Cork College of Commerce (CCOC), a Cork Education and Training Board College, have announced the introduction of JAM cards in both of their college campuses in Cork City Centre and Skibbereen which will allow students with learning barriers or communications difficulties to discreetly communicate a need for empathy and understanding in social situations that they might find challenging.
JAM stands for “Just a Minute” and was developed specifically by Belfast based social enterprise NOW Group for people with learning disabilities to allow them to ask for “just a minute” of patience in customer service situations.
However, the JAM card can also be used by anyone with a communication barrier such as Asperger’s or autism but can also be used by those with a brain injury or people who may feel self-conscious about their ability to effectively communicate when engaging with other people.
Cork College of Commerce has said it is committed to providing an inclusive space for all of its students and becoming a JAM card friendly environment is just one of a number of ongoing steps that they are taking to continue enhancing student experience at the college.
Speaking in relation to the launch of the JAM card at Cork College of Commerce, Principal Helen Ryan said:
“Becoming a JAM- friendly environment as a college community was very important to us and is an initiative we wholeheartedly support as it reflects our and Cork Education and Training Board’s core values of inclusion while striving to provide a more positive student experience.”
“The JAM card can be used simply and effectively by any of our students in a simple, effective non-verbal manner and it just one of a number of initiatives at our college which aims to provide assistance and support to students, not just in their educational pursuits but also in their everyday lives.
“We have an internal student intranet available which also provides a range of academic and mental health supports and have also been awarded the Amber Flag status for our mental health initiatives.
“We are fully committed to caring for our students and offering them support in their personal development as well as their educational and professional development, so the JAM card initiative is perfectly in line with our existing supports and we will continue to strive to provide a vibrant, positive learning experience at Cork College of Commerce,” Ms Ryan concluded.
Maeve Monaghan, CEO of NOW Group said: “I am delighted to welcome Cork College of Commerce to the JAM Card family. By training their staff to recognise when students and others with hidden disabilities, may need just a minute of extra time and patience the college is demonstrating a real commitment to inclusion and equality of access and service across its sites”.
Chief Executive of Cork Education and Training Board, Denis Leamy added that; inclusion within the Cork Education and Training Board Colleges, Centres, Schools and Services is crucial as he commended Cork College of Commerce for embracing this initiative head on.
He said: “Students of all abilities must be given every opportunity to communicate and stay connected, ensuring a pride of place and hope for the future. We at Cork Education and Training Board subscribe very much to values of care for our students. We value inclusion, equality, access, and we also very much value academic excellence.
We are confident that the wonderful team at Cork College of Commerce will continue to provide a pathway for every learner and to improve educational resources and facilities, just like all of our primary schools, post primary schools and our Further Education colleges and centres across the city and county also do.”
For further information on the JAM card see jamcard.org and for more information on Cork College of Commerce see corkcollegeofcommerce.ie