Written by CSDA
“I truly believe that together everyone achieves more. It’s not just a philosophy, it actually works!” – Mrs. Violet Clarke, Special Education Unit Principal
Simply stated by Mrs. Clarke, the partnership between the mainstream schools and the Special Education Unit in Nevis has enabled and empowered participating students to achieve more through an inclusive sport and physical education intervention facilitated by the Caribbean Sport and Development Agency – CSDA (formerly known as TTASPE) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education in Nevis as part of the Australian Sport Outreach Program in the Caribbean.
CSDA has been privileged to be a catalyst for reducing some of the negative stigma against persons with disabilities in our region; however Mrs. Clarke, along with the teachers involved, are the real change makers. Throughout the 2013- 2014 school year, the trained schools have collaborated to set three (3) significant goals to aid in the facilitation of the social integration, inclusion and positive social interactions between children with and without disabilities. One of the goals focuses on increasing the number of inclusive activities offered to students from mainstream and special education schools throughout Nevis.
In May 2012, teachers and students of two mainstream schools in Nevis joined their counterparts at the Special Education Unit for the first attempt at using the social integration and inclusion model. In February 2012, two more schools have been added to the program as the social integration and inclusion wave moves through the island. The workshops facilitated by CSDA Sport Development officer Kavelle Deonanan have focused on enhancing the capacity of teachers to use inclusive pedagogy in the delivery of elementary school physical education. Teachers at the workshops are exposed to CSDA’s BIG 5 Principles (FUN, Participation, Learning, Success and Inclusion) that forms the platform for quality inclusive physical education. Teachers at the workshop also explore ideas for expanding social integration activities outside of the physical education setting and strategies for acquiring good quality, child-friendly sporting equipment.
The Social Integration and Inclusion intervention in Nevis is part of the CSDA’s Ready and Able program supported by the Australian Sport Outreach Program (ASOP) in the Caribbean. The main objective of the ASOP Caribbean is to increase Caribbean regional capacity to lead, plan and conduct inclusive sport-based programs which address a range of regional social development priorities. The ASOP Caribbean is a collaboration of the Australian Government and CARICOM.