ECCB in­tro­duces Ban­knotes for the Blind

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

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 or­gan­i­sa­tion 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, Mr. An­thony Avril, and Pres­i­dent of the Ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil, Glen Simon were among five rep­re­sen­ta­tives who at­tended the meet­ing. Other mem­bers were: Se­cond Vice Pres­i­dent, Mr. Jazzy Smith, (vis­ually Im­paired em­ployee of Gros Islet RC Church) Ms. Carmina Espeleta, (SLBWA Ad­min­is­tra­tive Fi­nance As­sis­tant) and for­mer Ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil mem­ber, Miss 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”.

He added, “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 the ECCB for this in­clu­sive and in­deli­ble con­tri­bu­tion, on be­half of print-dis­abled cit­i­zens of the Or­ga­ni­za­tion of East Caribbean States (OECS).

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