Government is moving to implement a tax concession for private vehicles specially equipped for transporting persons living with disabilities. Added to this, government will examine the feasibility of providing a tax rebate on cell phones with accessibility features for persons with visual or hearing impairments.
“These two initiatives will solidify Government‘s commitment to equity and inclusion for all its citizens through the use of Information Communication Technology,” said Minister of Finance, Mr. Winston Jordan during his presentation of the 2019 National Budget on Monday.
According to the Minister, Government is committed to building capacity and improving the quality of life of persons living with disabilities. In this regard, he said that the National Commission on Disability commenced the execution of a National Household Survey of Persons with Disabilities in Regions Two, Three, Five, Six and 10, which will guide decision-making, policy formulation and service delivery.
“We need to recognise that persons with disabilities are still willing and able, if given the opportunity, to contribute to the workforce,” said Minister Jordan as he noted that government in 2018 provided vocational skills training to 114 persons with disabilities and has made provision for another 140 to be trained in 2019.
Further, he said that the Open Doors Vocational School, which was established to offer technical and vocational training to persons with disabilities, has included after-school activities such as martial arts, swimming, football, cricket, dance and drama.
But Government is prepared to do even more for persons with disabilities. As such in 2019, Jordan said that a special Montessori classroom, designed to develop the critical thinking skills of children with mental disabilities, will be built at the Centre for Stimulation and teachers will be trained in this methodology. According to the Finance Minister too, all special needs teachers are now benefitting from a risk allowance, which became effective in January 2018.