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DIDI Leaders Stephen Meyers and Megan McCloskey teach disability and aging-focused study abroad program in Jamaica

February 24, 2020

DIDI Jamaica study abroad

This past August 28 – September 21, 2019 DIDI co-leaders Stephen Meyers and Megan McCloskey taught a month long study abroad program in Jamaica. Disability, Aging, and Development in Jamaica took thirteen UW students on a journey across the island where students engaged with government ministries, UN agencies, national networks, and, most importantly, grassroots associations led by Jamaicans with disabilities and older Jamaicans to learn about the ways that disabled persons and older persons address barriers to participation in Jamaica’s development. Program activities ranged from hearing about the history of Jamaica’s 2014 Disability Act from its author, Senator Floyd Morris, Jamaica’s first blind member of Parliament, through to joining a group of senior citizens in their morning water aerobics in Discovery Bay. Highlights also included spending a week at Jamaica’s Deaf Village, where Jamaican Sign Language is the primary language, through to discussion revisions in Jamaica’s National Senior Citizens Policy with senior policymakers at the Jamaican Council for Senior Citizens. Students visited more than thirty organizations and engaged in activities and were hosted by the Centre for Disability Studies at the University of West Indies, the St. Ann Disability Association, and Intergenerational Caribbean. The program will be offered again in August and September, 2020.

This publication was made possible in part by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York. The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the author.