Disability Legislation and Enforcement
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A delegation comprised of senior members of the staff of Jamaica’s Ministry of Labour and Social Security, and its Department, the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities, participated in a series of insightful meetings and discussions with a total of six U.S. enforcement and compliance agencies responsible for enforcement mechanisms under the current disability legislation framework in the United States. During the visit, they discussed various issues which included but were not limited to, how discrimination complaints are investigated and adjudicated, how compliance reviews are conducted, how to promote efforts to include persons with disabilities in the workplace, the provision of technical assistance and training to internal and external stakeholders.
As a result of this cooperation, Jamaica identified several lessons it could adopt in their own context. Among the lessons learned, Jamaica highlighted the importance of public education and sensitization so as to improve the effectiveness in implementing Jamaica’s Disabilities Act. Also, they noted the importance of exploring the best way to establish systems and procedures for the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD) to establish a complaint mechanism; also to improve the number and capacity of Sign Language Interpreters in Jamaica through a possible partnership with Gallaudet and to train investigators for the JCPD to effectively do its job as a complaint and enforcement mechanism