Sunrise Adult Training Centre is once again fully outfitted for transporting its students, thanks to two 2005 Toyota Coaster buses that have been officially handed over by the Department of Vehicular and Equipment Services.
Though the official handing over ceremony was on Friday, 16 December, the buses had been in use since they were delivered, one in mid-year and the other in October, states a press release.
One of the buses was modified to accommodate four wheelchairs for students with disabilities. This vehicle also has room for another eight special-needs passengers. The second bus can hold up to 30 passengers.
The buses are used daily for transporting students between their homes and the Sunrise Centre the mornings and afternoons, and for appointments, field trips, Special Olympics and special events. The vehicles also take those persons with jobs to and from their places of work.
‘We now have the capability to transport all of our students at one time and, best of all, we can accommodate all of our wheelchair students, which was something we could not do before,’ said a very pleased Roberta Gordon, Director of Sunrise Centre.
Minister of Education Alden McLaughlin also expressed his pleasure with the school’s new vehicles. ‘Students who need special help with transportation have the right to get it. Our job in the Ministry of Education is to ensure that all children – or, in this case, adults – get the best education, no matter their needs, once they are in our care,’ adding:
‘Transportation plays a key role in the development of programmes such as those offered by the Sunrise Adult Training Centre.’
Sunrise Adult Training Centre was opened 19 years ago with nine students, all from the district of West Bay. Of the original nine, five are still in the programme.
There are now 41 persons enrolled in the programme, ranging in age from 17 to 50 years. They come to the programme from East End, Bodden Town, Lower Valley, George Town and West Bay. Ten are employed in the community in a variety of part-time jobs including laundry helper, grounds person, cafeteria assistant, hotel housekeeper and janitor.
The primary function of the programme is to provide opportunities for adults with disabilities to learn the skills they need to become responsible, productive and fully functioning members of the community. This is accomplished through life skills courses, vocational training, supervised job placement, craft production and sales, academic upgrading and computer-assisted learning.