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Nathan Ebanks Foundation expo

Published:Wednesday | April 25, 2012 | 12:00 AM


The Nathan Ebanks Foundation (NEF), a local non-profit organisation that supports persons with disabilities, recently hosted its 6th annual special needs conference expo in a bid to educate teachers, medical professionals and caregivers about programmes, products and services designed to improve the lives of physically and mentally challenged individuals.

The four-day forum, which was hosted under the theme 'Building the Road to Independence for Children and the Elderly with Disabilities and Special Needs in Jamaica', ran April 11 to 14 at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.

"Movement affords us independence. It allows us to perform basic functions and carry out our everyday routines," said Christine Staple-Ebanks, NEF founder. "Many of us could scarcely imagine our lives without movement, and yet a sizeable part of our population is faced with limited mobility and its associative obstacles on a daily basis."

In the mid-1980s, Linda Bidabe, a special-education teacher based in California, began to strategically use movement with her special needs students. Because of the overwhelming success of the curriculum, Mobility Opportunities Via Education/ Experience, popularly known as MOVE, was officially established as an educational and therapy guide for the classroom. MOVE helps children and adults with severe disabilities to acquire greater independence by learning to sit, stand, walk and transition.

During the NEF conference, MOVE presenters Beverley Young and Julie Sues-Delaney offered participants basic provider training focusing on the six steps of the MOVE programme. The seminar taught teachers how to test, evaluate and design individualised plans for developing mobility skills and how to use common furniture as instructional tools to improve movement.

- Source: The Nathan Ebanks Foundation