Thursday 3 December, 2020

NCPD: Disabled have been forgotten in COVID-19 discussions

The National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) is calling for inclusivity for their members amid COVID-19 discussions.

According to NCPD president Merphilus James, the organization seems to have been forgotten and no provisions have been made for the community.

Persons with disabilities, he says, are not able to get to the various supermarkets due to panic buying and stockpiling of goods, which has increased demand on supermarkets amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

NCPD President, Merphilius James

“Especially persons with physical disabilities who are bedridden who are at home isolated, who do not have the ability to go out to a supermarket to take a queue to purchase things and who are fully reliant on others."

The situation, he added, has worsened since a few supermarkets have implemented a quota system.

“If you determine how many items someone is allowed to purchase, how do you verify that they are not purchasing it on behalf of vulnerable members of their community.”

According to him, much needs to be addressed during this crisis in ensuring that the risk is not magnified moving forward.

Communication is one of the main concerns for the group; a gap he says needs filling.

“With such a wealth of information out there on COVID-19 but also lots of misinformation it is extremely important to the NCPD that we receive concrete, verifiable information on the state of this pandemic, on preventative measures, on instructions for treatment etc.

We realize there is a major deficit in information being made accessible to our membership; lots of public pronouncements and advice being given but it is not tailored to the deaf or the hearing-impaired.

Therefore the addresses and information being disseminated must include subtitles and sign language interpretation,” James declared.

According to him, there are several qualified interpreters on the island capable of doing the job.

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