The Embassy of St. Kitts and Nevis to the USA saw the result of its partnership with the Authentic Caribean Foundation (ACF) and Lesley University initiate with the Teaching for Neurodiversity: Building Inclusive Teaching and Learning Classrooms Workshop (St. Kitts & Nevis).
In efforts to increase diaspora outreach, the Embassy has actively worked with the Authentic Caribbean Foundation on various matters relating to the development and well-being of our Caribbean diaspora; and as a result, the Neurodiversity Teacher Training Workshop was born.
Facilitated by one of the top Universities in Boston, Lesley University, the workshop entailed a one (1) week training course for Education professionals from St. Kitts and Nevis in examining the best practices, current research, and practical tools in creating inclusive environments for neurodiverse students who are diagnosed with Autism, ADHD and Dyslexia.
Overall, the workshop aims to raise awareness of strategies for effectively implementing research-based inclusive approaches for neurodiverse learners in their respective educational and support contexts; as well as influence schools, districts and the entire school system to implement change that leads to more equitable and effective learning experiences for neurodiverse students.
The opening ceremony held on August 16th, 2021, commenced with remarks by Dr Louise Michelle Vital & Dr Amy Gooden, who were the main facilitators and institute Directors of the training course, followed by Dr Jonathan Jefferson, the Chief Academic Officer and Provost of Lesley University. The Hon. Jonel Powell, Minister of Education also provided brief remarks at the ceremony, giving his support towards the program and its potential impact on learning environments across SKN. Lastly, the Founder and CEO of the Authentic Caribbean Foundation, Mr Andrew Sharpe highlighted the experience of the neurodiverse community in educational facilities.
Her Excellency, Ambassador Dr Thelma Phillip Browne, gave her address at the ceremony, providing backstory about the creation of the program and its significance:
“We are confident that this program will help to build knowledge, awareness and overall skills set required for the betterment of our neurodiverse learners in the federation.”
The program ultimately proved to be successful in its conclusion as over 100 academic professionals across St. Kitts and Nevis obtained the necessary skillset in developing their practices and creating a more inclusive learning environment for neurodiverse students and the wider community.
The Embassy of St. Kitts and Nevis to the USA would like to express profound gratitude to the Authentic Caribbean Foundation, Lesley University, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education, the Disability Association and other stakeholders in St. Kitts and Nevis in their collaborative efforts towards this event.
Watch the full opening ceremony below: