L to R – Sharon Rogers, Director of the Disability Affairs Unit; Debbie James (3rd Place Winner); Kelesa Williams (1st Place Winner); and Chief Technical Officer, Michael Reid. (Image courtesy Ministry of Social Development and Family Services)

The winners of an ICT Poster Competition hosted by the Disability Affairs Unit (DAU) of the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services, recently got their prizes, after sharing their visions of how ICT could make society more inclusive for persons with disabilities.

In winners’ row are Kelesa Williams in first place; Lesley Joseph in second place; and Debbie James in third place.

The jubilant winners received their prizes—which included a tablet, vouchers and special commemorative memorabilia—from Jacqueline Johnson, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services, on Tuesday 10th August 2021, during a brief ceremony at the Ministry’s Head Office in Port of Spain.

The contest, which attracted 14 participants from across the country eager to respond to the theme “What does an ICT Inclusive Society Mean to You”, targeted persons between the ages of 16 and 35 years.

It was geared towards generating a greater awareness on issues that are related to disabilities, as well as to reduce the myths and stereotypes surrounding persons with disabilities and their ability to be productive members of society.

The contest’s panel of judges was headed by then Acting Director of the DAU, Therese Herrera, and used several criteria to assess the entries: originality; adherence to the theme; visual impact and/or appeal; and explanation of the submission.

Of the 14 entries submitted, six were shortlisted as they reflected the concept of “inclusive ICT as well as accessibility for persons with disabilities”.

The competition was held during the period 12 April to 14 May 2021, as a part of the year-long commemoration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which is observed annually on December 3rd.

A release from the Social Development Ministry noted that through this initiative, the DAU hopes to build a body of work that may be archived for reference. 

The Ministry said the contest also re-affirmed its commitment to building an inclusive, safe and nurturing environment for persons with disabilities, and falls in its mandate to promote activities to highlight inclusion, equity and equality for persons with disabilities.