Government Action on Disability Policy
A Global Survey
Part II - Government Replies as Country Profiles
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© Dimitris Michailakis 1997
Ministry unspecified (30 may 1996)
The rights of persons with disabilities are protected by general legislation. The judicial mechanism adopted to protect the rights of persons with disabilities is due process (legal remedy through the courts), administrative and other non-judicial bodies include an Ombudsman.
The general legislation applies to persons with different disabilities only with respect to: education, employment, the right to marriage, the right to parenthood/family, political rights, access to court-of-law, right to privacy, property rights.
No new legislation concerning disability has been enacted since the adoption of the Rules.
There are no special transport arrangements for persons with disabilities. Disabled drivers though, are allowed to some duty free concession, on a case by case basis. When planning to build accessible environments the most difficult obstacles are: lack of legislation and regulations, lack of enforcement mechanisms. There is a disability awareness component incorporated in the training of planners, architects and construction engineers.
Sign language for deaf people is recognized as the official language of deaf people and is also used as the first language in education of deaf people. There are no Government measures for encouraging media and other forms of public information to make their services accessible. No services are provided in order to facilitate information and communication between persons with disabilities and others.
Organizations of persons with disabilities
There is a national umbrella organization representing all disability groups. There are no legal provisions mandating the representatives of persons with disabilities to participate in policy-making and to work with Governmental institutions. Organizations are always consulted when laws and regulations with a disability aspect are being prepared. Consultations take place at the national level. The Government gives financial support to organizations. Disabled people participate to a very limited extent in Government, legislature, judiciary, political parties and to a great extent in NGOs. The organizations in Saint Lucia have the role to: advocate rights and improved services, mobilize persons with disabilities, identify needs and priorities, participate in the planning, implementation and evaluation of services and measures, contribute to public awareness, provide services, and promote/organize income generating activities.
The adoption of the Standard Rules has led to a rethinking of the approach to disability policy.
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