Special needs students are to benefit from a donation of 10 tablets from the Digicel Foundation, which will better enable them to continue their studies online while schools are closed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The devices and data plans to enable Internet access were handed over to the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD) on Thursday (May 7).
Speaking at the ceremony held at the JCPD’s Ripon Road offices in St. Andrew, Executive Director of the agency, Dr. Christine Hendricks, said that the training and education of scores of its clients have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
She said that the donation and others to come “will certainly meet the needs of some of our clients”.
“We are also seeking to partner with other individuals and companies that will help us to ensure that our students with disabilities continue with their learning online,” she noted.
University of Technology (UTech) student, Leron Williamson, who was on hand to receive one of the tablets, expressed gratitude.
“This is a great initiative they (Digicel Foundation) have taken on to aid learning digitally,” he said.
Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Dionne Jennings, hailed the Digicel Foundation’s continued support to the disabled community through various programmes and activities.
Chief Executive Officer of the Digicel Foundation, Charmaine Daniels, for her part, said the entity is pleased to help students with special needs to continue their education.
She noted that the JCPD will distribute the tablets to “other deserving students who would like to continue their studies from home”.
Ms. Daniels said that the Foundation is committed to empowering the special needs community and will be evaluating the needs of students to provide assistance where possible.
The JCPD, which is an agency of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, has a mission to promote the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities and to facilitate educational, economic and social development of persons through training, public education and the provision of other relevant services.
Digicel Foundation’s mission is to mobilise and distribute resources across Jamaican communities to improve education, increase access and opportunities for persons with special needs and stimulate sustainable entrepreneurial activity.