Minister Persaud engages stakeholders as Learning Lab nears completion

With 95 percent complete, Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Honorable Dr. Vindhya Persaud engaged representatives from various disability organisations as well as Minister of Labour, Honourable Joseph Hamilton, to garner input soon to be commissioned ‘Learning Lab’, training and empowerment centre for persons with disabilities.

In an inspection of the facility, which is located at Mahaica, Minister Persaud explained, “This is a facility that involves a lot of stakeholders and as we move to completion and the formal opening of this facility, we invited some of the stakeholders to be fully involved in how we make this facility functional and operational. We want to ensure when the centre is fully set up, we cater for all the varieties of disabilities so that persons will feel comfortable in the environment.”

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Honorable Dr. Vindhya Persaud (second from right) along with Minister of Labour, Honorable Joseph Hamilton (extreme right) Ganesh Singh of the Guyana Society of the Blind (second from left) and Sabane McIntosh from the Guyana Deaf Association (extreme left) give feedback on the Learning Lab during the inspection

Programme Coordinator for the Guyana Society for the Blind, Ganesh Singh shared his thoughts on this move and said, “What we are seeing now is transformative and this building, from what I experienced will have a significant impact on the lives of people living with disabilities, there is now space, not just for training but recreational purposes where persons can develop and learn living skills and I must congratulate the Minister of Human Services and Social Security, the Honorable Dr. Vindhya Persaud for her vision for persons with disabilities. As we have seen since she assumed the portfolio, a lot of what is in the Guyana Persons with disabilities act 2010 as it relates to the social services portfolio would have been implemented.

He added, “What we are seeing will definitely lift persons with disabilities out of poverty… this is really making the lives of persons with disabilities a better one, a more meaningful one, and are able to claim their rightful place in society and I am very pleased with what I would have seen and what I have heard from Minister, we have come a far way…the minister’s approach of inclusivity is one we embrace of…. including people who are the beneficiaries in the process of planning so that everything is as good as it could be for implementation.”

Holly-Anne Bristol inspects some of the work done at the Learning Lab

Sabane McIntosh of the Deaf Association of Guyana reasoned, “ It’s a wonderful start, let’s hope it continues. It is a beautiful building, very clean, we were given a guided tour and access for the blind, deaf, and wheelchair users is everywhere. When this building comes to life it is going to be a fantastic social space which is badly needed for persons with disabilities.”