The way I see it, persons with disabilities, ought to be given as much assistance as possible – WHENEVER and WHEREVER possible.
As a matter of fact, I am of the considered opinion, that anybody can become disabled – AT A MOMENT’S NOTICE!
I am certain that I could not have been more than seven years old. I was playing close to the roadside of our Fenton Hill home, with some of my siblings. As we played, we saw this guy passing by, he was different. His manner of speech was peculiar and he attracted our full attention.
In our childish, immature way of thinking, we started to poke fun at him and had a good laugh.
We did not understand what he was saying, in response to our ridicule, but I am willing to bet that if his words were to be interpreted properly, it may well have been some EXPLETIVES DELETIVES!
Well I newa!
Suddenly our joyous world was to be turned upside down and we received a teachable moment, IN REAL-TIME. I do not know where our father appeared from, but he meted out a lashing to those of us present, with the warning that we must respect people who are different and they are not to be laughed at. Since then, I learned my lessons well and I have the utmost respect for persons with disabilities and for their widely varying talents.
The aforementioned guy, eventually became a good buddy of mine, as we later interacted many moons later. I was then a Public Health Inspector and he was the Market Keeper at the Gingerland Market. I knew him just as GAY-GAY. At the time of my childhood, he was a Plumber, I think.
Fast forward to the present time.
Earlier in this month, there was a focus on persons with disabilities and I must congratulate Dr. Glenville Liburd and his team for the tremendous awareness work that they have done and continue to do, in order to make people more aware of the contributions of such persons and the fact that anyone can become disabled at any time.
Today, I salute Mr. Wrenford Dore. Formerly of Radio Paradise fame; later, Choice FM and now 20/20 Vision Radio. Wrenford has a vision impairment, but there are certain things that he is capable of, that persons with 20/20 vision (no pun intended), cannot do. This guy is a genius, when it comes to managing the board controls at a radio station, or even properly setting the controls for the board at a concert or in a church setting. He also has a memory like an elephant.
That guy can tell you phone numbers as if he has a directory somewhere in his head! Not to mention the fact that he is one of Nevis’ finest when it comes to singing.
I salute Kennedy, who has a craft shop in Zion hill. Kennedy is deaf and dumb, but you may not easily discover that fact when you see his handiwork. The guy is a genius when it comes to craft. He conducts business at the banks and supermarkets like any regular person and you cannot fool him with money. He can read and write.
As a matter of fact, I was shocked one day, when I received a WhatsApp message from a strange number. Only for the person texting, to reveal after a few exchanges that it was indeed Kennedy. The next day, he sent me a picture of a truck that had overturned in Zion. I think he was telling me: “You are the newsman, here is some news!’
I also salute Mrs. Jennifer Liburd, who has worked at the now Cecely Browne Integrated School ( a school dedicated to persons with disabilities), for a whopping 35 plus years. That is dedication.
I don’t remember the name of the guy, but he was from Cotton Ground. He was absolutely blind, but the legend goes, that nobody could husk out coconuts faster than him.
I also remember the day, as a little boy, when the Police at the Gingerland Police Station, arrested the man I knew then, as BLIND MALONEY. I was fuming, with my youthful energy, wondering how the Police could be so insensitive. Only to find out later, that BLIND MALONEY was in the habit of selling the illegal substance, HAMMOND, right there in his house, located close to the Police Station, right under their noses.
Well I newa!
Of course, there are many more, but I just wanted us to recognize the fact, that some persons may be born with disabilities, while others may acquire such during life’s journey and that we should when we can, seek to assist such persons, in any way possible.
Remember Jesus went about doing good for persons like these and he wants us to follow in his footsteps.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?