JIS News

The Jamaican Association on Mental Retardation is re-branding itself as the Jamaican Association on Intellectual Disability (JAID), to create greater awareness and appreciation for persons with intellectual challenges in the society.
According to JAID Executive Director, Grace Duncan, “We are hoping to reduce prejudice and discrimination towards persons with disabilities, and affirm their right to participate fully in society.”
She explained that “intellectual disability” is sometimes confused with mental illness, leaving both groups at risk for inappropriate treatment by the society.
“This is why the Association will be working assiduously to promote the human rights of persons with intellectual disabilities to a life of dignity and equal opportunities. We want to get across the message of focussing on the ability of persons with disabilities, rather than their limitations,” Mrs. Duncan said.
The name change was formally registered in May, 2009 and was implemented in keeping with provisions of the 2004 Montreal Declaration on Intellectual Disabilities, of which JAID is a signatory. The Declaration emphasises the rights of persons with intellectual disabilities to equality, non-discrimination and full integration in society.
The 29 learning centres operated by JAID have also been renamed, the Schools of Special Education and Learning Centres. The main school – the Randolph Lopez School of Education (formerly School of Hope) – is located at Golding Avenue, Kingston, while four other schools (and satellite centres) serve populations in and around St. Catherine, St. Ann, Manchester and Westmoreland.
JAID, a non-profit organisation, provides educational and support services for persons with intellectual disabilities and their families.
The Government partners with the institution through the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to allow for greater access by persons with disabilities, especially children between 6-20 years. The Association is renewing its mandate to prevent and manage intellectual disability in Jamaica through a variety of services.

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