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School for Children with Special Needs launches its Website

School for Children with Special Needs launches its Website

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As part of a series of activities to commemorate its 35th anniversary, the School for Children with Special Needs launched its website earlier this week.{{more}}

The launch was held at the Murray Heights Conference room on Monday, and witnessed by a small gathering.

The site, www.specialneedssvg.org, was designed to accommodate persons suffering from hearing, physical and visual disabilities.

Acting principal Naseem Smith-Williams expressed her delight in having the website established so that members of the public can see that there is more to the children at the school than just their disabilities.

“I am tremendously relieved that is it is all over and that the website is now running. This website has been a well kept secret, but now we are ready to show the world what we have to offer,” Smith-Williams stated.

Speaking on the issue of stigma against persons with exceptionalities, Smith-Williams said that it is a still a social issue in SVG that needs to be tackled. “There is still a lot of stigma if you’re different. We don’t want people’s pity, but we want you to see that we are making a difference,” the acting principal stated.

The success of the website was also attributed to the Peace Corps volunteers who assisted in putting the website together.

Peace Corp Volunteer Joseph Schuld, who is attached to the school for six months to deal specifically with Information Technology, explained to SEARCHLIGHT that when they first set out to do the website in early March, they wanted to make ensure that the site was “user friendly” for persons with physical, hearing and visual disabilities. “If a person can’t hear or see, the site is equipped with audio and animated items that makes it easy to use,” Schuld said.

Outlining the features of the site, Schuld said the elements of the website would be able to make life easier, not only for students but also the teachers.

Videos of classroom sessions, displays of the students’ photography and woodwork are just some of the site’s highlights.

Also delivering brief remarks, Acting Chief Education Officer Lou-Anne Gilchrist praised the school for making a step in a positive direction to help in the development of the students. “Without interventions and strategies employed in the School for Children With Special Needs, many students would not have been able to attain the level of independence and social integration that they have,” Gilchrist said.

In a show of gratitude, first principal of the school, Marjorie Jackson, did the official first log on to the site.

Chairman of the Management committee, LeRoy Lewis, and Kirk DaSilva, president of the Rotary Club of St Vincent also delivered brief remarks.

The school, then named The School for the Mentally Retarded, opened its doors on June 7, 1975, with a population of eight students.

Today, the school’s population stands at 58.(KW)

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