Disability is definitely not inability, as head of the Barbados Council for the Disabled, Roseanna Tudor says they can compete on the international stage.
Tudor was speaking after local silver medallist at the Worldskills Americas competition, Akeila Chapman, suggested that disabled persons should be invited to participate in upcoming competitions.
Chapman had noted seeing blind and hearing impaired persons compete in hairdressing, noting that it was something she would love to see implemented here.
Agreeing with Chapman, the Operations Manager for the council, said there were individuals here being trained who were very good at what they did.
She pointed out that institutions like First Base in Greenwich, St. James, which was struggling to stay opened, had been training youth who completed their secondary level education for the job market in similar skills.
Admitting that she did not have enough information about Worldskills and would have to research it, Tudor said though that the youth so trained here were competent.
“I would have to know more about what they showcase at Worldskills… The Learning Centre started First Base, which is a branch-off of the Centre because for years Dawn […, the director], had been trying to do this and all the young adults when they leave, the skills they learn, hair, nails, aesthetics, baking, carpentry, etcetera, they don’t get the opportunity to become employed, because equal employment opportunities for us is like one per cent,” she said.
She said she was confident the skills the students were advancing at First Base could go further. The Early Sunshine Stimulation Centre as well, she noted, was looking at instituting similar programmes for young people. (LB)