JIS News

Story Highlights

  • More assistance is coming for children with intellectual disabilities and their parents, following today’s (February 10) signing of the ‘Innovative Approaches to the Development of Children with Intellectual Disabilities’ technical cooperation agreement.
  • The document was signed by Executive Director of the Jamaica Association on Intellectual Disabilities (JAID), Marilyn McKoy; and Country Representative, Jamaica and General Manager, Caribbean Country Department, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Therese Turner-Jones, during a ceremony held at the IDB Montrose Road offices.
  • This intervention is to provide direct support to children with intellectual disabilities (ID) and their parents, through identifying, adapting and testing effective parent-centred therapeutic approaches.

More assistance is coming for children with intellectual disabilities and their parents, following today’s (February 10) signing of the ‘Innovative Approaches to the Development of Children with Intellectual Disabilities’ technical cooperation agreement.

The document was signed by Executive Director of the Jamaica Association on Intellectual Disabilities (JAID), Marilyn McKoy; and Country Representative, Jamaica and General Manager, Caribbean Country Department, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Therese Turner-Jones, during a ceremony held at the IDB Montrose Road offices.

This intervention is to provide direct support to children with intellectual disabilities (ID) and their parents, through identifying, adapting and testing effective parent-centred therapeutic approaches.

The project will reinforce current policies and provide data, tools and techniques to improve the delivery of effective and sustainable care for children with ID.

The programme is being funded by the Government of Japan under the Japan Special Fund (JSF) Poverty Reduction Programme. It will be administered by the IDB and executed by the JAID. Valued in excess of US$660,000, the programme will run for an initial period of three years.

In her address, Mrs. Turner-Jones said children with disabilities, like any other children, have the right to affordable, high-quality health care, rehabilitation and social services to live productive, socially engaged and happy lives.

She noted that the initiative aims to provide high-quality, innovative therapeutic approaches to reduce the barriers that children with intellectual disabilities and their parents face.

“It will reinforce current policies, provide valuable data, tools and techniques to improve the delivery of effective and sustainable care for children with intellectual disabilities,” Mrs Turner-Jones explained.

She noted, further, that the programme supports well-targeted poverty reduction and social development activities that respond directly to the needs of socially and economically disadvantaged people, such as is the case of children with intellectual disabilities and their families.

She pointed out that the programme is in strategic alignment with the IDB country strategy of Jamaica 2016-2021, which aims to reinforce human capital protection and to develop the poor and vulnerable populations in Jamaica.

Meanwhile, Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Zavia Mayne, expressed appreciation to the IDB, “which has been doing a tremendous job in child development programmes in Jamaica”.

“I am particularly delighted that the IDB shares this vision and has partnered with the Jamaica Association on Intellectual Disabilities to improve access to quality care and educational interventions in a suitable environment for children with intellectual disabilities,” Mr. Mayne added.

He noted that the partnership is timely and will go a far way in providing much needed support for children who need this kind of help.

For her part, Mrs. McKoy said the objective is to provide direct support to children with intellectual disabilities and their parents.

“We will work with 60 children living in Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Catherine that meet the criteria of mild to severe intellectual disability. They will benefit from this intervention over a period of two years. The children who will be selected will be six years old, so we are working with the very young,” she noted.

“Our parents are critical to the implementation of this project… and so we are going to be offering our parents ongoing support throughout the duration of the project,” Mrs. McKoy added.

Meanwhile, Ambassador of Japan to Jamaica, His Excellency Hiromasa Yamazaki, said his country is pleased to be partnering with the IDB on the initiative.

“This new project agreement will [lead to] fruitful innovative approaches that will facilitate the incremental growth and sustainable development of the children with intellectual disabilities,” he said.