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July 28, 2014
Star News


Digicel trains caregivers of persons with disabilities

Angella Blair, project assistant-special needs at the Digicel Foundation, welcomed the parents at the recently held Parent and Sibling training seminar held at Therapy Plus. - Contributed

Nearly 400 persons benefitted from a specialised training seminar designed to provide parents and siblings with information on how to deal with family members who have learning difficulties, physical disabilities or emotional and behavioural difficulties.

The training seminar took place from July 19-24 at the Therapy Hub. It was hosted by the Digicel Foundation, one of Jamaica's leading supporters of the special-needs sector, in partnership with Irish Autism Action (IAA) - an Irish organisation which seeks to improve the quality of life of individuals and their families affected by autism.

The training was designed and developed following a visit to Jamaica by the IAA in 2013 to a number of the Digicel Foundation's partners across Jamaica. The visit was at the request of the Denis O'Brien Foundation in Ireland, which supports the IAA. A needs assessment identified two key areas of support: training for parents and siblings of a family member with special needs, and training for developed individuals who work with persons with special needs.

Over the course of the training seminar, participants gained a wealth of knowledge from a wide range of interactive sessions around Behaviour Management, Facilitating Language and Communication, Promoting Independence in Daily Living, Self-care and Wellness for Parents of Children with Special Needs and Supporting Siblings of Children with Special Needs.

Judine Hunter, the programme manager for special needs at the Foundation, said it is committed to working with families to support children with special needs reach their full potential.

"Families play an essential role in the lives of children with special needs. The ability of parents and siblings to deal with a child with special needs is paramount to ensuring they are treated with dignity and helping them reach their full potential," Hunter said.

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