• Friday, October 24, 2014
    OpenMinds has been actively lobbying and helping schools embrace sustainable special educational programs and activities in their normal curricula. In October 2014, OpenMinds completely renovated two floors at the Lebanese Evangelical School to create therapy rooms dedicated to functional academic programs geared towards kids with special needs.  Such programs allow children to learn practical skills needed in daily life.

  • Thursday, October 15, 2015
    OpenMinds set up a speech therapy room and a psychomotor therapy room at the Antonine International School (Ajaltoun), to advance skills and facilitate learning.  In collaboration with the Lebanon Evangelical School Loueizeh, several workshops took place at the Antonine International School to train therapists and educators in launching special education programs in their schools.

  • Wednesday, April 27, 2016
    At Collège Notre-Dame de Jamhour and in collaboration with OpenMinds, all grade 10 students were in blue celebrating the Autism Awareness day on April 26.Thank you PROMO 2018 and College Notre Dame de Jamhour. Photos by UF Concepts

  • Saturday, March 18, 2017
    Last year OpenMinds sent a team of professionals, board members and parents to Harvard to attend a program entitled “Universal Design for Learning: Leading Inclusive Education for All Students” (UDL). This knowledge was put into practice by hosting a two day workshop on UDL at Antonine International School (AIS). The workshop was given by Mrs. Lara el Khatib in collaboration with OpenMinds to a group of teachers at Antonine International School in March of this year. They were taught key principles of UDL by analyzing concrete examples and real life case studies. At the end of the workshop, teachers evaluated its quality and content. 

  • ASSISTANCE TO SCHOOLS - Sagesse Brasilia and Sagesse Plus
    Wednesday, September 13, 2017
    OpenMinds is proud to have helped four additional schools by reinforcing and enhancing school support and services for students with special needs.Sagesse Brasilia and Sagesse PlusOpenMinds was a primary partner in the major refurbishing of the premises for students with special needs at the Sagesse – Brasilia school. The initial goal of the project was to renovate a floor within the school dedicated to inclusive education. The project was expanded in light of the enthusiasm and vision of Father Superior of the College, Reverend Father Pierre Abi Saleh, and Father Tony Karam. Thanks to their ambitious ideas, the pilot project will now provide necessary support for special needs students in a natural setting, and expand such services to a wider student population after school hours. The center was inaugurated in September of 2017 and has a capacity of 60 students.Beirut Baptist SchoolOpenMinds support to Beirut Baptist School (BBS) in the heart of Beirut, has led to significant expansion, enhancement, and accommodation for its Special Education program. The program identifies students with learning difficulties and provides them with appropriate academic, social, and emotional interventions within the school curriculum. The vision of BBS is to reduce gaps between student current performance and developmental levels. Special educators, therapists, and teachers cooperate collaboratively to help students reach their ultimate potential.  A new department under construction with support from OpenMinds will house this program that will enable enrollment of additional special needs students.Beirut Baptist School Ahliah SchoolOpenMinds granted Ahliah School in Beirut in April 2018 funds to support its inclusion program. The collaboration enhances Ahliah programs, particularly for students with learning difficulties, by providing resources and training.  The grant will be used to purchase specialized educational resources for the school. Part of the professional development support provided by OpenMinds, included a workshop conducted by Ms. Lara Khatib on the practice of differentiated instruction in mainstream classroom environment.Ahliah School classroomShouf National CollegeOpenMinds granted funds in May 2018 to Shouf National College to refurbish the Learning Support Department and its resources at the school. This work is in progress and will be completed in time for the 2018-2019 academic year.Shouf National College Trait D’Union servicesOpenMinds partnership with Trait D’Union, a resources and orientation center, established by the Foyer de la Providence and the Institut Européen de Coopération et de Développement, continues for the second year. Trait d’Union assists mainstream public/private schools by providing training and support for the implementation of inclusive practices involving parents, teachers, and therapists. OpenMinds renewed funding of training sessions to seven private schools and donated additional funds for training and materials for partner schools.Trait D'union Teachers workshop

    Monday, October 16, 2017
    Lebanese Autism Society (LAS) In the fall of 2017, OpenMinds and LAS collaborated to relocate and refurbish the LAS Center for Autism Intervention and Research (CAIR). The center provides support to individuals with autism in adaptive living skills, independent living arrangements, supported employment, education, social skills development and recreational opportunities. It was inaugurated in March 2018 in the presence of HE Minister Pierre Bou Assi and members of OpenMinds.Step Together Association The I Can Work program, developed by Step Together Association and funded by OpenMinds, is designed to integrate students with learning difficulties in the workplace within the community, under the supervision of a coach and coordinator. The program, established in October 2017, is geared towards students 16 to 18 years of age. Goals are to equip students with job-readiness skills and ways to be successful at work through real work experiences, didactic teaching and analysis of experiences. In April 2018, provided work opportunities included a restaurant, two hairdressing salons, a supermarket and a home appliance shop. The workplace within Step Together also includes a bakery workshop. Over the last six months, students in this highly successful endeavor have improved social skills and this has heightened their self-esteem. Future plans include searching for new work opportunities that welcome more students with special needs.I Can Work ProgramNext Step AUBIn continuation of its support of Next Step AUB, OpenMinds provided smart classroom equipment to the program, including an interactive panel and tablets for all students. Next Step AUB is a higher career education program for young adults with intellectual disabilities like Down Syndrome.Next Step AUB students - Smart Classroom

