Welcome to The Jamaican Association on Intellectual Disabilities website

Welcome to the redesigned, renamed, refreshed, refocused website of the Jamaican Association on Intellectual Disabilities, JAID!  We are especially glad to have you visit our site as we celebrate this milestone in the association’s history. 

 Our name was legally changed on May 15, 2009 to the Jamaican Association on Intellectual Disabilities (JAID) signaling our commitment to consistently advocate for, implement, and facilitate measures to strengthen the rights of persons with intellectual disabilities and promote their participation in society.  As we are in our 54th year of existence, there have been many occasions for change.  International organizations, parents, professionals and other stakeholders had voiced concerns about pejorative connotation of the term “mental retardation’’.  To this end, the global community is continuously seeking new ways to dispel the myths and eradicate prejudice that surround this population.  Providing accurate and appropriate information for the public and addressing the stigma that surrounds intellectual disabilities is critical to achieving this goal. In fact, this Association in recognition of global emerging trend has changed its name three (3) times.

Name change...

The global community has sought to integrate not only academic performance as a measure of disability but also social capacity, adaptation and functioning. This presents a less biased and a more holistic description of persons with intellectual disabilities, because it identifies not only their disabilities but also their abilities. As an active member of the global community on Intellectual Disabilities, the JAID attended the Montreal PAHO/WHO Conference on Intellectual Disabilities, which was held on October 5 & 6, 2004. It was an exciting coming together of participants from 17 countries and included the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan- American Health Organisation (PAHO).  The Conference resulted in the Montreal Declaration on Intellectual Disabilities, which was signed by all participants. The Montreal Declaration of October 2004 agreed that the term Mental Retardation would be classified as Intellectual Disabilities. After the conference the late Executive Director noted: "I counted it as a personal honor to be the signatory, on behalf of the [then] JAMR, to this declaration, representing a contingent of international committees and agencies providing services for persons with intellectual disabilities".

In January 2010 the JAID planned a programme to roll out the new name across the island. JAID through its island-wide network experienced success with this initiative spanning both radio and television waves, the rolling out of the new name. Each event was unique in its own way. The following highlights the various activities:

The Edgehill School of Special Education, St. Ann, hosted a dinner and concert. It received enthusiastic support from parents and the community.
The Windsor School of Special Education, Spanish Town, had a Rally of the Classes. This was hosted by radio personality, Dennis Hunt. It was a fantastic show.
The Portmore Learning Centre, St. Catherine, had a harvest/concert to introduce the new name.
The Lucea School of Special Education, Hanover, hosted an Open Day. The community welcomed the new name with enthusiasm.
The Randolph Lopez School of Hope, Kingston had a celebration to honour parents. The support received from the community was overwhelming.
The Woodlawn School of Special Education, Mandeville – hosted an Open Day. Several community members and stakeholders shared in the launching of the new name.

Saturday May 1, 2010, saw the culmination of the roll out of the new name took place at the Girls Guide Association in Kingston, Jamaica. 
Over 700 persons including self-advocates, parents, professionals, volunteers, and specially invited guests attended our Annual Parent Conference to formally launch the new name of the Association to the JAMAICAN ASSOCIATION ON INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES.

What’s in a name?

Dr.Phillip Mighty and son Nigel and Nurse Karen Briscoe and daughter  Kaverece,  of the Windsor School of Special of Education, Spanish Town and  The Woodlawn school of Special Education, Mandeville respectively joined Hon. Andrew Gallimore Minister of Labour and Social Security in unveiling the new name of the Association.  It was a heart rending moment as young Kaverece quickly embraced the Hon. Minister in true appreciation for his input in the activity.  After the launch and unveiling of the new name, emotions were fever pitched. The audience openly expressed their approval of the change of name and the move to use a term which does not imply negative stereotype. They expressed feelings of joy and elation. In fact, some even cried openly.  It was generally agreed that the new name has a ‘nice ring’. To culminate the launch the audience shouted in unison ‘JAMAICAN ASSOCIATION ON INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES’ followed by thunderous applause. The cultural entertainment brought the day’s event to a close. The entertainment groups numbered 104 students and were drawn from the islandwide network of 28 Schools of Special Education. The entertainment was powerful and showcased the varied talents of the student.

The activities included:


To the pioneers of early years, especially, Randolph Lopez, father of Laura who had the vision to establish the service, we say much thanks for charting the course. You started the story; we continue to write the story. The JAID is committed to this effort and with the ongoing support of parents and families of persons with intellectual disabilities and others, we hope, in future years, to come even closer to achieving our goal of creating opportunities for the full integration of persons with intellectual disabilities.

As in the beginning, we continue to  to be committed to the  Mission, Vision and Core Values of this Association  aimed at  providing leadership in the field and advocating with all concerned for full access  for the disabled to all services and privileges accorded to each person  in an inclusive society. To all those who have accompanied us on our journey over the years we say thank you. 

The new name presents the Association with tremendous opportunities to improve and expand it services to include the marketing of specialized skills in the area of Psycho-educational Assessment, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Development, Parent Training, Research, and development and marketing of materials. We remain committed to providing information for the Prevention of Intellectual Disabilities and Services for its Management. Once again, it is truly exciting to welcome you to our new website as it facilitates so much more.  Welcome. 


Our Vision

The ultimate goal of The Jamaican Association on Intellectual Disabilities (JAID) is to provide dynamic leadership, advocacy and influence that will facilitate the full integration and inclusion of persons with Intellectual Disability and other Developmental Disabilities in society.

Our Mission

The Jamaican Association on Intellectual Disabilities (JAID) works through education, advocacy and research to improve the quality of life of children and adults with intellectual disability and their families and works to prevent the causes and the effects of intellectual disability.

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