We have spent the past ten years supporting and implementing programmes that advocate for inclusion and improve opportunities available to persons with special needs. Our programmes have been people centered and address fundamental needs of this vulnerable group. Our special needs interventions range from sports for development, therapy, education, inclusion and facility upgrades.
Through our longterm partnership with Special Olympics Trinidad and Tobago (SOTT) we have seen the growth in support for Special Olympics National Games. Additionally, SOTT, through their Community Training Programme has been avidly recruiting and training new athletes and coaches, ensuring the sustainability of the sport development programme.
The Therapy-based Education programme was tailored to provide support to teachers and care-givers in areas of Occupational, Speech & Language and Behaviour Therapy. The programme began in 2015 and to date 15 schools have participated. In 2018, we hosted a two-day workshop for over 150 participants and facilitated discussions surrounding accessing public support and services and looking at interventions that aid in the advancement of persons with special needs. This intervention has the potential to continue to develop with key partnerships with Occupational Therapists in Trinidad and Tobago.
Our flagship programme, ‘Preparing You!’ is a disaster management and emergency evacuation programme for persons with special needs. This programme was initiated as a collaboration with the UNDP through the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP), funded by the Australian Aid. Other major programme stakeholders include the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM), Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), Trinidad and Tobago Fire Services, Red Cross, and the Ministry Rural Development and Local Government. To date, through a new partnership with Inter-American Development Bank (IDB –LAB), the intervention is supported by assistive digital technology to build awareness and support training in disaster risk reduction. Preparing You was designed specifically for persons with special needs. After four years, the programme now includes a 'new-tech' component to help better prepare students with disabilities for disasters. 'Masters of Prep' virtual reality app that allows students to practice their life-saving skills in a safe environment.
Our Centres of Excellence programme was designed to further compliment therapy and education efforts a special needs organisations. It became clear that facilities were in need of dire upgrades. This intervention refurbishes, remodels and in some instances rebuilds special needs facilities at an international standard.
All our programs take us a step closer to a society that is inclusive, with citizens who can make a positive contribution toward sustainable development; a world where no one gets left behind.