Teaching parents and caregivers how to effectively advocate on behalf of their children with disabilities is the aim of a programme organised by the Consortium of Disability Organisations (CODO TT).
The second module of the Parent Advocacy Training Programme will be held this Friday and Saturday, at Centrum Auditorium, Centre Pointe Mall, Chaguanas. The programme is free of charge, thanks to funding provided by the JB Fernandes Memorial Trust One.
The main instructor is international human rights lawyer Janet Lord, who specialises in human rights for people with disabilities. A senior research fellow at the Harvard Law School Project on Disability, Lord also serves on the board of the US International Council on Disabilities (USICD).
Formally launched on October 24 at the Immortelle Children’s Centre, St Ann’s, the first module in the Parent Advocacy Training Programme was held at the same Chaguanas venue on October 20 and 21. CODO TT president Jackie Leotaud told Newsday why she thought it necessary to develop and implement such a programme.
“It’s one thing to talk. Saying we need education, health services, we need this, we need that. There’s a real skill to advocacy. For instance, I learned about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child,l but how do you transfer that into everyday life?
“How do you transfer that into advocacy? These are the kinds of things that we are learning in this programme. We’re also learning about how the TT government works and who we need to go to when we need to effect change.”
Leotaud said while participants are strongly encouraged to attend both days of each module’s workshops, if a parent is having trouble finding a babysitter or getting time off work, they will be able to attend one day of that module.