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July 31, 2004

Legislation could soon allow the deaf to drive

From: Jamaica Observer, Jamaica - Jul 31, 2004

Observer Reporter
Saturday, July 31, 2004

GOVERNMENT is preparing draft regulations that will allow deaf persons to drive motor vehicles, Senator Floyd Morris announced recently.

Morris, who was speaking in the Senate, noted that the amendment to the regulations to allow deaf persons to obtain driver's licences should be completed in the current parliamentary year.

Morris, the minister of state for labour and social security, who is blind, also appealed to the private sector to employ more disabled persons.

"There are members of the community who can be gainfully employed but just can't pick up a job because individuals believe that they should be confined to their homes due to their disability.

"This attitude is wrong and we must do everything to help disabled individuals who are not looking for hand-outs, but rather want to get an opportunity to participate meaningfully in the development of the society," said Morris.

He also appealed for better access to public buildings for the disabled.

"We have to be conscious of the fact that without access, members of the disabled community will become immobile and this will make life extremely difficult for them," Morris noted, while praising the recent initiative by Kingston Mayor Desmond McKenzie to enforce the existing regulations of allowing the disabled to park on any public road.

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