HOT OF THE PRESS
January 2017 Meeting
Dunnottar School has been providing special education services in St Lucia for over 40 years. However, access for children with physical disabilities has always been difficult. in September 2015 a new programme was started in the old Child Development & Guidance Centre building (next door to Dunnottar) to cater specifically for children with multiple disabilities including physical difficulties. Ramps and bathroom adaptations were funded by Digicel and the Dunnottar Multi Disabled Centre (DMDC) opened! There are now 17 children registered but they attend on a shift system due to limited staff and space constraints. Children who attend range from age 5 to 12 years and come from Babonneau, Grand Riviere, Millet, Anse la Ray and other areas in the Castries basin. One of the biggest barriers to attendance is transportation for the students. Getting on public transport with a wheelchair is extremely difficult and most of the parents do not have their own transport. The Ministry of Health bus is available 2 days per week and a parent assists with picking up students on the other 3 days for which he charges a small fee. Currently a young deaf adult is also assisting with transporting the children.
Another difficulty is the need for a high staff to student ratio for children with multiple disabilities. Currently the centre has 2 teachers and 1 teachers aid along with 2 volunteers who help 3 days a week. There is a desperate need for another teachers aid.
The $10,000 from 100+ Women who care is enough to pay for another teachers aid and transportation costs for a year. This will enable children to attend the DMDC more frequently and more regularly.
Words to be put here
Our next meeting:
Tuesday April 11th 2017 @ 6.00 pm at the Bay Gardens Beach Resort, Conference Centre
Come and bring your friends and colleagues.