Lekòl Nou

Lekòl Nou provides an education for children who are blind or Deaf/deaf in the Port-au-Prince region of Haiti — helping them to realize their full potential as intelligent, creative and whole beings. Lekòl Nou will also provide professional teacher training in special needs education while positive community engagement will provide a future of free of social stigma.

Lekòl Nou (“Our School”)

Lekòl Nou was developed to address the difficulty of obtaining an education for children with significant sensory disabilities in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Families of children who are blind or blind, Deaf/deaf confront multiple barriers to education:

  • lack of funding for special education
  • no formal training or certification in special education for teachers and staff
  • inability to identify children with sensory disabilities who can benefit from early intervention
  • social stigmas and logistical obstacles that prevent the full incorporation of the child (and later adult) into his/her society

These factors create a challenging environment for delivering education and vocational opportunities to a highly vulnerable population. We see these challenges as an opportunity to develop a model that is unique in Haiti.

Lekòl Nou will:

  • provide an education to children who are blind or Deaf/deaf that meets or exceeds the Haitian national standard curricula
  • offer a certified special education training program for general education teachers
  • engage and educate the local community to foster compassion, understanding, and support

An Overview of Our Programmatic Vision for Education & Community

TO EDUCATE AND BE EDUCATED

Lekòl Nou will provide comprehensive education to children with sensory disabilities that includes life skills training and career preparation for their future… free of charity. We will invest in our teachers, not just training them but empowering them to make changes in the lives of their students and communities. We will provide outstanding opportunities for our teachers’ perpetual education, including continuing education courses in Haiti and abroad.

TO INCLUDE AND BE INCLUDED

We believe students with special needs are not different — they only learn differently. As an alternative to students with special needs being included in a typical classroom setting, we will practice reverse inclusion. In lieu of having students with sensory disabilities attend typical schools where services and accommodations they require may be scarce, mismanaged and/or non-existent, we will invite typical students from the community to join Lekòl Nou students for their education. All our students will take part in a curriculum that will provide for opportunities to learn braille, ASL, and adaptive skills. We believe this inclusive environment will cultivate a new generation of compassionate and informed Haitian youth — one that may join the disabilities sector as an advocate and insist on living in a tolerant and compassionate society.

TO CHANGE ATTITUDES AND PERCEPTIONS

Lekòl Nou’s mission and its programming is designed to foster community solidarity by encouraging volunteerism both in and outside of the classroom, offering educational opportunities for the local community such as ASL and adaptive design courses. We see the investment in community as one that allows our students to play a more active role in their communities and eventually, greater Haitian society. All our programming shall promote gender equality, respect and tolerance for all.