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Disability Audit of Port Project/ International Day of Persons with Disabilities

The International Day for Persons Disabilities is celebrated today throughout the world with events and community programmes. The theme this year is “Transformative solutions for inclusive development”.

In keeping with that theme, the Montserrat Association for Persons with Disabilities is marking the occasion by launching its community consultation on the Montserrat port project. This forms part of a Caribbean wide audit of the disability inclusion aspects of major capital projects funded by the UK under the UKCIF Programme. The audit is being led by consultants engaged by the Caribbean Development Bank and funded by FCDO.

Craig Brewin, the Head of Campaigns for the MAPD, speaking at the recent regional meeting of Disabled People’s International, said “this audit follows on from the publication of the FCDO’s new Disability Strategy earlier this year and it is a great piece of work for us to be involved in.”

MAPD reported to DPI that the past year had been a good one for the organisation. It started with the association’s disability sports day, which was followed by invitations to speak on disability and the Overseas Territories at several global meetings and conferences, including in Northern Island and at the University of the West Indies. The association, which celebrated its 10th anniversary earlier this year, has now also accepted an invitation to join the Commonwealth Disability Forum.

Brewin said that the personal highlight for him was meeting former US Senator Tom Harkin, who in 1990 introduced the Americans with Disabilities Act into Congress. “He is still an inspiration,” said Brewin. “And is still carrying on the work through his Institute at Drake University.”

MAPD is also working with the Montserrat Government to help develop its own disability policy which is due to be published next year.