An Abaco Branch of the Bahamas National Council for the Disabled (BNCD) was established under the name – The Abaco Council for Disability – on April 12.
Newly elected President Linda Simms will lead the Abaco council.
She explained that the mission for the Abaco Council for Disability is to open an adult training center for the disabled; to open a daycare center for children with special needs; distribute cards for filling prescriptions at the pharmacy or for doctor’s visits; and to provide food for the disabled.
The work of the council is dear to her heart as a person who “is challenged with her eyes,” and while living in Nassau, she saw the need for something to be established on Abaco for those with disabilities. Her 26-year-old daughter is not excluded from the challenged faced by the disabled as she suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder better known as ADHD.
As with any organization in its developmental stages, more people are needed to assist the council. President Simms’ most urgent plea is for the council’s membership to grow because manpower is needed. Membership is only $20 annually with $3-monthly dues.
“I’m hoping for able-bodied people to come onboard,” she expressed. “You can go to bed and wake up disabled the next day. I want to make a better living for those with disabilities because disability comes in many different forms. I want the disabled not to hide themselves because life is not over just because they have a disability.”
Upcoming plans for the Abaco Council for Disability include the members securing a booth at the Murphy Town Homecoming on May 21 (Whit Monday) to raise funds for the council as well as another fundraiser planned for June to raise awareness and additional funds.
President Simms said there will be essay writing competitions offered among students to sensitize the community about people living with disabilities. She would also like to acquire a Braille machine, and introduce mop making and pillow making once the adult training center is set up.
The council would also like to obtain wheelchairs, crutches, undergarments, bed pans and other much-needed supplies to assist those with disabilities as the need arises. Applications to apply for handicapped decals were distributed during their meeting on May 3, so that those who are disabled can have access to handicapped parking spots.
Undoubtedly, monetary donations are also needed to help the Abaco council achieve its ambitious goals.
President Linda Simms can be contacted at 699-1182, if you would like to make a donation or require more information about The Abaco Council for Disability.
President Simms is ably assisted by a dynamic executive team made up of: Gwen Martin, vice president; Marva Mercius, secretary; Carol Elaine Martinborough, assistant secretary; Eleanor “Novie” Stuart, treasurer; and Felicity Hield, asst. treasurer.
The next meeting for The Abaco Council for Disability is scheduled for June 7 at the Dundas Town Burial Society. All are welcome to attend.