Twenty-four non-verbal children on the autism spectrum will benefit from individual electronic devices to support their learning after the Malta Trust Foundation’s E3 project raised €84,283.

The augmentative communication devices have been procured and individually tailor-made for the children who were identified by the education department, together with Aġenzija Sapport’s unit, ACTU, which will also provide training.

The Trust’s E3 project — which aims to empower, encourage and educate young children with different abilities — in conjunction with the Readathon initiative, encourages schoolchildren to read, while raising money to help fellow children with different abilities.

The project was cut short earlier in the year when schools closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but with the support of 21 of the Malta Trust Foundation’s corporate partners, enough funds were raised to ensure the children still received the tools they needed.

Malta Trust Foundation president Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca said the electronic devices are essential to empower each child and guide them through their education.

Organised to coincide with World Literacy Day, on September 8, the tools were distributed to the children over the past two days.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) intervention for children with complex needs helps develop their functional communication skills, promotes cognitive development, provides a foundation for literacy development and improves social communication.

This E3 project is in collaboration with the National Literacy Agency, the Foundation for Inclusive Technology and Accessibility, Agenzija Sapport, the Department of Speech and Language Pathologists, the Association for Speech-Language Pathologists Malta, and the Autism Parents Association-Malta.

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