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Education promotes both individual and societal development. It enlightens people, creates opportunities and reduces social problems like poverty and crime. For a country, it creates skilled human resources capable of steering the nation to higher economic growth and prosperity. However, attaining the right to education for all is a daunting task. As International Labor Office (2010), noted “ to achieve education for all then it is imperative that we have children who are able to go to school and stay there for long enough to learn and gain basic education” (p. 34). The difficulties experienced in many countries with regard to educational issues informed the decision to establish a broad approach. Thus, Millennium Development Goals were formulated (MDGs) by United Nations in the year 2000. Different states pledged to provide free and universal basic education for nationals. The initiative reinforces the United Nations convention of children’s right of 1989, which placed responsibility, on states to ensure that children have an access to information and education.
Students with disabilities
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of people with disabilities proposes a raft of measures to be undertaken by states to promote the wellbeing of individuals with disabilities. While many governments have instituted administrative and legal reforms, children with disabilities still face numerous challenges in their endeavor to acquire education. Many underperform in academic courses because the environment is not adaptive for the learning process. Their physical and mental limitations make them not to be at par with their colleagues during their studies. As a result, they are declared “unintelligent” by both teachers and students. They also experience discrimination on the basis of their body states. The understanding of the requirements of children with disabilities by instructors is a positive step towards overcoming this challenge. Assistive technology is a tool available to both teachers and learners with disabilities in addressing difficulties encountered related to disabilities. Eizmendi et el (2007), argued “injection of technology could be the most beneficial as opposed to providing methods mainly applicable in the subject steady state” (p.13). It involves acquiring technological devices necessary for supporting students with disabilities in performing their normal learning activities. It is an effective method used in many learning institutions around the world.
Anne is an example of a student with a disability
Anne is a student who requires the use of assistive technology. She is a composed, energetic and playful 10 year old leaving with his parents in the Boston United States of America. She is currently in grade six at Wayside Academy. She seems happy with anyone and any visitor may not recognize her condition. According to the mother, there was no complication during her pregnancy and delivery. The girl developed normally, crawling and walking at the required time. However, she had communication problems during his early development stages. The mother underrated this situation because she thought that maybe she had nobody to talk to as they were engaged in work most times. At 3 years old, Anne joined Green View Kindergarten School. Teachers often complained about Anne’s dwindling performance in class. On investigation, the parents found out that Anne had difficulty pronouncing words and even writing. This did not surprise the parents as they were aware of this condition. They were advised to consult a speech therapist who diagnosed Anne with verbal dyspraxia.
There are students like Anne who are suffering from disabilities in silence. It is estimated that close to 6% of school-going children in the world have different categories of dyspraxia. The parents of these students may not be equipped with the skills to diagnose various learning disabilities. However, a school as learning, the institution must be ready to assist all students to acquire knowledge and skills irrespective of their social, religious, ethnic, gender and physical status.
Eizmendi, G., Miguel, A.J., & Craddock, G. M. (2007). Challenges for assistive technology. Amsterdam: IOS Press, p. 13.
International Labor Office. (2010). International labor conference proceedings report. Geneva: ILO Publications, p. 34.