Special education unit
Mission and Purpose
The Special Education Unit seeks to ensure that all Belizean children will have access to quality education services regardless of their unique physical, social, emotional or academic needs.
Provide the legislation, policies, programmes and resources needed to improve the inclusion and experience of students with diverse needs in the education system.
- Strengthen the legislative, regulatory and policy framework to ensure that children with diverse needs have equal access to quality and relevant education in the most enabling environment.
- Ensure that special schools, classrooms and other facilities that serve students with special education needs, including the Special Education Unit, have appropriate accommodations and resources for students and staff.
- Improve education and support services for students with special education needs, including referral and diagnostic services, learning support, development of life skills and, where applicable, transition into further education, skills training or employment.
- Increase the availability of resources and services in key areas such as speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, diagnostics and paraprofessional support, especially in rural communities.
- Implement a sustained public awareness campaign, school sensitization programme and support groups to encourage greater acceptance and understanding of the rights of students with special education needs
Educational Assessments – Special Education Officers conduct classroom observations, interviews, screenings and/or full evaluations to determine where students are and identify their challenges.
Hearing Screenings – The Special Education Unit provides hearing screenings for all Belizeans. The Unit also collaborates with various local and international partners to try to provide hearing aids for students.
Student Advocacy – Special Education Officers work with teachers and parents to assist with school placement, to advocate for the support students’ need in the classroom and to monitor students’ progress.
Parent Support – The Unit provides parent education and consultations as well as recommendations on how the parents/guardians can best support the student at home. Special Education Officers also conduct home visits where necessary.
Teacher Support and Training – Special Education Officers conduct classroom observations, provide assistance and guidance to the teachers in order to assist them with creating the best learning environment for their students. The Unit also provides regular year-long training sessions via the Teacher Learning Institute to teachers and school administrators on a variety of topics.
Skills Training & Support – The Special Education Unit also collaborates with non-governmental organizations to provide Sign Language classes, Mobility and Orientation training for the visually impaired, and evaluations and screenings for Speech, Behavior, Physical, Sensory and Cognitive challenges.
Awareness & Advocacy – The Special Education Unit conducts awareness activities year-round and collaborates with non-governmental organisations, community groups, and other government ministries to provide education and advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities.
The Inclusion Corner is a targeted effort of the Special Education Unit of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology to assist anyone who wants to be more inclusive. Visit us to find tools and tips that will encourage advocacy and provide support for families, teachers, employers, and friends of persons with special needs. Together, we can include others, strengthen our services, build our communities, and, little by little, add some love to our world.
Special Education Unit
Address: Freetown Road, Belize City
Phone: (501) 203-1150
Fax: (501) 223-6497