The Government's Universal Access Fund Company Limited funding has helped in provision of computers and audio-visual equipment, that has made the lives of students from six schools for the deaf easier. The equipment, valued at $6 million, which will make communications much easier at the institutions, was presented on Wednesday (September 30) at the Danny Williams School for the Deaf in Kingston. They were made available under the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Resource Rooms in Schools for the Deaf project funded by the Universal Access Fund. Managing Director of the Fund, Hugh Cross, said that through the project, the six schools are now being given the opportunity to connect directly with each other using teleconferencing, a project which is already in some educational institutions across Jamaica. Cross further noted that it is part of the Fund's mandate to provide easy and reliable access to information through the deployment of broadband services. The provision of audiovisual equipment in the classroom for deaf children will enhance the visual presentation of content, facilitate performance assessment and tracking, and increase access to the independent learning resources as well as communicating via the Internet.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) enhances the learning environment, especially for deaf students, because they are visual learners. Schools benefitting under the project are: the Jamaica Association for the Deaf Preschool Centre; Danny Williams School for the Deaf; Integrated Unit at Excelsior Primary in Kingston; May Pen Unit for the Deaf in Clarendon; St. Christopher's School for the Deaf; and Port Antonio Unit for the Deaf in Portland. Equipment received under the project include desktops, laptops, video cameras, document cameras, projectors, desk jet printers, projector screens and workstations. The computers and audiovisual equipment were sourced and supplied by Fujitsu Transaction Solutions Limited. The Universal Access Fund Limited is a Government entity, which collects a levy on incoming international calls to Jamaica. The revenue from the charges goes towards financing the implementation of the national e-learning project, which is designed to enhance the education process through the use of information technology.