Yesterday, Baha Mar’s Leadership Development Institute (LDI) started a two day seminar to introduce four student with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) into the training and recruitment program. the students will join LDI through Best Buddies. The program is designed to assist IDDs. IDD’s are paired with ‘Buddies’ that provide guidance and support, establishing meaningful friendships and enabling them to lead more active and independent lives. The students will also participate in the training seminar to prepare them for the classes scheduled to begin on July 21st.
According to Denise Godreau, Baha Mar Chief Marketing Officer and parent of a child with IDD, the integration of the Best Buddies program with the Leadership Development Institute is a natural expression of Baha Mar’s inclusive culture. Best Buddies, a program founded at Georgetown University in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver, partners with organizations throughout the United States and in 50 countries around the world to assist with training and creating integrated social and employment opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities such as Autism or Down syndrome.
Candidates for the upcoming LDI class were identified and selected with assistance from local IDD advocates including Dr. Michelle Major, Director of the Seahorse Institute, a non-profit organization that provides treatment for people with Autism and other developmental delays, and Mario Carey, President of R.E.A.C.H. Bahamas, an autism support group.