Americas, ICT, News, November 13 2019

TRINIDAD and TOBAGO: Deaf and Hearing Impaired students who live in remote areas can now access academic studies through Information and Communication Technology.  In its continued effort for the advancement of persons with special needs the Digicel Foundation partnered recently with Deaf Pioneers Life Centre to introduce IT support for the group’s Deaf/Hearing Impaired Project. The life changing initiative was launched in September at Deaf Pioneers Life Centre in Arima.

Few people seated in a room

Above: Alicia Hospedales, Strategic Partnership Officer at the Digicel Foundation (left) engages students in classroom setting at the Deaf Pioneers Life Centre showcasing the use of interactive technical equipment with Ms. Sharon Henry. Photos courtesy Digicel.

Speaking at the launch of the project, Mr. Selwyn Alleyne, a director at Deaf Pioneers Life Centre expressed gratitude to the Digicel Foundation for assisting in the continuation of their programme so that they can widen their reach. Alleyne stated, “Our students come from Toco, Plum Mitan, Manzanilla, Diego Martin, Princes Town, the community of Arima and other places. The online programme that the organization is now embarking on enables a further reach of deaf persons who are unable to be with us in our programme due to where they live.”

“Wherever they are, even in the Caribbean and Worldwide; they are now able to join us for our online programmes. Additionally, deaf persons and persons who are not deaf also have the opportunity to learn sign language, Mathematics and English in the comfort of their homes.”

The NGO, in keeping in line with its mission, is always finding innovative ways to maximize the experience of the deaf and hearing impaired, through effective communication and developmental skills.

After having submitted its application to the Digicel Foundation earlier this year, Deaf Pioneers Life Centre received US$5,000 in funding under the Extraordinary Projects Impacting Communities (EPIC) Programme. The funding was used to purchase a desktop computer, an interactive white board and other technical devices that will facilitate the streaming and recording of classes to further complement the Academic Programmes for the Deaf/Hearing Impaired Project.

This platform will enable deaf persons to access their classes either live, or stored on their website. The long-term goal of the project is to provide easy access to educational opportunities for deaf persons, in spite of their disability and geographical location.

The Digicel Foundation remains open to partnerships with groups such as the Deaf Pioneers Life Centre as it continues to pride itself in being involved with innovative community projects that are impactful, people-oriented and sustainable.