FOR more than 40 years the school has been a fervent advocate for the education and care of children with intellectual and physical disabilities, pushing for their acceptance and inclusion in the society.
When Dunnottar School first opened its doors in 1973 at George V Park, it was the first organisation to provide a structured education to children with disabilities, including Down’s syndrome and autism. It was established by the St Lucia Association for persons with Developmental Disabilities (SLADD), a local NGO.
Presently, the school caters to 80 students ranging in age from 5 – 25, all of whom have benefited tremendously from its Daily Living Skills Programmme. It also has a Vocational Centre for 15-25 year olds and an athletics programme that helps the youths develop their athletic abilities in an atmosphere of fun and enjoyment. Several of them have gone on to represent St. Lucia successfully at the Special Olympics in various countries, garnering medals and accolades in the process.
Recognising the great work that the school has done over the years and the amazing aptitude of its students, LIME offered to assist the Dunnottar School Sports Committee in its efforts at organising an educational tour to Martinique for a group of 15 student athletes and five teachers. The tour was scheduled for July 3 – 10. The main aim of the excursion was to help the students become more independent when travelling. LIME financed the air fares for three of the students.
LIME Marketing & Communications, Sharlenejn. Baptiste said: “Often we tend to think that it must take a great range of skills and super-human effort to work with people with special needs. What the team at the Dunnottar School has taught us is that as long as you have a desire and a commitment to assist, and a healthy dose of compassion, understanding and patience it can create a lasting positive impact in the lives of people with disabilities. As a company, we feel duty bound to do whatever we can to make the students’ lives just a little better and give them a moment of glory so that people can see their abilities and the ways they are like the rest of us.”
Principal of the Dunnottar School, Ms. Carolyn Archibald expressed her gratitude for the support from LIME. “Though many of our students have performed successfully at international events like the Special Olympics, we recognize the need for support to help them understand procedures to be followed at airports, bus terminals and other modes of travel, which differ from what they are used to in St. Lucia, and for them to learn to do it independently. This is necessary, especially when away from parents or full supervision of school personnel. It’s a way of empowering them to keep performing at their peak at these events,” Ms. Archibald added.