and that we can take together in addressing these issues within our region. And there are new challenges that have been added to the equation, as our discussion on Zika will highlight. Certainly, Belize is no exception. We have had our successes but there is still much to do in terms of creating and enabling an inclusive environment. Things like making public building and spaces wheelchair accessible, universal screening and detection of disabilities in newborns and infants, capacity building for service providers including teachers, adequate coverage of rehabilitation, care and support services. All of these are works in progress for us. I also believe there is a definite need for public education on the issue of disabilities. We know many children with disabilities face stigma and discrimination that leads to their exclusion. The root causes of stigma and discrimination are really a lack of information, a lack of exposure.”

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