The Special Education Unit is an educational facility that caters to the needs of children and adults with a variety of disabilities. The Unit began operating in St. Kitts in 1982. The Unit in St. Kitts started in a classroom at a primary school and catered solely to the needs of children who were mentally challenged. Today the numbers of teachers, students and the variety of disabilities have increased. The Unit now operates out of its own two-storied building attached to the Doctor William Connor primary school, providing services for all disabilities at all levels.
The Mission of Special Education Unit is to equip each student with skills that will enable them to lead as independent of a life as possible; thus creating a spirit of self-acceptance that would enhance their self- confidence and self-esteem.
The Vision of the Special Education Unit is to promote academic and social learning that will accomplish the Mission of the Unit. We see the “community as a whole” coming together to promote adequate learning of skills by all special needs students as they move through their pre-primary through high school experiences. We see the community as being defined by family units, village/town facilities, and the businesses that these encompass.
Clients and Beneficiaries
- Children with diagnosed disabilities.
- Children that have been referred from the regular class setting, tested and either kept or returned to the regular classroom.
- Parents of children with disabilities.
- Teachers in the regular class who seek assistance for children in their classroom who are not working as they should.
- In the pursuit of its vision and mission, in addition to financial assistance from Government through the budget process, and in collaboration with other programme areas of the Ministry, such as the Curriculum Unit, the Special Education Unit receives assistance from international partners, such as, Florida Association of Voluntary Agencies for Caribbean Action (F.A.V.A.C.A) and Optimum Chance, as well as, from some local businesses and institutions.
- The negative attitude of the general public towards individuals with special needs.
- The reluctance of parents to seek and ensure that their children get what is in their best interest.
- The need for amendments to laws for the testing of children who might need and can benefit from special educational interventions. (The law requires parental consent).
The Sheltered Workshop is a special programme set up to provide a safe stimulating environment for adults with disabilities. The adults are graduates of the Special Education Unit who were unable to work in open employment due to their physical disabilities and low functioning level. The daily schedule consists of self-help skills, personal social skills, arts and craft, and job skills.