The province is helping communities throughout Nova Scotia develop more competitive tourism products and services, attracting more visitors and offering memorable experiences to share with friends and family. Education Minister Ramona Jennex, on behalf of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Graham Steele, visited Willow Park in Wolfville today, Aug. 26, the future site of one of 16 community projects the province is supporting through the Tourism Development Investment Fund. “Nova Scotia’s long-term tourism strategy is designed to help us attract more first-time visitors who will stay longer and spend more, especially those who enjoy outdoor, culinary and cultural activities,” said Ms. Jennex. “Supporting Nova Scotia communities to make upgrades, improve facilities, and enhance their downtowns will help attract visitors who will come back again and again, and also benefit local residents and their families.” The Tourism Development Investment Fund was recently revamped to align with the new tourism strategy, and is made up of two programs, First Impressions and Competitive Edge. The province is providing $517,323 in funding through the two programs this year. With support through the First Impressions program, the Town of Wolfville will purchase and install bike racks, and develop and implement a wayfinding plan to help visitors easily find local businesses and tourism opportunities. “Wolfville is already a key tourism destination for Nova Scotia,” said Wolfville Mayor Jeff Cantwell. “This support from the province will enhance the visitor experience, and leave people with a lasting impression of Wolfville as a recreational, cultural and culinary destination.” First Impressions is a companion to the province’s recently relaunched community revitalization program, Mainstreet 2.0, and supports the development of attractive, distinctive and visitor-friendly downtowns. Competitive Edge helps develop new, or enhance existing, tourism products and experiences in Nova Scotia’s most competitive destination areas. “A strong tourism sector is key to helping grow our economy and create good jobs for people in communities across Nova Scotia,” said Nova Scotia Tourism Agency CEO Patrick Sullivan. “We are working strategically with our industry partners to improve Nova Scotia’s competitiveness in the global market and achieve long-term tourism growth.” Applications for the Competitive Edge program are accepted throughout the year, subject to funding availability. The First Impressions program is now closed for 2013. The next application deadline is March 2014. For more information on the Tourism Development Investment Fund, please visit http://novascotiatourismagency.ca/tourism-development-investment-fund .
Story Highlights The Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD) is encouraging parents and guardians of children with hearing challenges to enrol them in one of the organisation’s seven institutions catering to these youngsters.“We are appealing to parents and community members who recognise that a child is not responding in the way they should, to give us a call. Even if the child is not deaf and we can’t place them in a school for the deaf, our ability to assess and connect parents with other assessment agencies is something we value,” Executive Director, Kimberley Sherlock Marriott-Blake said.She was speaking during a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank at the Agency’s Head Office in Kingston on Wednesday (August 21).Mrs. Sherlock Marriott-Blake pointed out that only 400 students are currently enrolled in JAD schools, representing approximately 50 per cent of capacity.Against this background, she said the organisation is taking steps to sensitise persons to the importance of placing children who are deaf or hearing impaired in an environment tailored to advancing their educational development.“Our goal is that, no matter the extent of the hearing loss, the child can be supported and given the education that they deserve. We are firm believers that every child can learn and every child must learn. Education is our core focus. So ensuring that students are enrolled and adequately supported in schools is critical for us,” she emphasised.Mrs. Sherlock Marriott-Blake indicated that the JAD receives grant-aided support from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information. As such, school fees and other costs associated with enrolment are not as exorbitant, when compared to other private institutions.The seven schools operated by the JAD are: Lister Mair Gilby High School; Danny Williams Primary School; the JAD Pre-School; the Ex-Ed United, located at the Excelsior Primary School; Port Antonio Unit; the Woodside Unit in May Pen; and St. Christopher’s School for the Deaf.All institutions utilise the National Standards Curriculum alongside the Jamaican Sign Language Grammar Programme. They also provide special education and vocational training for members of the deaf community.The JAD also manages a Hearing Clinic and Social Services Division which oversees transitional services, advocacy and a training unit that facilitates Jamaican sign language and deaf culture education.The Association also operates a ‘Fine Hand Bindery’ that provides skills training and employment opportunities for members of the deaf community as well as income generation for the organisation.“The support that we provide, as a school and organisation, goes beyond the classroom as we offer support for parents and siblings. We teach them to sign language and address the concerns they may have with raising a deaf child,” Mrs. Sherlock Marriott-Blake added.Persons interested in enrolling youngsters with hearing challenges may contact JAD at [email protected] or call 876-970-1778 or 876-970-1779. She was speaking during a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank at the Agency’s Head Office in Kingston on Wednesday (August 21). “We are appealing to parents and community members who recognise that a child is not responding in the way they should, to give us a call. Even if the child is not deaf and we can’t place them in a school for the deaf, our ability to assess and connect parents with other assessment agencies is something we value,” Executive Director, Kimberley Sherlock Marriott-Blake said. The Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD) is encouraging parents and guardians of children with hearing challenges to enrol them in one of the organisation’s seven institutions catering to these youngsters.