The Inspiration Center in collaboration with the American Speech Language Hearing Association and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has sponsored a three day workshop. The workshop,Evaluating Communication Disorders in Diverse Populations, is targeted at teachers and children in Belize’s Educational Sector. Executive Director for the Inspiration Center, Joyceln Lopez, said the workshop will be beneficial for the teachers and students alike.
Jocelyn Lopez Executive Director Inspiration Center: “In the schools we all know that the Ministry of Education encourages inclusive development and the model of care that we offer at the inspiration center is a merge between clinical and community based inclusive development so again it goes back to aligning ourselves with the community based inclusive development matrix as well as the sustainable development goals. If we train our teachers they will be able to go back and work with our children in the classrooms. A lot of the teachers have never been trained to work with our children but yet they are asked to accept them in the schools and so this what we are hoping and I am sure because when I sat down in there and listen to the training yesterday; it’s not just a training; it’s a course. At the end of three days when they leave from here and go back into the classroom they will be equipped to do basic evaluations for sure and then they can refer. They can definitely identify and refer to us early so that early interventions can take place.”
Dr. Lena Ceasar Trainer is facilitating the workshop. She spoke of the prevalence of speech disorders and who are normally affected.
Dr. Lena Cesar: “I am not sure about Belize but in the United States it’s the second most prevalent type of disability among children because speech language pathology crosses over. Many different medical conditions; a person with a hearing impairment cane have speech pathology disorder. A person with cerebral palsy can have a speech pathology disorder, a person with autism, a person with a medical condition. A premature baby can have a speech language pathology disorder so it covers so many different medical conditions that the incident is quite high and I would assume that it is also high in Belize. I have been told by peronsel from the inspiration center that there is a waiting list of hundreds of children who need to be seen.”
The workshop which is taking place at the Belize Chamber of Commerce office, ends tomorrow.