Guide dogs for the blind get Minister’s nod
One government minister was pleased to see Richard Phipps, Barbados Jubilee Honour awardee accept his medal while assisted by his guide dog, Bart.
Phipps who is blind admitted that during his four-day stay here, he experienced some difficulties when attempting to travel around the island with his guide dog.
Therefore, during his recent presentation to the students of the Irving Wilson School, he took a moment to emphasize the need to "embrace guide dogs because they can enhance the lives of others and make live a lot easier for persons with an impediment."
Extending his gratitude on behalf of the students and staff, the Minister of Education, Ronald Jones said:
"I was quite pleased to see the presence of a guide dog in Barbados because I'm well aware that they are still some restrictions in Barbados in relation to the use of guide dogs etcetera, [and] this is something we have to change.”
Noting the challenges faced by Phipps, Jones urged that change needs to occur and each person has to make a difference by their actions.
“This is a society we have to become - more comfortable with the presence of dogs to assist those who can't see or are vision-impaired to move around the society because they too have a right to participate in everything that this society and economy provides.”
Using Phipps as an example of all that could be achieved once persons with disabilities are allowed to access resources and be included in the society, he added, “I am also pleased that you've been able to achieve so much in your life and you're recognized for arts, culture and all of that in the Massachusetts and your participation in Barbadian organizations.
“That says to me that you are a well-rounded human being. There are so many of us that are not as rounded as you appear to be. You're here at the Irving Wilson School pretty much giving back to the blind proves that you are able to in your outreach present this enhance vision reader to the school."
He applauded Phipps for his generous contribution to the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, the government and the people of Barbados.
"I am always pleased when an individual or entity are able to reach out to our schools. They are always needs to be met. The government spends a lot of money on education but that a lot of money is never enough. In every society we would find that there are always demands and needed assistance. Those who can come forward to give assistance and to give help is truly appreciated by the Ministry of Education, the government and of course the people of Barbados."