The Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo, and the Minister for Education, Hon Prof John Cortes, last week met with members of the Parents Association of Early Birds Nursery and St Martin’s Special School, as part of a series of regular meetings where a wide range of matters have been discussed.
The meeting focused on further developing a Gibraltar Special Needs Strategy to assist persons with special needs and their families through all stages of life and is pursuant to work already undertaken also with the Minister for Health, Care and Equality, the Hon Samantha Sacramento. Specifically, the development of a new Special Needs Coordination and Liaison Office and a new NGO Charity were further discussed. The aim is for both of these initiatives to work alongside each other to enhance and streamline the support provided to individuals and families with Special Needs at every stage and in every interaction with Government.
The main focus of the Special Needs Coordination and Liaison Office will therefore be to have an overview of the provision of services across all Government Departments and to focus on facilitating the access to Government services of people with special needs in a more seamless manner.
The potential NGO Charity also being proposed is being considered as an entity that would act as a ‘one-stop shop’ for individuals and families to access information and inclusive, innovative programs on almost every aspect of community life.
Further meetings in respect of these initiatives are expected to continue in coming weeks before a final announcement can be made.