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August 4, 2014
Star News


Digicel Foundation hosts 4th special-needs seminar

From left: Deniece Williams - speech and language therapist, Judine Hunter - special-needs programme manager at the Digicel Foundation, Christine Rodriquez- executive director at JAID, Rachel Chong- special education teacher and Lisa Millingen - occupational therapist at Therapy Plus, engage in conversation at the official opening ceremony of the learning and development seminar for teachers and caregivers of children with special needs. It took place at the Therapy Hub off Hillcrest Avenue, St Andrew last Wednesday. - Contributed

The fourth in a series of learning and development seminars for teachers and caregivers of children with special needs, dubbed Improving Special Needs Collaboratively, kicked off last week at The Therapy Hub in St Andrew.

July 2014 marks the second year of the training programme, which is organised by the Digicel Foundation and its partners. The project, which began with monthly training sessions for one year, is a collaborative effort with the Foundation's partners - Liberty Academies, Early Stimulation Plus and newly added schools Genesis Academy and The Jamaica Association for Intellectual Disabilities (JAID).

Over the course of the training, the teachers and caregivers will gain a wealth of knowledge from a wide range of interactive sessions such as identifying learning issues, setting up a positive behaviour environment, how to write an Individualised Education Programme (IEP), how to teach differently in a best practice classroom, infusing therapeutic techniques into daily timetables and communication for all in the classroom.

"We are elated to be a part of this training seminar again. The Digicel Foundation is always happy to be able to facilitate the continued training and development of our special-needs partners," said Judine Hunter, programme manager for special needs at the Digicel Foundation. "This year, we have added a new partner- The Jamaican Association on Intellectual Disabilities which we are very proud of because this can only mean that we are reaching more teachers. We at the Foundation believe that all children have the right to the same level of education, regardless of their challenges."

Hunter added that the Foundation is committed to providing first class resources for members of the special-needs community by creating environments conducive to the learning and development of children with challenges and equipping caregivers with the necessary skills.

The Digicel Foundation has invested more than $100 million in the building of three special- needs schools.

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