The United Nations estimates that of the seven billion worldwide population, one billion people (or 15%) have a disability of some kind. One million of these individuals are situated in the Caribbean.
This is according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Persons with disabilities face many barriers in accessing inclusive education, employment, and community engagement. These barriers are often attitudinal, but may also be programmatic, physical or financial, and solutions must consider access, participation and support.
Locally, Inclusion Cayman is an important ally in ensuring that persons with disabilities are accepted and valued, and that their human right of inclusion is not violated by systems that marginalise, segregate, and exclude them.
The charitable, non-profit organisation supports individuals with disabilities, and their families, in accessing meaningful, inclusive lives by providing family advocacy, supporting inclusive education, recreation, and employment via various forms of professional development and on-the-ground coaching.
The team works with multiple schools, recreation/ leisure providers, and employers to ensure that all individuals can access, participate, and belong alongside a broad range of peers.
Their inclusion specialists and facilitators work collaboratively with community members to develop inclusive policies and procedures and adopt inclusive practices to build capacity for inclusion. These services are free to all participants, and customised per site.
Inclusion Cayman facilitators work in partnership with employers to create real paid jobs for people with disabilities, and provide the resources, expertise and on-the-job supports to persons with disabilities at work, as well as colleagues and employers. TheirRotary Employment Partnership leverages networks within Rotary to create pathways into the workforce for persons with developmental disabilities.
According to the organisation, children with disabilities in the Cayman Islands are often placed in special education schools or support units without access to, or consideration of, other options. This decision is often made for families with children at school entrance age, or at differing times in a child’s educational career.
Inclusion Cayman’s specialists work in mainstream schools from pre-school to high school, alongside educators, leaders and decision-makers to ensure teachers and leadership teams are utilising evidence-based practices to include all children in high-quality education. They provide practice-based coaching, resources, professional development assistance, collaborative policy development, and encourage school-wide high-leverage inclusive practices.
Inclusion Cayman supports families and partners with recreation and leisure providers to ensure everyone can access and participate in these activities.
Inclusion Cayman supports two grass-roots inclusive initiatives: Youth for Inclusion, and the Parent Inclusion Network. These initiatives work to address systemic barriers that prevent access to meaningful inclusive lives from both a top-down and bottom-up approach.
For more information on involvement, access to support, or partnership opportunities:
e: [email protected]