The Special Needs Foundation of Cayman is poised to enhance the services it already provides for more than 60 families with Our House, an inclusion training centre. The facility is envisioned as a support structure for parents, educators and health professionals alike.
“We are calling it our house, because it is the first time our families have somewhere to come
Newness hangs in the air at the special needs foundation’s new facility Our House.
“This place is brand, brand new,” said Special Needs Foundation Executive Leader Susie Bodden. “We are calling it our house, because it is the first time our families have somewhere to come.”
Ms. Bodden told Cayman 27 Our House will be a home to the foundation’s core programming.
“The things that we have currently been doing all over the island, wherever we can find space, all of that will happen here now,” she said. “But also what we are going to be doing is using it as an inclusion training centre.”
She said the Special Needs Foundation plans to debut a new inclusion programme partnering with schools.
“We are starting with a demonstration school, and we are going to work that school to help them towards inclusion, and then we are going to spread that,” she said.
She said the end goal is to ensure children with special needs are offered places in schools.
“Unfortunately, currently sometimes schools don’t feel like they’re able to take some of our children, and our parents get desperate and say, Susie we are supposed to start school in September, no one will let us in, what are we supposed to do – and that is a horrible thing for parents to have to deal with,” said Ms. Bodden.
She said the solution includes education for the educators.
“We’re not going to drop children in and then just walk away, we are going to start with the demonstration school and then spread best practice,” said Ms. Bodden.
She told Cayman 27 when kids with special needs are included in class, all students benefit.
“It’s good quality teaching, is what it is,” she said.
Ms. Bodden wouldn’t say *which school was partnering with the Special Needs Foundation on the new inclusion programme.
Once the inclusion programme is underway, she plans to expand it to other schools.