  • Wednesday, January 23, 2019
    OpenMinds is proud to have helped three additional schools by reinforcing and enhancing their support services for students with special needs. This brings our total number of schools helped since 2012 to 25.Khaled bin Al Waleed Al Horj Makassed school: The refurbishment of the sensory room offered by OpenMinds.Shouf National College: The refurbishment of the School Learning Support Department.Heritage College: The award of eight active panels ensuring better learning opportunities for all students.OpenMinds continued its partnership for the third year with Trait D’Union, a resources and orientation center. Trait D’Union assists mainstream public/private schools by providing training and support for the implementation of inclusive practices, enabling the schools to handle special needs students. Thus far, 15 schools have been trained.The results are encouraging and show that Trait D’ Union’s intervention alongside the teachers is fruitful and helping children make important progress.In a snapshot, below are some of the results:200Teachers Trained77Training Sessions174Follow-up Visits346Students Targeted22Awareness Sessions939Participants in the Awareness Sessions1185Objectives set in classes756Objectives were acquired408Objectives were in progress21Objectives not acquired In line with our mission to further knowledge in education on special needs, OpenMinds carried out a training for 30 teachers, administrative staff and coordinators at Khaled bin Al Waleed Al Horj Makassed raising awareness on learning disabilities and ADHD through the ‘Universal Design for Learning course with Ms. Lara El Khatib.Noting the scarcity of certified ABA therapists in Lebanon and their availability to work with students locally, OpenMinds embarked on a program created towards increasing the number of such essential professionals locally. As a result, OpenMinds facilitated and financed the training of 6 students in achieving the mission of taking the Board-Certified Behaviors Analyst Exam Certification. By December 2020, 4 of them will be BCBA certified.Testimonials I must say that the BCBA scholarship I received has been immensely beneficial to my personal and professional development. The ABA courses have added value to the quality of therapy I provide to my patients and kept me in contact with the current best practices in the field. It feels like a missing piece of the puzzle has been added; making my educational background, and, practice complete, and, holistic.I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to pursue these courses that will soon be leading up to my BCBA certification. I would like to extend my gratitude to OpenMinds’ board members, for giving me such an opportunity.  Nadine Adhami I followed the Board Certified Behavior Analysis 18 months coursework and learned a lot about understanding behavior, measuring changes in behavior and assisting caregivers in their mission. The coursework had an enormous added value on my practice as a therapist. It helped me improve the teaching techniques I use with the kids I follow, manage in a better way conduct disorders and behavior problems and finally be more efficient and precise with the support I give to parents and educators in their daily interactions with children and adolescents on the autism spectrum disorder.I wouldn’t have heard about the BCBA coursework and wouldn’t be able to attend it without the support of OpenMinds who I want to thank for the opportunity they gave me and for the role they had in making me a better therapist. By funding and supporting this program OpenMinds granted efficient interventions to more children and caregivers and allowed me to take part in the actions they are taking towards our society.  Karen Abou Assi

  • Scholarships Awarded
    Monday, September 23, 2019
    OpenMinds works with families, the community, and professionals in the field of special education. Our mission is to spread awareness and to support proper education and inclusion in the community. In 2018, based on an acute demand from students and schools alike, OpenMinds established a special needs scholarship fund for families in financial difficulty. For the 2019 - 2020 academic year OpenMinds awarded 54 students scholarships in 9 schools and in 1 nursery school. In order to optimize and ensure success, the schools were chosen from those that OpenMinds had assisted and collaborated with in the past.The total number of scholarships awarded to date is 88.The list of Schools and Nursery are the following:Shouf National CollegeCedars High SchoolLebanon Evangelical School for Boys and GirlsLittle Ones NurseryKhaled bin Al Waleed Al Horj Makassed SchoolStep TogetherCollège Notre Dame des Sœurs Antonine Hazmieh JamhourAhliah SchoolSagesse Brazilia SchoolHeritage College

  • Wednesday, September 30, 2020
    For the 2020 - 2021 academic year, OpenMinds awarded 85 students scholarships in 9 schools. We increased the number of scholarships to match the increasing demand during these difficult and trying times.Students were selected based on their financial and educational needs. As in 2019-2020, the schools were chosen from those that OpenMinds has assisted and collaborated with in the past to ensure success.The total number of scholarships awarded since inception of this program in 2018 is 173.The list of Schools for the 2020-2021 academic year are the following:Shouf National CollegeCedars High SchoolLebanon Evangelical School for Boys and GirlsKhaled bin Al Waleed Al Horch Makassed SchoolBeirut Baptist SchoolCollège Notre Dame des Sœurs Antonine Hazmieh JamhourSagesse Brazilia SchoolHeritage CollegeAntonine International SchoolOur Testimonials:Thank You OpenMinds | High School PrincipalJanuary 28, 2021Thank You OpenMinds | Special EducatorJanuary 28, 2021Thank You OpenMinds | Mother of a special studentJanuary 28, 2021Thank You OpenMinds | Mother and sonJanuary 28, 2021