Video: National Disability Register Launched

April 25, 2024 | 0 Comments

The National Disability Register was officially launched at an event yesterday, with the register designed to “keep a centralized database of accurate and current data on persons with disabilities” which will help guide policy to “facilitate targeted support and deliver appropriate resources to advance inclusivity in Bermuda.”

Minister of Youth, Social Development, and Seniors Tinèe S. Furbert said, “It is with immense pride that I stand before you today, for a significant milestone in Bermuda’s history — the launch of our first-ever National Disability Register.

“Since 2020, the Government has worked on this Throne Speech initiative, and we are proud to be delivering on our promise.

“The National Disability Register allows the Ministry of Youth, Social Development and Seniors to keep a centralized database of accurate and current data on persons with disabilities.

National Disability Register Launch Bermuda April 2024 (3)

“This will provide key information about the types of disabilities persons are challenged with, which will in turn identify gaps in the areas of programmes, services and special equipment needed.

“The in-depth data will guide policy in healthcare, education, and accessibility initiatives – to facilitate targeted support and deliver appropriate resources to advance inclusivity in Bermuda.

“Empowering persons with disabilities through accurate data representation is crucial for promoting and encouraging active participation in society. Which further aligns with the Government’s five-year National Plan for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities and their Families, which launched in May 2023.

“As an Occupational Therapist having worked with persons with all abilities, I am keenly aware that often when we live with a disability, an impairment or even a health condition, we like to keep it private and do not disclose; to avoid experiencing any potential stereotyping, most specifically in a small Island like Bermuda.

“I understand the importance of privacy and the reluctance to disclose disabilities in a society where stereotypes linger. Yet, today as we gather for this launch, I remind you that persons with disabilities often bear the brunt of societal inequities.

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“Therefore, I challenge everyone to partner together and share a vision for Bermuda that is inclusive for all. In doing this, we can collectively progress towards not only achieving the sustainable development goals, but we can break down barriers, we can challenge stereotypes and we can create a Bermuda where persons with disabilities can fully participate and thrive.

“On behalf of the Government of Bermuda, I am deeply grateful for the collaboration and support we’ve received along this journey. From the invaluable input of the United Nations Development Programme to the dedication of our government departments, community organizations, and support agencies, it has truly been a collective effort.

“I want to send a special thank you to the team at Ageing and Disability Services for their dedication in making this register a reality.

“To all of the support agencies with pop up stalls today, thank you for the work you do for our community and for offering information for persons with disabilities.

  • The App can be downloaded at Bermuda Disability Register – or on Apple and Google Play stores.
  • For more information please contact Ageing & Disability Services on 292- 7802 or email
  • Additional information will follow in the coming months and will shared across all media platforms to ensure the community is kept abreast on how to participate with the National Disability Register.

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“It is only through our collective efforts that we can build a Bermuda where no one is left behind. Thank you.”

UNDP Assistant Resident Representative, Kimberley Wilson said, “Today, we celebrate the Government of Bermuda’s bold step in accelerating efforts to increase access to information and services; advance inclusive development; and create an enabling environment so that all persons with a disability who dare to dream of contributing more fulsomely to their personal development and their country have that opportunity to do so.

“Bermuda has taken another important step in highlighting its commitment to promoting the voice and participation of vulnerable populations including an estimated 3,000 Bermudians with a disability, through the launch of this the groundbreaking National Disability Register Application.

“This centralized platform for collecting, storing, and managing crucial data on persons with disabilities provides a user-friendly interface that facilitates electronic registration and verification of critical data for Persons with Disabilities. UNDP is of the firm view that the benefits will be monumental.

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“For policymakers, service providers, and researchers, the register will provide accurate and up-to-date data on the prevalence and characteristics of disabilities in Bermuda, to guide evidence-based decision-making.

“In the next phase, persons with disabilities will have access to a wide range of accessibility services tailored to their demands and needs.

“UNDP has been pleased to provide technical and financial support for this important facility in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth, Social Development and Seniors. Minister Furbert, I applaud you and your team’s progressive vision for inclusive development anchored on expanding access to opportunities for those conventionally left behind.

“Persons with Disabilities have a right to contribute to policies and decisions which both directly and indirectly affect them. Consequently, collectively, we must systematically dismantle barriers which prevent their meaningful participation in national development efforts.

“One billion persons or a fifth of the world’s population experience disabilities, of which 80% reside in developing countries.

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“In Bermuda, the unique geography and the varied needs of the community exacerbates challenges related to accessing life-saving information and resources; voice and participation on policy and legislation; and access to social and economic benefits.

“In times of crisis, Persons with Disabilities are often hardest hit and easily overlooked. They are disproportionately impacted by unemployment and other social issues which limit their ability to contribute to national development processes and realizing their personal dreams.

“Our continued investments in widening their access to social and economic resources will contribute to creating innovative, critical thinking change-makers and thought leaders who can help redefine the 21st century.

“To this end, we must strengthen and expand partnerships on solutions to build a more sustainable and resilient world that champions their contribution to development.

“Only recently UNDP successfully partnered with the Government of The Bahamas on the Accessibility app which has brought job listings, geotagging for crisis relocation, deaf interpretation, and soon, accessible transportation for persons with disabilities in that country. We have been pleased to commission the app developer, Mr. Conville Brown to uniquely tailor this trailblazing innovation to the needs of Bermudians. Please give him a round of applause as we celebrate the rise of home-grow, innovative, Caribbean centric solutions from our very own people to address our development challenges.

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“Inclusive partnerships must leverage and adapt appropriate technology to accelerate our shared aspirations and to level the playing field. Therefore, facilitating access to Information and Communication Technologies [ICTs] is a great equalizer and life changer.

“This is why UNDP regards digitization as an important enabler of our global mission to end poverty, inequality and exclusion while building resilience to crisis. Our Global Digital Strategy outlines our commitment to inclusive design that can empower vulnerable populations.

“Furthermore, UNDP plays a crucial role in advocating for the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities on a global scale and is available to provide guidance on policies and programmes that promote equal opportunities and accessibility.

“UNDP Multi Country Office in Jamaica’s Social Resilience & Inclusion Portfolio is anchored on these important principles. Our partnership with the government of Bermuda on the Disabilities Register is therefore perfectly aligned to our country programme and values, and perfectly poised to help achieve SDG 9 [Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure] and SDG 10 [Reduced Inequalities].

“Notably, inclusive development is not only critical to achieving the nation’s digital transformation agenda, but also Bermuda’s Economic Development Strategy, and its broader vision 2030 plans aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs].

“UNDP would like to commend the Government of Bermuda for your heightened efforts to create an enabling environment where persons with disabilities feel valued, supported, and empowered to thrive.

“It has been our honour to partner with Minister Furbert and the team from Ageing and Disabilities Services in expanding this stellar work. We are available to support any future digitization and inclusive development solutions that ensure development outcomes are enjoyed by all.

“I urge all persons with disabilities to partner with your government on this important initiative by attending the registration drives. In so doing you ensure your government is better positioned to tailor fit for purpose services and policies to improve your lives.

“Let us recall the words of president Barrack Obama who said: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek”. Thank you.”

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