Column: MP Simmons-Wade On Inclusivity

December 12, 2023 | 1 Comment

Ianthia Simmons-Wade Bermuda Feb 2020[Opinion column written by MP Ianthia Simmons-Wade]

In a world where differences often divide, Bermuda has taken a resolute stance toward inclusivity and support for persons with disabilities. The recent initiatives and concerted efforts by the Progressive Labour Party Government to commemorate the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities signify a pivotal step toward creating a more equitable and welcoming society.

The recognition of this international day is not merely ceremonial; it’s a clarion call for awareness, understanding, and action. It’s an acknowledgment of the challenges faced by persons with disabilities and a pledge to uphold their rights, dignity, and well-being. The theme for this year, ‘United in action to rescue and achieve the sustainable development goals for, with and by persons with disabilities,’ resonates deeply with Bermuda’s commitment to fostering a more inclusive community.

Central to this commitment is the recognition that inclusivity is not a passive pursuit but an active, collective endeavor. The call to integrate persons with disabilities into every facet of political, social, economic, and cultural life within Bermuda isn’t merely a suggestion; it’s a mandate for progress. The Sustainable Development Goals [#10 and #11] serve as guiding beacons, emphasizing the imperative to reduce inequity and create inclusive, safe, and sustainable human settlements.

It’s heartening to witness the proactive approach taken by Minister Tinee Furbert and the Ministry of Youth, Social Development, and Seniors. The recent panel discussion on ‘Understanding Disability in the Workplace’ was an illuminating testament to the commitment to break down barriers. The engagement of stakeholders, including Lisa Reed, Sacha Richardson, Malika Cartwright, Sherrie Lynn Lilley, and Keith Simmons, showcased a collective determination to address discrimination in employment due to disabilities. Their insights underscored the need for proactive measures by employers, emphasizing that fostering an inclusive workplace culture isn’t just an option but a necessity.

Moreover, the strides made towards establishing a National Disability Register are emblematic of the Progressive Labour Government’s forward-thinking approach. A centralized repository for accurate data on persons with disabilities isn’t just a bureaucratic exercise; it’s a foundational step toward informed policymaking. This register, coupled with the development of a disability app, holds the promise of empowering persons with disabilities, ensuring they have access to vital information and services.

The collaborative efforts between Bermuda and the United Nations Development Programme signify a commitment to learning from successful models, like Jamaica’s national disability register. The sharing of knowledge and financial support extended by UNDP underscore the global recognition of Bermuda’s efforts toward inclusivity.

However, these initiatives aren’t isolated endeavors; they’re interconnected strands weaving a tapestry of inclusivity. They symbolize a collective ethos that believes in embracing diversity, challenging stereotypes, and providing equitable opportunities for all.

In closing, Bermuda stands at the cusp of transformation—a transformation that embraces every individual regardless of ability. It’s a collective journey toward a Bermuda where persons with disabilities don’t just exist but thrive. Let us stand united, shoulder to shoulder, in building a Bermuda that exemplifies the beauty of inclusivity—a Bermuda that’s truly home for everyone.

- Ianthia Simmons-Wade, Member of Parliament, Warwick North East, Constituency 25

Read More About

Category: All

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Tucker says:

    Bermuda discriminates against the LGBTQ community.

Leave a Reply