Braille Birth Certificates A Pioneering Move For Jamaica
Jamaican minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister Floyd Green announced that an individual with visual impairments who applies for a birth certificate will receive that document in Braille. Green shared the information during the 2023/2024 Sectoral Debate in Jamaica’s House of Representatives.
According to Green, the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) plans to make birth certificates printed in Braille a reality in the near future. He said that he has continued his advocacy for the most vulnerable Jamaicans to ensure they are included in everything the government does. To satisfy the needs of the visually impaired, the printing of birth certificates in Braille will happen via partnering with the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities, the Jamaica Society for the Blind, and other relevant stakeholders, he added, noting that the initiative represents a “pioneering effort” in the English-speaking Caribbean.
Updates On Operation BirthRight
Green also provided updates to the House on the Jamaican government program Operation BirthRight, which is designed to give as many as 30 thousand undocumented Jamaicans earning minimum wages a birth certificate. More than two thousand applicants have applied for their birth certificates under this program to date. He added that the government has partnered with the country’s Department of Correctional Services to provide some 100 birth certificates to inmates of the St. Catherine Adult Correctional Center, noting that this program will expand to other correctional centers across Jamaica within a few months.
A Complicated Process
The determination of whether or not applicants are eligible to seek Jamaican birth certificates is complex, Green stated. In some cases, information from an applicant’s school, church, and community must be obtained, and in others, the RGD must go into the field and initiate follow-ups to handle late registration and relevant entries required to issue birth certificates to eligible applicants. The government has hired 14 additional workers across Jamaica for the specific purpose of dealing with Operation BirthRight.
Great Emphasis On Birth Certificate Production in 2023
Minister Green expects that the production of birth certificates will be speeded up in 2023. In April 2023, for example, a promotional campaign was launched to encourage Jamaicans to use the Operation BirthRight program to obtain greater benefits. The promotional efforts will be ongoing for the next several months, he said.
Photo – Official Facebook Page for Floyd Green
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