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HomeNewsPress ReleaseGovernment ministers experience the pain of society's blind

Government ministers experience the pain of society’s blind

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Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): Several ministers of government got a first-hand experience of some of the challenges the blind and partially-sighted face when navigating their way through Basseterre by participating in an activity dubbed “Experience My Pain.”

The activity on Friday (May 19, 2023) saw Ministers the Honourable Samal Duggins and Marsha Henderson, as well as Minister of State, the Honourable Isalean Phillip, who holds responsibility for Ageing and Disabilities, blindfolded and walking from the West Basseterre Bus Terminal to several points along the Basseterre Bay Road.

Minister Duggins described his experience having walked to Ram’s Supermarket.

“It was very interesting because with the lack of ability to see, your sense of smell, your hearing seems to be a little better, and so I picked up directions from persons voices as I was walking. Of course, the concern was always tripping over the sidewalk but outside of that, it was a pretty interesting experience,” said Honourable Duggins.

Honourable Henderson said that she was humbled after her walk to the National Museum.

“It makes us consider the things we take for granted. Those of us who have all our faculties don’t necessarily have a full appreciation for those who don’t have their eyesight and so for me, it was very, very humbling,” she stated, adding that along the way, she asked her guide to step back so that she can try navigating on her own.

The minister found herself going off course several times and had to be corrected. She had high praise for social workers who assist the differently-abled, commending their dedication and patience.

Minister Phillip pointed out that the surface of the road made her walk to the General Post Office a bit more challenging.

“It’s certainly food for thought for us just in terms of the way we can improve our environment, especially our infrastructure so that we can better … accommodate persons who are blind,” Honourable Phillip stated.

“Experience My Pain” was organized by the Department of Disability Services and the St. Kitts Society of the Blind. It formed part of activities to promote blindness awareness month observed regionally during May annually.

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