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Establishment

The Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD) is a non-profit organization established in 1938.  The organization provides education, hearing rehabilitation, and human services to advance Deaf and Hard of Hearing persons. The Association, through its eight schools located island-wide, provides special education and vocational training for Deaf community members. They also manage a Hearing Clinic, Social Services (which include transitional services, advocacy, and a training unit that facilitates Jamaican Sign Language and Deaf culture education). Additionally, JAD also operates a Fine Hand Bindery that is aimed at providing skills training and employment opportunities for the Deaf community and income generation for the Association.

Yearly, they embark on various initiatives to aid in developing the Deaf Community and ongoing advocacy and education programs. The most recent initiatives include the Ministry of Labour and Social Security Social and Economic Integration of Persons with Disabilities Project, Teacher’s Academic Training (levels one and two), and the Advancing DeafKidz Project funded by Comic Relief and Deaf Kidz International. While most of their initiatives target the Deaf Community, they also aim to sensitize and build awareness among members of the general public.

Mission

To effectively manage resources for education, hearing, and social services and advocacy in collaboration with key partners for the advancement of deaf and hard-of-hearing persons.

Vision

A Jamaica in which Deaf persons are empowered to fully participate in nation building.

Objectives

  • Operational strengthening and sustainability through the engagement of stakeholders
  • Organizational sustainability through the diversification of resource inputs
  • Promotion of bilingual deaf education towards improved educational outputs for transition
  • Increased opportunities for the engagement of the Deaf in mainstream society

Major Achievements

  • Implementation of bilingual education at schools for the Deaf
  • Supporting the education of Deaf children from pre-school to secondary education
  • Assist Deaf youth in transitioning to tertiary education and employment

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