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Antigua and Barbuda receives ‘A’ grade for its care of the disabled

The president of the Antigua and Barbuda Association of Persons with Disabilities, Bernard Warner, has given the government an ‘A’ grade for its legislative efforts to ensure that differently-abled people are treated with respect and well cared for.

His evaluation was made on Friday, following the celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3.

Warner said that the high grade being given to Antigua and Barbuda is also based on its ratification of the UN Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and passing the Disability and Equal Opportunity Act which forms part of the fulfillment of its obligations as a signatory to the UN Convention.

As a result of the legislation, Warner said his organisation has been able to ensure that the human rights of persons with disabilities remain protected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I highlight the issue of legislation because it is significantly important for our community (the disabled) to understand the legal framework and what is out there for them to seek recourse and address the issues that they themselves would not normally be able to address legally with their situation,” Warner said.

Warner, however, noted that there are still issues faced by people with disabilities in Antigua and Barbuda. 

He said the government is working to ensure equal opportunities for the disabled in healthcare and education, among others, to guarantee their full inclusion in all aspects of society.

The UN General Assembly declared 1981 the first international Year of the Disabled. 2020 marked the 39th occasion of its observance.  

The Gaston Browne administration moved to introduce the Disabilities and Equal Opportunities Act in 2017 which made provisions for the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities and other matters which affect their lives.

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