Govt. to Implement Auditory Screening Programme for Children


Government is to implement a national screening programme to identify children with hearing disability before they enter school. Prime Minister Bruce Golding said screening would be done at the post-natal stage and also before children enter basic and primary school.
Mr. Golding was speaking on Sunday (June 8) while addressing the 70th anniversary church service of the Jamaica Association for the Deaf, at Swallowfield Chapel in Kingston.
He said the objective was to identify children who have a difficulty as early as possible, so that their needs can be quickly addressed. He said the sooner those students were identified, the better would be the chance of assisting them.
Prime Minister Golding said the government had provided $100 Million in the 2008/2009 Budget, to assist disabled persons with financing to start their own businesses. He called on the various associations that represent the disabled community to ensure that their members take advantage of the opportunity.
Mr. Golding paid special tribute to the many persons including teachers, who work to make the lives of the deaf in our society so much easier. He said those who work with the deaf did so out of love, as they help those persons overcome their difficulties, especially in a world where so much of its socialization and conversation require the spoken word.
Rev. Dr. Stephenson Campbell, who delivered the sermon on the theme ‘Arrows on Target,’ said helping children to hit their target was a major challenge to overcome. He encouraged the congregation to build better Christian families, as research has shown that children with a good family and church usually do better.
Rev. Campbell said parental control, support of the extended family, values of the past and a good relationship with God, are some of the things that will help children hit their target. He said absenteeism among fathers was a serious problem and challenged the men in the church to mentor the youth around them.
The Jamaica Association for the Deaf was established in 1938 and is the first organization of its kind in the Caribbean. The Association first operated the St. Christopher’s School for the Deaf in Brown’s Town, St. Ann. It now has eight schools and units, which operate in partnership with the Ministry of Education.
The academic programme ranges from pre-school to the secondary level. A range of programmes to promote academic enrichment and skills training are also offered to the Adult Deaf community, in partnership with the HEART Trust/NTA and other community development groups.

JIS Social