Jamaica’s Ministry of Education and Youth is committed to ensuring greater inclusion of children with disabilities, says portfolio Minister, Hon. Fayval Williams.
Williams, who was addressing a virtual forum on Thursday, Dec. 8, on the topic “Embracing the Disabilities Act Towards Inclusion,” said that no child should be denied registration in school because of a disability.
She said that the Special Education Unit continues to look at ways to ensure that students with disabilities are not left behind.
She noted that there are more than 424 trained special education teachers employed to support students.
“We’re also seeing to the enhancement of the way teachers and support personnel are trained and assigned to the special needs community,” she pointed out.
She said that through the Jamaica Teaching Council Bill, the Ministry will aim to ensure that “all teachers are exposed to some amount of special education training [to] create an environment of greater understanding [of students] with disabilities.”
Chairman of the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD), Colin Ebanks, said that the organization remains committed to working with the Ministry to ensure that persons with disabilities are included in all areas of the education system.
“We know the Ministry is fully on board in embracing the Disabilities Act. So, we are sure that all measures will be put in place to guarantee that the necessary support required by the person with disability will be provided to ensure that their education is effectively facilitated in the least restrictive environment,” he said.
The Special Education Unit offers screening services for any child who is thought to suffer from a disability and provides support for children with physical, medical, intellectual or learning disabilities, at no cost to the public