Scores of differently-abled students in the education sector aren’t viewed as students. Little attention is paid to their requirements despite the fact they deserve more care and attention.
In terms of school enrollment, educational attainment, and learning, children with mental or physical challenges are the most disadvantaged. Many children never enroll in school or drop out early. According to a 2011 UN Report*, disabled children between the age of 0-14 years of age range between 93 to 150 million across the world and most students are excluded from mainstream education opportunities.
Students with impairment are likely to have more problems than normal students. Their difficulties are many – physical strength, sensory, cognitive, psychiatric, and other health-related issues. For years together, differently-abled students have struggled with getting a proper education, coping with societal challenges, and be able to live a respectable life. Many students are left out at different grades or subjects because either the schools or the teachers do not have facilities or lack instructional expertise.
Inadequate knowledge at the educator level results in differently-abled students being subjected to incompetent and unequal educational opportunities. In most cases, the situation is opposite, educators are experts in managing and educating, but the schools lack funds and the techniques to educate kids with special needs
Cutting short from the time when Braille helped the visually-impaired with ways to read and write to the current time: one of the most amazing developments happening in the education sector is the way technology is creating a world of possibilities for such students.
The development of computer-based technology has introduced various and unlimited options for physically challenged students, ceasing the isolation and insufficient opportunities they endured for long. Computer programs or applications introduced in classrooms are making it easier for such students to get access to learning materials, online education, communicate ideas, interact with others, and participate in educational activities.
The invention of Braille was revolutionary and it has helped millions enduring eyesight challenges all these years, but compared to technology, Braille sounds outdated. Now, tech tools and free learning management systems provide new and engaging ways to access content on diverse subjects.
Technology proves to be an equalizer for classrooms with differently-abled students. Educators can utilize devices and software that can help personalize learning for each student.
Utilization of Assistive Technology or AT can change the way, these students attain education.
But what is Assistive Technology?
Assistive Technology is the application of technology enabling the mentally or physically exceptional to live healthy, productive, independent life, and also participate in education. For the infirm, there’s technology for –
- Speech recognition;
- Convert text-to-speech;
- Audio-Visual aids;
- Physical aids.
To conclude, differently-abled students shouldn’t be barred from education. Like normal kids, some special students do perform better in environments with little distractions and easy access to pertinent technology. With the help of technology, the future of such students is bright and they will be able to participate in classroom education and experience school life.