Jamaica Diaspora Day Live Online-Other Abilities

Deaf and Other Abilities Session

Developing a culture of Inclusion: Bringing awareness to the challenges and empowering the Deaf and Other Abled Communities In Jamaica.

Speaker Bios

Susan Hamilton has been at the helm of Abilities Foundation for ten years where she administers the vocational training for persons with Disabilities. Ms. Hamilton has over twenty years of experience in education  and general management.  Her passion for special needs is a personal one, as she is the proud mother of two sons, older being diagnosed on the autism spectrum. She is a passionate advocate for women and girls with Disabilities, and is tireless in her implementation of projects aimed at improving their life chances.

Andre Witter, is Deaf and was born in the parish of St Elizabeth to Deaf parents. He is a strong leader and advocate, and he loves to teach Deaf youths to develop their potential of advocacy and leadership. He has worked with the Deaf Sports Jamaica Since 2012. He is also the co-founder of the Jamaica Deaf Youth Advocacy. He is an employee at the Jamaica Association for the Deaf as a Tutor teaching in Jamaican Sign Language. He also has own Sign Language class which is called Ready to Sign. “Everyday we grow, all is because everyday we learn” – Andre 

Tashi Widmer – a Deaf educator & entrepreneur. Tashi was born into a Deaf family in the parish of St. Elizabeth. She began learning at a young age and desires all Deaf children to have the same access to education. Tashi holds a B.S. in Psychology and Counselling and a Master’s in Education. Her career began with Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD) as a social worker and then Lister Mair Gilby High School as a counsellor. Tashi is currently the Executive Director of the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf. She is a visionary educator with a passion for transformation in the Deaf community.

Dr. Hixwell A. Douglas was diagnosed at an early age as having a visual impairment. . In 1990 he attended the University of the West Indies, where he did a Bachelors Degree in primary education, and was awarded a First Class Honors degree. Since then, he has achieved a M.Sc. Degree in Human Resource Development.  In 2008 he completed a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Family Literacy Education, with high commendation.
He became blind as an older adult.

Kazeem Babatunde is an accomplished IT/Project Manager at the third largest Institute of the National Institutes of Health, in the United States of America. Kazeem is also a dynamic, well sort after musical Deaf DJ.  Kazeem placed Basketball at College level.

Trishana Bertram is a Data Operator.  She is 22 years old and was born with Cerebral Palsy.  She is the oldest of three (3) beautiful girls raised by a single mother.   Trishana is be a part of the We ‘R’ Different Project at Abilities Foundation where she explores the ‘finishing aspect of Furniture Marking’ and is a project ambassador.  At time she expresses herself through poetry.
Shirnett is the Chair of the Parenting and Other Abilities Taskforce. She was born and raised in Jamaica and moved to the US in 2002.  She is an advocate for the inclusion and the rights of all, especially Differently Abled Persons.  She believes in the Golden Rule; empowering disadvantaged groups; and the power of positive words backed by decisive action. Shirnett is also a business consultant and mentor to small and medium size businesses and startups. She holds a BSc & Masters in Business Administration among other academic achievements, and is currently pursuing a degree in Law at the University of London.

Song by Sweet Sound Musical Choir – Lead by Musical Director, Candy Issacs who is Blind.

Interpreter team – Stephanie McIntyre Groves – Of PAH! Bridging the Gap.  Diane Black of Deaf Empowerment Abroad – a non-profit that exists to service the Deaf population in Jamaica.  Thank you.

Published by Jamaica Diaspora Taskforce Action Network - JDTAN

Jamaica Diaspora Taskforce Action Network - JDTAN

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