The completion of the extensions to the facility housing the Bahamas Association for the Physically Disabled (BAPD) School on Dolphin Drive is part of the Government of The Bahamas’ plan to ensure there is equal and equitable treatment for persons with disabilities. Addressing a Dedication and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony held Wednesday (June 19) at the BAPD School, Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell said equal and equitable treatment and inclusion for the community of persons with disabilities should be the norm, not the exception. The Ceremony was attended by Governor General, Her Excellency the Most Hon. Dame Marguerite Pindling, who performed the ribbon-cutting ceremony and delivered the keynote address. Minister Campbell categorized Dame Marguerite’s participation as “special, momentous and an honour.” Her Excellency demits office as Governor General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas on June, 28, 2019.
Minister Campbell said: “I feel in my heart that this should be the norm and not the exception. Our conversations about the community of persons with disabilities always centre around inclusion; always centre around accessibility; always talk about equal and equitable treatment for all and so I am pleased that I can be a part of the realization of a thing that could bring some of that equal and equitable treatment; a thing that could facilitate accessibility; a thing that could speak to inclusion. It is a real honour and privilege just to be a part of this ceremony.” The extensions include a front entrance covering that will allow students, parents, administrators and staff uninterrupted access to the facility during inclement weather, and a pavilion at the southern side of the facility that will allow students greater access to the outdoors. Workmen also installed a swing set and sand pit for the children’s enjoyment.
They are the result of an assurance given by Minister Campbell, a little over three months ago, during a Handing-Over Ceremony for the new generator donated by the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development to the BAPD in February, 2019. (The donation of the generator was the result of an initial assurance by Minister Campbell during a previous visit to the facility in September 2018 — just two months after he assumed the office of Minister of Social Services and Urban Development.)“I felt honoured to be able to hand over the keys to the generator back in February because it would mean no further interruptions in services and programmes for the children when there were interruptions in electricity service,” Minister Campbell said. “But in assessing the facility, I saw there was a need for some other things to be done. Two of those things included the need for a front entrance cover for our children, parents, administrators and staff to be able to get in and out of the building freely whether there was sunshine or rain. I further noted the lack of a space for the children to be able to go outside and play, learn, and/or enjoy the outdoors and so I asked myself the question: ‘Why shouldn’t the children be able go outside and play just as all of the children who attend schools do.’ And so we began the process that led to the completion of the extensions we are now dedicating today. “To see the manifestation of a dream to some, a wish for others and a need for many, come to a reality to make life more comfortable for the children, the staff and the business that goes on here, is remarkable and I am just so honoured and proud to be here,” Minister Campbell added.