We have been very giving to the disabled community, Max says

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Lionel “Max” Hurst, government’s chief of staff and former ambassador to the United Nations (UN), in an interview yesterday with OBSERVER media, said that the government of Antigua and Barbuda has been quite magnanimous when it comes to the plight of the disabled within the society.
“We have been very, very generous to the disabled community. As you know, we went to the parliament and put in place a piece of legislation to protect the disabled and also to ensure that they get a seat at the table. We have appointed people who are disabled for the purpose of demonstrating that we live not only by words, but by deeds,” Hurst stated.
He added that president of the Association for Persons with Disabilities, Bernard Warner, is well known to all of the ministers within the cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda because, at some point, Warner has visited each of them.
He added that the recent protest action by the association at the Wood’s Shopping Centre was on private property, however, Warner and his association are seeking for the government to intervene on their behalf even though the government currently only has jurisdiction over parking in public areas. The chief of staff pointed out that this may pose a bit of a problem but the government is looking to overcome that hurdle by way of regulations.
Hurst recalled a time in Antigua and Barbuda when disabled people used to be mocked and hidden away from society. He asserted that this kind of ridicule has virtually come to an end. He praised Warner and his association for bringing the quandary of the disabled to the fore.
He also praised the Gaston Browne administration for appointing Dr. Walton Alfonso “Aubrey” Webson as the country’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations despite him being visually impaired. The former ambassador claims that the appointment of Webson has resulted in other governments also appointing disabled individuals to their U.N. posts.
He said that Antigua and Barbuda is a trendsetter in this regard.
Just last week, the Attorney General, Steadroy ‘Cutie’ Benjamin, met with Warner, officials from the Antigua and Barbuda Transport Board and the police to discuss legislation that will protect parking for persons with disabilities.
The AG then revealed that he will ensure that legal amendments are done to enshrine the rights to access of parking for the disabled. Benjamin said that the proposed amendments will be drafted and completed over the next six weeks. He reiterated the point that disabled individuals should be given special treatment and stated that the proposed amendments, along with other similar laws, will be made to guarantee that those who are challenged are given the opportunity to live freely in the twin island state.

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