8 December 2020
International Day for Persons with Disabilities (IDPWD) is recognised each year on 3 December. This year’s theme was ‘Not all disabilities are visible’, focusing on spreading awareness and understanding disabilities that are not immediately apparent, such as mental illness, chronic pain and fatigue, or sight or hearing impairments.
In recognition of IDPWD, St Helena’s Active Participation in Enterprise (SHAPE), organised a seminar at Prince Andrew School for invited guests.
The seminar started on Tuesday, 3 December, at 10am, with an opening speech by SHAPE Manager, Marianne Young-Crowie. In her speech, Marianne said:
“Today, here on St Helena, we want to give recognition to our people with disabilities through acknowledging their strengths and commitment in a range of occupations. We want to encourage them to continue in their development of employability skills, become confident and become their own advocators for decreasing the employment gap.”
Invited Guests in attendance included the Acting Governor, Elected Members, staff of SHG and Enterprise St Helena, Miss St Helena, representatives from the Equality & Human Rights Commission, and members of SHAPE as well as their family and friends, all of whom were dressed in the colour purple to recognise and show their support to people with disabilities.
The seminar consisted of presentations, delivered by seven guest speakers, which focused on the IDPWD theme, St Helena’s Disability Legislation, an introduction to CASH (Career Access St Helena), and a success story from an individual who has been accepted into employment.
There was also a Zoom session with Flying Charity – Areobility. This session allowed invited guests to hear how the charity employed people with disabilities and their commitment to developing and growing people with disabilities.
A certificate of excellence was also presented to disabled and vulnerable persons working under the Occupational Therapy Scheme, run by the Children & Adults Social Care Directorate. The certificates were awarded to commend persons for their positive outlook on life and their sterling attitudes towards developing employability skills.
Community Disability Manager, Nicolene Adams, remarked:
“The certificates that was presented to all our people on the Occupational Therapy Scheme is too acknowledge their commitment, hard work, resilience, and dedication in the variety of jobs they each do. We particularly want to say thank you to each of you for inspiring us with your positivity towards life and for making staff smile each day. Thank you to all parents and guardians who support our service to improve and enrich the lives of your loved ones and a special thank you to all staff at SHAPE, Community Care and Day Care Service who work to maintain dignity, increase skills and build confidence to improve the lives of our service users.
“People with disabilities have the right to be able to function in society to the fullest physical, mental, social and vocational usefulness of which they are capable. With a holistic approach towards disabled people and towards their rehabilitation we can help them to achieve these goals. Whether we’re disabled or not disabled, whether we work in Government or in the public, private or third sector – each and every one of us has a role to play.”
8 December 2020