Immortelle Centre students get gift of smart devices

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Immortelle Centre students use the devices donated to the school through the IGT After School Advantage programme. – Photo courtesy IGT

LEARNING at Immortelle Centre got a boost during Autism Awareness Month (April) with the donation of smart devices.

Organisations such as Immortelle Centre, that support children with autism spectrum disorders and other neurological developmental conditions, have been increasingly using technology to assist with their complex communication and learning needs.

Gaming company IGT Trinidad and Tobago (IGT) first partnered with the school in 2015 when it donated advanced technology as part of the IGT After School Advantage (ASA) programme. Since then, the school has received several technology donations from IGT – including smart TVs, tablets, desktops and learning apps – bringing significant benefits to the classroom.

Smart devices have changed the face of learning at the Immortelle Centre for Special Needs in St Ann’s, IGT said in a news release on April 19.

“Smart devices have helped our students build confidence and become more independent, and we are very grateful for IGT’s support,” said Charlene Gittens, principal of the Immortelle Centre. “The students are building skills to search for what they want on the device and they can use the software and apps independently, staying calm and focused. The expanded access to technology provided by IGT is helping us meet our students’ needs and keeping with our school’s mission to build independent and productive citizens.”

“One of the goals of IGT’s After School Advantage (ASA) programme is to apply our technological expertise to assist our NGO partners in addressing the learning needs of children with autism spectrum disorders,” said Shavindra Tewarie-Singh, IGT’s people and transformation regional senior manager for the Caribbean.

She added, “It is so encouraging to receive positive feedback on how the technology donations have enhanced the learning environment at Immortelle. We re-engage our NGO partners each year to assess and support their technology needs, and we put particular focus on our community partners supporting children with autism spectrum disorders during Autism Awareness Month in April.”

ASA is the company’s flagship community initiative, devoted to providing youth with access to technology in communities where IGT operates, the release stated.

IGT said donations over the years have included iPads, iPods, touchscreen computers and assistive devices to NGOs such as the Autistic Society of TT – D’Abadie and The Life Skills Centre – Point Fortin, Memisa Centre, LIFE Centre, National Centre for Persons with Disabilities and Immortelle Centre for Special Needs. They have also provided projectors and laptops to the non-profit Caribbean Kids and Families Therapy Organisation (CKFTO) to support paediatric therapy services.