Sunday December 30 2007
The Antigua and Barbuda Association for Persons with Disabilities (ABAPD) will be holding its first general meeting on the 9 Jan., to discuss certain pertinent issues relating to the organisation and its members. The meeting will be held at the Potters Health Clinic at 5 p.m. Topping the agenda for the meeting will be the ratification of the convention for the rights of persons with disabilities. “We are hoping that we will be one step closer to the ratification of the convention,” Louise Herbert, public relations officer of the ABAPD said. Herbert told the Antigua Sun that the organisation was unable to keep any meeting last year because of various setbacks. “Normally we have a general meeting to inform the organisation as to what are the happenings, what are going to be our plans and what we have already done,” Herbert added. “But, the organisation was not able to have any for this year 2007.” The PRO said that they will be discussing a number of other topics including their transportation needs and what they intend to do about it. The lack of transportation has been affecting members from getting around to meetings and other activities relating to the organisation.
“Transportation was one of our major setbacks for this year; we really could not have done as much as we could have without transportation. That’s one of our key issues right now,” Herbert said. “As an organisation, we can’t depend on the government to give us transportation because we are a non governmental organisation and we have to therefore solicit the assistance from the private sector and the general public so that we can get funds to purchase transportation.” The government has however come through and vehicles built specifically to suit the needs of individuals with disabilities, have been secured and handed over to UN Ambassador Dr. John Ashe and are to be shipped from the US to Antigua and Barbuda shortly. Executive members will be formulating plans to deal with better organisational commitments and more involvement of the regular members. “We are also trying to see if we can plan early for the International Day for the Disabled,” Herbert said. ABAPD is a cross-disability umbrella organisation that represents the Disabled Peoples’ International in Antigua and Barbuda. ABAPD is guided by the aims and objectives embodied in its constitution in advocating for the rights and equality of individuals with disabilities, while providing support and services where possibl