Unit for the Blind launches week of activities

first_imgBlindness Awareness Month 2019The Education Ministry’s Unit for the Blind launched a week of activities on Monday to observe Blindness Awareness Month 2019 which is done in the month of May.Students at the Unit performing a musical rendition at the launching (Education Ministry photo)Head of the Unit for the Blind, Haslyn Richards said that the Unit offers support to students that are in mainstream school. He said that this support is offered so that students that are blind or visually impaired can have quality education and accomplish their dreams.Richards is quoted by the Department of Public Information as saying that parents of children who are either blind or visually impaired should give their child a chance to explore. He said that when children explore, they learn new things.He advised that children must not be left out of the classroom. He said that they must be encouraged to ask questions, make new friends and participate in activities which would also help to build the child’s self-esteem.Moreover, he remarked that Monday’s activity is good to raise awareness. He said that the public must realise that persons that are blind or visually impaired have normal lives and should be treated like normal people.Roydon Maynard, who shared the history of the Unit, said that the 144 Albert Street building was commissioned on May 7, 2013.Prior to having its own building at Albert Street, Maynard explained that the Unit was housed at the St Rose’s High School for 33 years, during which time it catered to the needs of a number of students up to the CSEC and GCE Advanced Level.According to Ashley Gittens, a teacher in the Unit, Monday’s event sought to showcase the resources used to educate the blind and visually impaired students. Some of the items displayed came under various categories including craft, braille, technology, home economics and agricultural science.Today, there will be a prize-giving ceremony, on Wednesday the Unit will host a career day and on Thursday, there will be an internal games day for the teachers and students. To end the week of activities, there will be a trip to Fort Island in the Essequibo River.The week of activities was officially declared open by the Principal Education Officer, Volika Jaikishun, who said that the Education Ministry has grown to have its own Unit in Georgetown. However, she advised that in all of the administrative regions, the Special Education Needs Unit has centres that can cater to the needs of students that are blind or visually impaired.She encouraged persons to take advantage of the opportunities that are available and to advise others to do the same since currently there are many stories of persons who are blind or visually impaired living satisfactory lives.>last_img read more

Bush says Democrats are irresponsible

first_imgWASHINGTON – The political brinkmanship over Iraq war spending intensified Tuesday, as President George W. Bush said congressional Democrats had “undercut the troops” by passing legislation that ties continued war financing to mandated timelines for the withdrawal of American combat units. Bush used a morning news briefing to renew his promise to veto emergency war spending bills with the withdrawal provisions that have passed in the House and the Senate. He blamed Democrats for a growing impasse, saying they had been irresponsible in pushing bills they knew he would not sign. “Instead of passing clean bills that fund our troops on the front lines,” he said, “the House and Senate have spent this time debating bills that undercut the troops.” By speaking Tuesday from the Rose Garden, Bush was seeking to seize the stage in an increasingly heated standoff over war financing that carries political risks for both sides. Democrats immediately struck back, blaming the president for forcing a deadlock that has delayed the release of money for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. In his appearance on Tuesday, Bush alternately exhibited playfulness and annoyance, but issued a similarly pointed call for cooperation. “If Democrat leaders in the Congress are bent on making a political statement, then they need to send me this unacceptable bill as quickly as possible when they come back,” he said. “I’ll veto it, and then Congress can get down to the business of funding our troops without strings and without delay.” Bush said during the news briefing that the wrangling over the language of the war financing bills threatened to have a serious effect on the troops themselves. He said that if he did not receive a bill he could sign by mid-April – and he has said he can only sign a bill “with no strings attached” – then the Army would be forced to consider curtailing equipment purchases and repairs and delay the training of National Guard and Reserve units. If the standoff goes into mid-May, he said, the Army would have to delay the training of active-duty units, which would affect tour schedules by prolonging the stays of personnel already in Iraq and Afghanistan. Democrats have argued that Bush made no such complaint last year when Congress, then held by Republicans, did not approve an emergency war spending measure until late spring. And the bill in the House, they said, would mandate that the president follow Pentagon policy limiting deployments and requiring a set period of rest between deployments – one year for the Army; 210 days for the Marines – or obtain waivers to ignore them. Each side is betting that it is correctly gauging the public mood. “We represent the American people’s views on this failed war,” Sen. Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, said in his home state, Nevada, where he toured a National Guard complex. Reid released a statement that said: “The president’s policies have failed and his escalation endangers our troops and hurts our national security. Neither our troops nor the American people can afford this strategy any longer.” The remarks from each side were among the most heated in the confrontation so far. They were made while Congress was in recess for the Easter holiday, but with Democrats unwilling to give Bush an open shot while they were away. Bush warned that a failure by Congress to approve the $100 billion he had requested for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would prolong some tours in Iraq and shorten time at home between tours for others. “That is unacceptable to me,” he said. “And I believe it is unacceptable to the American people. “It’s one thing to object to the policy, but it’s another thing when you have troops in harm’s way not to give them the funds they need,” he said. Among the signs of Democrats fighting back are an online petition begun by the presidential campaign of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, expressing opposition to the veto that Bush has threatened for the bills that would attach timelines for withdrawal to the release of the war financing. “Mr. President, please work with us,” Clinton said in a statement on Tuesday. “Don’t veto the will of the American people.” last_img read more