More than 11,000 persons living with Disability in Guyana

─ Commission on Disability survey finds

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The National Commission on Disability has recently presented findings of the National Household Survey for persons with disabilities to the respective regions. The survey was conducted in Regions 2, 3, 5 and 10 while a pilot was done in 2016 in Region 6.

Initial findings indicate that 11,713 persons are living with a disability in Guyana. Further, of the five regions surveyed, Region 3 topped the list with the highest number of persons and Region 6 following closely behind with 3,262.

Surveys were conducted in Region 10 during the period November 1 to December 7, 2017, Region 5 during the period April 12 to May 31, 2017, Region 3 during the period July 11 to September 10, 2018 and Region 2 during the period May 17 to June 30, 2017. Disabilities were categorised as Physical/mobility disability, visual/seeing disability, hearing/speech disability, learning/cognitive, mental health and medical/other disability.

By region, the percentages of categorised disabilities are as follows:

Category Region 2

 

Region 3 Region 5 Region10
1,249

cases

3,896

cases

1,588

cases

1,718

cases

Physical/mobility disability 40.1% 33.7 38.7 31.5
Hearing/speech disability 20.6% 16.9 20.2 16.4
Learning/cognitive disability 7% 11.7 8.6 14.3
Visual/seeing disability 23.1% 29.2 18.6 28.5
Mental health 7.4% 5.4 10.5 6.9
Medical other type disability 1.8% 3.2 3.3 2.4

The 3,262 cases in Region 6 were surveyed based on needs specifically related to assistive devices, type of therapy/medical care needed while 186 of this number were singled out as those employed at the time of the survey.

Advocacy and Communications Officer attached to the National Commission on Disability, Avonel Corrica stated that the data gathered by the commission now becomes useful not only to them but several government ministries and policy makers.

Corrica gave examples such as when the government prepares a budget, plans the construction of new facilities or the addition of new programmes, the requirements of persons with disabilities, will become a major determining factor. Also, to cater for the hearing and speech impaired, public institutions and buildings will be expected to have in place, persons specialising in sign language to help with communication.

“We want to ensure that we have figures to place to issues when it comes to disability in the regions because we don’t want to assume that there is a certain amount of persons with disabilities in the region and there is nothing to actually validate. So, we did this survey to ascertain their needs their capacities, what assistive devices they might need as well as some services they are entitled to for instance education relating to the disability act.”

This survey has also highlighted to the commission, the number of unregistered persons with disabilities currently residing in the country. Corrica noted that with this information, the Guyana Society for the Blind has already tapped into the commission’s database to reach this demographic.

Image: Abike Barker

 

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