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Disability Policy a Success

Implementation planning for the Cayman Islands first national disability policy has already made considerable progress since the document was approved by Cabinet on 7 October 2014.

Recommendations for the 2015/16 budget have already been submitted to Ministries by an inter-ministerial task force responsible for finalising implementation planning.

The Policy was developed by the Cayman Islands Disability Policy Steering Committee, coordinated by the Cabinet Office and supported by Policy and Legal subcommittees. Stakeholders represented on these groups were from Special Olympics Cayman Islands, Rotaract Blue, the Lighthouse School, Sunrise Centre, the Ministries of Education, Health, Community Affairs, the Attorney General’s Chambers, Department of Children and Family Services, Government Information Services, and parents’ groups.

Also, a Legal subcommittee produced a report recommending legislation to advance the rights of persons with disabilities. Such legislation will include the creation of a Council to act as a watchdog for policy implementation.

Implementation of the disability policy and associated legislation will set the foundation for the Cayman Islands Government to request via the United Kingdom that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities be extended to the Cayman Islands.

To celebrate the passage of the landmark policy, a reception was held on Tuesday night, 28 October 2014 at Government House.

Commending the committee for their hard work over the year, Steering Committee Chair Mr Robert Lewis remarks, “My job as coordinator was made fairly easy by dedicated and highly knowledgeable participants on the steering committee and on the policy and legal sub-committees.”

He went on to thank stakeholders from civil society, the private sector and Government for their commitment and dedication towards achieving the vision of the policy, which is “Ensuring persons with disabilities live with dignity, are respected and have the opportunity to participate fully in society.“

A copy of the approved policy is now available online at www.gov.ky and www.cabinetoffice.gov.ky.

(GIS)

For further information contact: Suzette Ebanks