Thursday, May 28, 2015Thursday, May 28, 2015

New programme to pair up special needs students with peers from mainstream schools

Published on Jan 18, 2014 3:23 PM
(From left) ITE College West students Iskander Shah, 17, Mohd Mubin, 18, and Benny Chan, 17, programme head and Delta Senior School (DSS) instructor Valerie Lim and DSS student Seti Humaira, 17, pictured before the launch of the buddy programme by The National Council of Social Service (NCSS) that pairs up students with mild intellectual disability and students from Institutes of Higher Learning to help the former integrate into the community, at the inaugural "We Are Able" Conference on Jan 18, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

A new programme which aims to boost the confidence of intellectually disabled students by providing more opportunities for social interaction was launched on Saturday.

The programme, called "Buddy'In", was launched by the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) at the inaugural "We Are Able" conference. The first of its kind here, it will pair up 10 students from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College West with students from the Association for Persons with Special Needs' Delta Senior School.

Under its pilot run which is slated to start in March, each pair of students will be encouraged to spend at least 80 hours together over a span of six to nine months. Besides working on a "graduation" project, they will be encouraged to participate together in activities such as leadership camps, meeting each other's families and watching movies.

Through the activities, these students with intellectual disabilities will hopefully pick up social cues and learn age-appropriate social behaviours.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!