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Eight "adjustment to Blindness" Technicians Trained

Editor's Note: This article is reprinted from the Stabroek News, Guyana, December 23, 2005.

The Caribbean Council for the Blind (CCB) on December 19 held a graduation ceremony for eight students who completed an "Adjustment to Blindness" technician training programme. A press release from the Government Information News Agency (GINA) said the objective of the programme was to equip technicians with the necessary skills to train families of visually impaired persons to assist them in dealing with the challenges they face in their day-to-day life.

Minister in the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security, Bibi Shadick, during her presentation, urged persons to be more sensitive about the way they deal with persons who are blind.

"We must give these persons support but not patronize them or treat them with pity since they are normal human beings," she said.

She added that many visually impaired persons had low self-esteem and this sometimes caused them to be confined to a home or maybe to a room for most of their lives.

"It is my hope that, with the assistance of these technicians, we will see more of these persons walking the streets, going to church and participating meaningfully in the society," the minister said.

Speaker of the National Assembly, Ralph Ramkarran, said new legislation was soon to be passed in the National Assembly and it will cater for the needs of visually impaired persons. He also urged that persons who construct large businesses and other buildings be more sensitive and make provisions for blind persons.

The eight graduates are expected to assist 40 persons annually for the next five years. There are an estimated 7,000 visually impaired persons in Guyana.

Executive Director of the CCB, Arvel Grant, and local Programme Manager, Charles Van Dyke, were also present at the graduation ceremony.