Mission of Open Doors for Special Learners

  • Provision of quality educational, vocational training, speech and language therapy and physiotherapy for children and youth with intellectual disabilities (mental retardation, autism, and other developmental disorders) in the Special Education Unit of Open Doors Special Education Centre.
  • Provision of opportunities to develop literacy skills for those who failed to do so in the regular school through the Reading Clinic Unit of Open Door Special Education Centre.
  • Provision of a basic Primary Education for children with cerebral palsy in the Special Primary Class within the Reading Clinic Unit of Open Doors Special Education Centre.
  • Expansion and upgrading of the quality of education for children with special educational needs through teacher training and advocacy activities.
  • Share the love of Jesus Christ to each child and young person enrolled in the Centre. Offer Biblical-based counselling to the families of the children and youth served by the Centre.

Who We Serve!

Individuals with intellectual disability and developmental delay. These include: Mental retardation, autism, ASD, cerebral palsy, dyslexia, Down syndrome, reading disability, dyslexia, speech and language delay, articulation disorder, learning disability.


We enroll new children year round. We will interview the parents and meet the child. We will then decide if we need to assess the child to determine the best Class Level to place him in. Assessment is for two days and the fee is assessment fee is N10, 000.


Our curriculum is designed to develop the potential of each individual with emphasis on acquisition of basic literacy and numeracy skills, ability to communicate and development of daily living, pre-vocational and vocational skills.

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Joanne J. Umolu PhD,

Retired Professor of Spec. Educ.
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Gladys Okugo M.Ed

Co-ordinator, Reading Clinic
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Okechukwu Ogbonna, M Ed.

Coordinator, Special Education Unit
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Ijimbli Odaudu, MA

Speech & Language Trainer
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Mercy Ali B.M.R.

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Coach James Sunday

Special Olympics Coordinator

The total staff strength of the Centre is 36 of which 12 are Special Education Teaching Staff plus a full time physiotherapist. In addition Open Doors benefits from both local and foreign missionary volunteers. The Plateau State Ministry of Health posts a Community Health Worker to the Centre.


Open Doors for Special Learners was established in October 1999 by Joanne Umolu, Ph.D., a retired professor of Special Education. Open Doors is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission as a not for profit, charitable NGO under the management of a Board of Trustees and a Board of Governors. The main function of the NGO is to run the Open Doors Special Education Centre located in Jos, Plateau State. The Centre started functioning in 1999 in a temporary accommodation in Jos. In 2003 we moved to our permanent site where we now have two classroom blocks, a physiotherapy and vocational training building and a small building that currently houses the sensory stimulation room, APT workshop and school shop. We also have a poultry house and a fish pool.
Our enrollment is about 90 children from 18 states. The basic fees for enrollment in the Centre per year are 90,000 Naira per child with minimal additional charges for physiotherapy, speech therapy and vocational training if required. The fees are used to cover staff salaries and running cost. The Centre relies on occasional donations and grants for construction and other development expenses.

Board of Governors

  1. Prof. Nenfort Gomwalk, Chairman (Formerly Vice Chancellor, University of Jos, Vice Chancellor Plateau State University, Commissioner of Education)
  2. Engr. Solomon Chikan, Education Resources and Consultancy (ERAC)
  3. Prof. Isuwa Jurmang, HOD, Dept of Spec. Educ. & Rehab., Univ. of Jos
  4. Dr. Kenneth Ozoilo, Faculty of Medicine, Univ. of Jos & Consultant Surgeon, JUTH
  5. Mrs. M. Agwom, Open Doors Parent and HOD, Department of Social Services, Plateau Polytechnic
  6. Mr. Lex Merljin, Representative for NigeriaNetherlands Leprosy Relief, Nigeria
  7. Dr. Toyin Aderemi, CBM Country Representative, Nigeria
  8. Prof. (Mrs.) Joanne Umolu, Director, Open Doors for Special Learners