Walking the talk to ensure no citizen is without access to Technology

Project Co-ordinator for the Guyana Council of Organizations for Persons with Disabilities (GCOPD), Mr. Ganesh Singh, said Friday that his organization wished to publicly recognize the assistance they have been receiving from Public Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes. He spoke just before accepting fifty-nine (59) Tablet Computers and a Robotics Kit.

Minister Hughes presented the Huawei Tablets to Mr. Ganesh Singh
Minister Hughes presented the Huawei Tablets to Mr. Ganesh Singh

Mr. Singh lauded Minister Hughes for ‘walking the talk’, satisfying requests from organizations representing disabled persons for Internet Wi-fi connections and ICT devices to boost their education programmes.

Giving a synopsis of the Council’s activities, Mr. Singh spoke about the classes the Council conducts for students with disabilities writing CXC examinations, and assisting others pursuing degree programmes at the University of Guyana.

“The Ministry has a lot of plans to empower the lives of PwDs, and the recent (announcement of) tax exemptions is exactly what we want. This is the sort of holistic changes we are looking for, not just token gestures,” he said.

Mr. Singh was accompanied by highly acclaimed blind ICT teacher, Rosemarie Ramitt who was part of the team that thoroughly examined the Huawei tablet computers. They confirmed that the technology is advanced, with a lot of modern software already built in by the manufacturer.

Executive Secretary of the National Commission on Disability, Ms. Beverley Pile, expressed the Commission’s gratitude to the Government for fulfilling their promises. “We’ve heard a lot of talk over the years and there were a lot of unfulfilled promises, but this Ministry has proven the truth of the term ‘No one left behind’. The whole world is being led by technology, and it is a good feeling knowing that our people with disabilities are not being left out,” she stated.

Ganesh Singh accepts the Robotics Kit
Ganesh Singh accepts the Robotics Kit

Also present was founder of STEMGuyana to present a special Robotics kit to the GCOPD. The Council plans to set up Robotics Clubs at their special schools in Linden and Georgetown.
She said that STEMGuyana is already working with the GCOPD and the initial training programmes were “wildly successful”. Her main goal is to make sure that children from all walks of life are afforded the same opportunities.

Minister Cathy Hughes graciously accepted the organizations’ gratitude, stating that education is the key to our citizens’ development. “There is no reason to leave out those who live with disabilities. They have proven that they are equally able to pursue higher education, to teach and produce.
“No more will people with disabilities live on the fringes of society. When they ask for help we intend to see that they get it,” the Minister stated, and then mentioned the Tax Exemptions that the GRA has implemented on vehicles and smart phones purchased by PwDs.

Internet and Web Accessibility is now a HUMAN RIGHT FOR ALL, according to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Number 9.