Minister of the People and Social Development, Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh, announced yesterday that the $11.5 million centre for persons with disabilities in Carlsen Field will be completed in July.
He was speaking at the launch of Meg Business Training, an entrepreneurship workshop for 27 hearing-impaired persons at the Diagnostic Research Educational and Therapeutic Centre for the Hearing Impaired (DRETCHI), Wrightson Road.
Ramadharsingh stated the centre would be the first of its kind for persons with disabilities that the Government of Trinidad and Tobago has created without international assistance. Ramadharsingh said because of the centre’s early detection facilities, children with disabilities would be able to be integrated well into society. For instance, children with early signs of hearing impediments would be able to keep some of their hearing abilities if the problem was detected early.
The centre would also allow early detection of learning disabilities. The Ministry of the People and the Ministry of Education have partnered to facilitate the project.
Outreach officers from the Ministry of the People will work closely with the schools and arrange diagnostic tests for students who show signs of learning disabilities.
The centre will operate as a “smart-building” which will allow different resource centres for each disability. It will utilise technology to connect persons with disabilities to specialists around the world who can address their different cases. This would enable citizens with disabilities to access international consultations via the internet, instead of spending thousands of dollars to seek those consultations out of the country.
The centre will have different therapists including speech, physical and communication therapists to help with their disability.