CAN DO partners with Beautiful Eyes Down Syndrome Association to facilitate training for teachers

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Child Advocacy Network of Disability Organizations (CAN DO) has sponsored a training for teachers specializing on children with special needs, jointly conducted by the Beautiful Eyes Down Syndrome Association and Maldives Autism Association. The sponsorship is one of three projects that will be supported by funds raised during the CAN DO Community Challenge 2014 – a fundraising effort for children with disabilities that was conducted last year.

The two-day training on “Early Intervention and Infant Stimulation” was conducted by trainers from Chitra Lane School for Special Children, based in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and was attended by 32 teachers specializing in educating children with disabilities, from Beautiful Eyes School, Maldives Autism Association’s school, Galolhu Madharusa, Imaadhudhin School, Ghiyaasudhin School, Ghaazi School and Ameer Ahmed School. The training enabled teachers to increase their knowledge with regard to early intervention for babies and pre-schoolers with different abilities. It also enhanced their knowledge on strategies to develop children’s skills from an early stage of the child’s life.

Speaking at a ceremony to mark the conclusion of the training, Ms Nishali Fernandopulle from Chitra Lane School for Special Children, highlighted the importance of such trainings in improving the lives of children with disabilities, and urged participants to apply the knowledge gained during the workshop in classrooms and other relevant settings. Ms Aishath Shifa, Chairperson of the Beautiful Eyes Down Syndrome Association noted the success of the training and thanked participants for their cooperation.

Despite efforts by the Government and civil society, children with disabilities in the Maldives still face serious challenges due to the existence of significant gaps in early intervention. Furthermore, although there is a recent move towards inclusive education, the Maldives is also still greatly in need of teachers qualified in Special Education Needs (SEN) and training on inclusive education.

Early intervention is one of the key priorities of CAN DO – a network established by ARC, working towards the full implementation of rights of children with disabilities. In addition to ARC, founding members of CAN DO include Association for Disability and Development (ADD): Beautiful Eyes Down Syndrome Association: Blind and Visually Impaired Association of Maldives: Care Society: Maldives Autism Association, Maldives Deaf Association (MDA) and Maldives Association of Physical Disables (MAPD).