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JCPD Launches Accessibility Checklist to Remove Barriers for Persons with Disabilities

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#Kingston, December 5, 2023 – The Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD) has launched the Accessibility Checklist, which is designed to identify architectural and communication barriers encountered by persons with disabilities in private and public facilities.

It is a valuable tool to assist in the removal of barriers, as it can be used to survey an entire facility or specific areas and components of the facility.

The checklist is not a replacement for the appropriate national building codes.

In his remarks at the launch, held today (December 4) at the AC Hotel by Marriott Kingston, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., said the checklist is a show of the Government’s commitment that “we are putting in place the framework and the environment to allow accessibility to be a reality”.

“This Accessibility Checklist is just one element of a range of things that the Government has been doing and will continue to do to ensure that accessibility is for all. We started two years ago with the legislation that was pivotal in creating that framework – the Disabilities Act and the accompanying Regulations, he noted.

“That Act is a very important cornerstone in terms of our social development strategy,” Mr. Charles Jr. added.

The Minister argued that the checklist is not a solution to all things, adding that “it is complementary, and it is not a replacement for compliance with the national building codes”.

“Instead, it is to serve as a guiding beacon for us to raise awareness and dispel ignorance amongst those who are entrusted with the planning and developing of buildings [and] facilities for individuals with disabilities across Jamaica,” Mr. Charles Jr. said.

For his part, Minister of State in the Ministry, Dr. the Hon. Norman Dunn, said the Accessibility Checklist is an instrument for change and is a testament to the Government’s commitment to inclusivity within Jamaica.

“The launch of the Accessibility Checklist is not just an event; it is a beacon illuminating our journey towards a more inclusive society and the Jamaica that we all want. Let me express my heartfelt commendation to JCPD for their tireless effort in orchestrating this momentous launch,” Dr. Dunn said.

He noted the Accessibility Checklist, crafted in collaboration with the JCPD and the Bureau of Standards Jamaica, is more than a document.

“It is a tool designed to pave the way for society where every individual, regardless of their abilities, can navigate structures and systems with much ease. It stands as a reminder that our commitment to inclusivity is not confined to rhetoric, but translates into tangible instruments that bring about change,” Dr. Dunn said.

Meanwhile, Executive Director of the JCPD, Dr. Christine Hendricks, reiterated that the checklist is not a replacement for the building codes but that it will work in tandem to ensure that specific access is made to persons with disabilities.

She informed that the accessibility checklist speaks to issues such as signage that gives information and direction.

“There is a section that speaks to parking, and the parking that we are talking about includes facility parking, entrance to parking lots [and] the number of accessibility spaces,” Dr. Hendricks said.

The accessibility checklist also covers topics such as public restrooms, public telephones and water fountains, meeting rooms, restaurants, guest rooms, hazards and emergency, elevators and automated teller machines and accessibility for the worldwide web.

For more information on the accessibility checklist, persons may visit the JCPD website at https://jcpd.gov.jm/.

 

Contact: Latonya Linton

Release: JIS

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Trinidad Makes Big Energy Commitment

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#TrinidadandTobago#Energy, February 20th, 2024 – To diversify its energy mix as well as its economy, Trinidad and Tobago is putting focus on energy transition for development, working on a solar project which will potentially change energy production for the nation.

This was announced by Prime Minister Keith Rowley at the opening of the Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo 2024 in Guyana on February 19th.

Expressing that energy is the center of economic development, Rowley highlights why this development is significant. He says in order to transform the energy system to cater to the growing demand for energy while decreasing global emissions, a broad mix of energy is needed.

He further mentions that this is what’s required of producer economies like Trinidad and Tobago for development.

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Irish Humanitarian Organization in Haiti – Address Hunger Crisis and More

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#Haiti#Crisis#ConcernWorldwide, February 2oth, 2024 – Seeing that Haiti’s humanitarian crisis worsens day by day with too many Haitians, hundreds of thousands, edging the line to severe deprivation of food, Ireland’s largest aid and humanitarian agency Concern Worldwide is addressing major food insecurity. 

 The organization in a release said “ “We are providing food assistance, via electronic vouchers to help families purchase food from local vendors so that they can feed their families and prevent malnutrition in children as the situation worsens.”

They are also working to provide Haitians with clean water and sanitation as the waterborne disease Cholera continues to threaten lives, killing more than 1,150 people in 2023.

And, they provide referrals for cases of sexual and gender based violence in Port au Prince.

Concern is supported by funding from USAID, receiving €2.1 million (euros) to help over 30 thousand people in the hunger crisis as well as €1 million (euros) yearly from the Irish Government for its work in Haiti.

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Why the Haitian President’s Wife – Martine Moïse – was charged with his 2021 Assassination

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

#Haiti, February 21, 2024 – Martine Moïse, the widow of Haiti’s assassinated President Jovenel Moïse, is being charged for involvement in his July 2021 murder, according to recent reports on Monday February 19th, 2024.

She is charged for complicity and involvement in criminal associations.

In his report, Haitian Judge Walther Wesser Voltaire reveals there were questionable actions related to Martine Moïse as well as statements that simply didn’t add up.

For instance, Voltaire states that she mentions hiding under the marital bed for safety during the attack on her husband, but authorities expressed that this claim is illogical, saying that a giant rat measuring “between 35 and 45 centimeters,” could not fit under the bed.

This is due to the fact that the gap between the bed and the floor was 14 to 18 inches, according to the indictment.

Considering these revelations, Voltaire states that her claims were “so tainted with contradictions that they leave something to be desired and discredit her.”

There are other suspicious actions by Mrs. Moïse, reported by the Judge, as revealed by Lyonel Valbrun, former Secretary General of the National Palace.

Voltiare’s report says Valbrun claimed there was pressure from the late President’s wife to make available to Claude Joseph, former Prime Minister, office space for the organization of a Council of Ministers.  Additionally, Valbrun reported that Martine Moïse dedicated hours to remove objects from the Palace during the days leading up to her husband’s murder.

Joseph, like the former first lady is also being charged for complicity and involvement in criminal associations.  Also, they were both injured during the attack on Jovenel Moïse.

The accusations against Mrs. Moïse, reports say, are also based on information from Joseph Badio, former official in Haiti’s Justice Ministry, who is accused of being involved in planning the Haitian president’s 2021 assassination.

According to the indictment, linked in  Voltaire’s 122 page report highlights Badio “outing” Mrs. Moïse for plotting with others, Joseph included, to kill her husband to gain power.

Joining Joseph and Moïse with charges is Léon Charles, ex-chief of Haiti’s National Police, carrying the worst of the charges including, murder, attempted murder, illegal possession of weapons, conspiracy against the state’s internal security, and involvement in criminal associations.

Haitian-American pastor Christian Emmanuel Sanon, former DEA informant Joseph Vincent, presidential security chief Dimitri Hérard, former senator John Joël Joseph, and judge Windelle Coq, are also among the accused, some already sentenced and some handed over to the US to face Federal charges.

Media reports have exposed that after a two and a half year investigation, there are still unanswered questions.  And, despite going into details about the assassination, it fails to reveal the motive behind it and how it was financed.

A separate case on Moise’s killing is being tried in Miami.

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