The lift being used by the differently-abled

Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 09, 2019 (SKNIS): The Cibes A5000 lift at Government Headquarters in St. Kitts and Nevis was officially commissioned on Monday, December 09, 2019, marking another concrete step to improve the functional participation of the differently-abled in society.

Osbert DeSuza, Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, noted that the suggestion to install a modern lift that goes all the way to the top floor at Government Headquarters was made in 2018. The idea was readily embraced by officials and the services of RBP Lifts – a company based in Trinidad and Tobago, was contracted. Mr. DeSuza said that the lift has been quite useful as he has used it to take seniors to the top floor of the building for private meetings.

The Republic of China (Taiwan) partly funded the installation of the lift. Taiwan’s Resident Ambassador to St. Kitts and Nevis, His Excellency Tom Lee, stated that his government was proud to participate in this project.

“I’m glad to see that the lift is working so … now people can enjoy the convenience this lift can bring to us,” he stated.

St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, said that today’s commissioning ceremony represented “a powerful symbolism that we must not lose sight of.”

“With this elevator, we could not wish for a better metaphor to show how this Team Unity administration is lifting the importance of inclusion and accessibility by those who are differently-abled and have special needs right into the heart of government,” Dr. Harris stated. “To some, an elevator may seem like a small step but the ability to more easily interact with government officials and the government at large that serves us all must be a profound one.”

The prime minister also recalled the historic moment on September 27, 2019, at the United Nations when he signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He stated that the Convention will serve as the guide for ongoing developments in St. Kitts and Nevis and called for the private sector and non-governmental organizations to join in the efforts to enhance the lives of the differently-abled.

Additional measures taken by the government to enhance the lives of persons with disabilities include constructing access ramps to public areas including sidewalks and buildings, appointing social officers to interface directly with special associations, and enhancing social protections for the differently-abled, to name a few.