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(PRESS RELEASE) — The Saint Lucia Blind Welfare Association (SLBWA) on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 gave a glowing welcome to a new and historic initiative by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) to introduce into circulation, new Eastern Caribbean currency banknotes that bear “blind recognition features”.
The SLBWA is also pleased that the ECCB officials found it appropriate to engage the organization as a key stakeholder ahead of its own unveiling of a campaign launch, to introduce the new currency notes in the near future.
Executive Director of the Blind Welfare Association, Anthony Avril, and President of the Executive Counsel, Glen Simon, were among five representatives who attended the meeting. Other members were: Second Vice President Jazzy Smith; visually-impaired employee of Gros Islet RC Church, Carmina Espeleta (SLBWA Administrative Finance Assistant) and former Executive Council member Yasmine Houson, a blind employee of CIBC First Caribbean Bank.
Avril described the move as “seminal to global, regional and local efforts to promote the empowerment, inclusion and accessibility of blind and visually impaired persons to meet the standards enjoyed by their sighted counterparts.
Moreover, empowering individuals with capacity to verify hard printed money bills independently, meets a fundamental requirement of Democracy”.
Asked what he admired most about the ECCB initiative, Simon explained that the target population would not have to know braille to identify the new denominations and the public in general, especially persons who conduct business at night may find learning the tactile features of the denominations very useful.
The SLBWA team further praised ECCB for this inclusive and indelible contribution, on behalf of print disabled citizens of the Organization of East Caribbean States (OECS).
The ECCB presentation team comprised: Sheran Ferdinand, (Resident Representative, St. Lucia); Shermalon Kirby Gordon (Communications Manager); Rosbert Humphrey, (Acting Director Currency Management Department).
The ECCB officials were extremely happy with SLBWA’s positive response.