Minister of Social Development and Family Services Donna Cox receives a copy of the Trinidad and Tobago Association for Hearing Impaired Strategic Plan from TTAHI president Nicholas Cumberbatch following their meeting.

Minister of Social Development and Family Services Donna Cox has said that as the lead government agency tasked with responsibility for championing the improvement and enhancement of the lives of persons with disabilities, her ministry is resolute in working diligently on behalf of the deaf and hard of hearing in society.

She said so as the ministry commemorated World Hearing Day 2022.

This year’s theme “To hear for life, listen with care” focuses on the importance and means of hearing loss prevention through safe listening.

She said the ministry’s effort of working diligently in this disability, is evident by the ongoing support for the work of the Trinidad and Tobago Association for Hearing Impaired (TTAHI).

Cox said during a recent meeting with TTAHI, “significant strides have been made for a more inclusive approach to the delivery of social services. Among these were deaf awareness sessions and sign language training for staff of the ministry, which were aimed at raising awareness of the challenges and needs of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.”

She also noted that the ministry continues to progress in its digitalisation efforts which will include several inclusive platforms to ensure that all disability stakeholders, including the deaf community, is well served and catered to, in an effort to provide a better quality of life.

Among other matters raised at the meeting were governance and accountability; integration of deaf/hard of hearing into public sector opportunities; and further training of sign language interpreters.

The minister also appealed for sign language training to be adopted by staff members of financial institutions, the media, and other targeted ministries and Government agencies.

She also urged members of the public to get tested for their hearing in order to identify any ear-related diseases in a timely manner and action appropriate care.

The ministry said it continues to fulfil its mandate in advocating for and supporting people with disabilities, to ensure that no one is left behind.