This Saturday, when 18 intellectually disabled young adults don caps and gowns, they will take a significant step on their journey to full inclusion in the Barbadian society. The graduates of the Special Olympics Barbados Outreach and Skills Training Programme, funded by the European Union, are all Special Olympics athletes. They have successfully completed the 2017-2018 academic year, which included courses in basic mathematics, basic english, agricultural studies, housekeeping, life skills, vocational skills and computer studies.
When Valedictorian Tiffany Branch addresses the graduation ceremony, to be held Saturday, July 7, 10 am, at the Church of God, Chapman Street, Bridgetown, it will not be the first time the athlete has excelled. She was a gold and silver medal winning track athlete at the most recent Special Olympics World Summer Games, held in 2015 in Los Angeles. Joining Tiffany will be her fellow graduates Denecia Asgill, Narresa Best, Sherrie-Ann Burnett, Danielle Chambers, Nashon Chase, Keisha Cruickshank, Alana Forde, Sherwin Gibbons, Lee-Ann Gittens, Jelecia Henry, Felicia Mc Lennan, Shanice Morris, Tricia O’Neal, Angia Peters (absentia), Pedro Phillips, Shamar Smith, Roseann Tull and Natasha Ward.
This is the second graduating class from the Special Olympics Barbados Outreach and Skills Training Programme and Centre, located on Harbour Road in Bridgetown. The European Union funded programme trains intellectually disabled persons, 16 years of age and older, equipping them to apply for and obtain positions within the Barbadian work force and promotes understanding, acceptance and inclusion. The public is invited to attend the graduation ceremony and support persons with intellectual disability.