A physically challenged young man from Beausejour St. George’s says persons are not seeing him for the person he is but instead, classify him based on their judgment.
Kimani La Touche visited the offices of the Grenada Informer on Tuesday to relate some of the challenges that he faces as a young, vibrant, motivated and intelligent young man. He told the Grenada Informer he is a very educated and motivated young man who cannot find a job because of the way society sees him. The last time he worked was in 2008 as an Amateur Radio Operator in the Fisheries Division.
According to Mr. La Touche he said he is trying to change the perception of society. He said persons judge him by his appearance but he has never limited himself and pushes to the extreme just because he wants to show society that it is not about how one looks but the person that one is is. He said according to the United Nations, the word disabled was abolished more than a decade ago and once someone is academically qualified they should be given the opportunity to work. He noted that if anyone wants to see what disabled is like they should visit the Dorothy Hopkins Home in Tempe. However the persons there didn’t choose to there but because their parents and relatives weren’t trained to deal with their challenges they had no choice but to put them there.
Mr. La Touche highlighted that society classifies the blind, deaf and mute as disabled but that is not accurate. He added, a part of the existing constitution demands employment opportunity for all, yet companies discriminate against persons based upon their appearance and how society sees them. He went on to say that the problem and discrimination started from the Grenada Council of the Disabled because they referred to them as being disabled.
Mr. La Touche explained that since his home was built in 2004 after hurricane Ivan without any bathroom facilities or verandah, the pillars of the house have shifted from their original position and started moving. He is therefore seeking the assistance of the public since nobody wants to employ him because of how society sees him. He begs for the support of the public toward the repair of his house.
The enthusiastic young man says he is willing and certified in different areas to work but nobody wants to employ him because they see him as a disabled person while he doesn’t see himself as disabled but only physically challenged.
Earl Maitland, another young man who was in the company of Mr. La Touche has his concerns also. He quoted from the Grenada Constitution Order 1973 according to chapter 1D which says that no matter your race, place of origin, political opinions, color, creed or sex, but subject to respect the rights and freedom of others and for the public interest, has the right to work. He empathizes with the situation that Mr. La Touche is in presently because of the way that society sees and discriminates against him.