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In September 2013, the UWI School of Education Child Assessment and Treatment of Exceptionalities (SOECATE) Unit began operating through funding provided by the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) fund.

SOECATE was founded upon the goal of providing comprehensive and effective solutions to meet the needs of children and adults with varying exceptionalities. This is in keeping with the University’s vision for greater responsiveness to community, national and regional goals for inclusive education.

We are dedicated to determine our clients’ eligibility for special services through the identification of their unique social, emotional, behavioural, intellectual and educational needs. Using scientifically based practices, we are committed to working collaboratively with parents, teachers, Ministries of Education and all other stakeholders to ensure the provision of the highest quality service.

The Directors of SOECATE are: Mrs. Joan Spencer-Ernandez and Dr. Deon Edwards-Kerr. The SOECATE staff consists an Itinerant Teacher, Project Coordinator and a Special Educator. 


The Unit provides multidisciplinary evaluations for children and adults who have problems in language development, attention, learning, behaviour and school adjustment, or who may be gifted and talented. Categories of exceptionalities may include:

  • Specific Learning Disability
  • Attention Deficit Disorders
  • Speech and Language Impairment
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Developmental Disorders
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Physical Impairment
  • Hearing or Visual Impairment
  • Gifted and Talented
  • Emotional Disorders
  • Multiple Disabilities


Our Services will include but are not limited to:

  • Psychological Evaluation
  • Educational Evaluation
  • Medical Screening
  • Speech and Language/Auditory Evaluation
  • Occupational Therapy Evaluation
  • Physical Therapy Evaluation
  • Social Work
  • Counselling
  • Parents’ Workshops
  • School/Teacher Consultations
  • Pre-Service and In-Service Teacher Training/Seminars


SOCATE currently has two major projects.

  • The UWI Township Early Childhood Education Support Services funded by CHASE Fund
  • The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MOEY&I)Contract for conducting Psycho-educational Assessments to Grade 6 students for placement in the APSE and ASTEP programmes

Project 1: UWI Township Early Childhood Education Support Services

The “UWI Township Early Childhood Education Support Services” provides assessment services using a multi-disciplinary approach to include educational, psychological and medical diagnostics for students attending 17 basic and 5 primary schools within the vicinity of the UWI. The primary aim is to facilitate the early identification of exceptional needs of students within the regular classroom setting who are at risk for school failure; to provide in-service training for teachers to prepare them to develop intervention programmes in order to maximize their students’ potential; and the hosting of parent workshops to improve parental involvement.
Through the CHASE Fund, SOECATE provides additional support to the schools by procuring learning resources for hands on instructional activities and reading materials for the establishment of class libraries; play equipment; appliances (stoves, refrigerators and freezers), and school furniture. This support enables the schools to meet and exceed the certification requirements of the Early Childhood Commission (ECC).

Project 2: The Ministry of Education Contract for conducting Psycho-educational Assessments

SOECATE has been contracted by the Ministry of Education to provide psycho-educational assessments of Grade Six students for placement in the Alternative Secondary Transition Education Programme (ASTEP) and the Alternative Pathway to Secondary Education Programme (APSE). For the 2015 to 2016 academic school year, over 8000 Grade 6 students from both public and private schools were tested. Results from the assessment will guide the Ministry of Education in the placement and programme development for these students at the secondary level.

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