The Digicel Foundation Supports Autistic Society of Trinidad and Tobago
Across the globe, lives have been disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While disruptions in routine can be difficult for everyone, they can be especially difficult for those with autism spectrum disorders. According to research, persons with autism spectrum disorders thrive on routine.
To make the adjustment to the unpredictable pandemic lifestyle more comfortable for this vulnerable group, the Digicel Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago has partnered with the Autistic Society of Trinidad and Tobago (ASTT) through its Extraordinary Projects Impacting Communities Programme (EPIC).
Officially launched in the spring of 2021, the partnership involved providing a grant of $35,000 to the ASTT to purchase therapeutic equipment. The equipment purchased will be used during therapy sessions that target both children and adults with autism spectrum disorders. Items purchased included trampolines, padded mats, yoga balls, activity pods, sound tubes, step-a-stones, a projector, a portable Bluetooth audio system, and an exercise bike.
Teresa Sieunarine, the president of the Autistic Society of Trinidad and Tobago, noted that the equipment purchased through the Digicel Foundation’s grant will help engage and empower children through play, exercise, and occupational therapy.
Penny Gomez, CEO of the Digicel Foundation, also noted, “As a foundation, we work assiduously to ensure that persons with disabilities are empowered and that their lives are transformed…It is for this reason that we were not hesitant to fund the therapeutic equipment because we are aware of the transformation it can create in the lives of the adults and children who access the therapy.”
In addition to partnering with ASTT, the Digicel Foundation also provides grants to registered community groups to fund small outdoor and indoor projects. To date, they’ve invested over $3.4 million through 103 EPIC initiatives into various community projects.