Since our foundation we have not stopped in our efforts to promote inclusion and supply children, families and caregivers with long-overdue support. A lot of what we do is of qualitative value, but our quantitative results speak for themselves:
- 3 training institutes have been created by the NEF since 2007.
- 7 annual Special Education Conferences with an estimated 1000 people attending or impacted have been held
- 1st Inclusive Education Conference in Jamaica (October 2015)
- Over 40 parenting forums providing awareness training for more than 3000 parents have been set up
- More than 40 school visits have been coordinated providing technical assistance to more than 2,000 educators
- 6 strategic committees or executive boards have given us the opportunity to inform on policy and practice. These include the National Disability Advisory Board, Stakeholders Consultation Groups for the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities and the Ministry of Education
Besides the day-to-day programs and events initiated by the NEF, we have a number of on-going, longer-term projects that make us very proud.
1. Promoting the development and independence of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities in daily life. This project was set up in 2015 to provide for the up skilling of over 170 parents, caregivers and community workers to support children with cerebral palsy, down syndrome and neurodevelopmental disabilities. Through partnership with MAITS UK , the NEF introduced a mass up skilling program to inform on essential areas that included; basic feeding, positioning, sensory integration and play therapy. The project brought together 25 national agencies and ensured that the interests of more than 400 children with disabilities were represented through the state and private institutions present. The project ends in 2017.
2. Rehabilitation Aide Training Project 2016 to 2017. This project sees the NEF collaborating with our partners MAITS and the Rangoonwala Foundation to train individuals as Rehabilitation Aides and place them at the West Haven Children’s Home in Hanover, Jamaica to train 18 caregivers in supporting 12 children over a 6 months period. The end goal is the development of a model of support for children in institutional care which can then be replicated islandwide.
3. Parenting Fairs Project 2016 to 2017. Our parenting fairs have been set up in conjunction with a number of our partners to deliver training to parents of children with disabilities. Multiple events will take place across Jamaica to provide essential support and guidance and to put parents in contact with resources. As there are no welfare systems in place, most parents have never once received any such parenting advice and have been left to cope alone with conditions that they have little understanding of.