Persons with disabilities seem to be the ones affected mostly by the deadly unseen Corona virus. Amid the ongoing Pandemic, schools have been closed worldwide to ensure safety of learners.
Despite attempts to re-open schools by the government, arguments around restricting young children from intermingling prove futile. It was proposed that institutions of higher learning to re-open since most learners are adults and can follow given guidelines by the ministry of health.
Attempts by Form four and class eight students of 2020 to sit for their respective National Exams, landed government policy makers between a rock and a hard place.
However, most learning institutions opted for E-learning platforms for their students to continue with syllabus.
E-learning platforms have been fruitful for normal learners to access their studies. However, kids living with disabilities are not some of the beneficiaries.
Kids living with autism for instance, require a one on one therapist which cannot be performed well through a computer screen. In the absence of one-on-one help, parents have become teachers, occupational therapists and speech therapists with no experience making it difficult for the kids to move a step ahead. Therapists have had less time to serve children because they had to both undergo training to deliver online services and find new ways to creatively deliver lessons online.
Kids with hearing impairments get online learning hectic. some of the students are homeless and many of their family members are not fluent in sign language, leaving them more isolated. Some schools take long to provide captions and sign-language translation for essential online training for parents and students, and still not all are available. It makes them be at high risk of becoming depressed and having huge social-emotional impacts, that’s where some of them will start to lash out and get frustrated or upset because they’re not able to communicate with their families.
A kid learning brail has difficulty in learning since she/he requires a one on one demonstration. Some parents are poor to afford a brail machine to teach their kids or have no knowledge about how to use of brail. E-learning is not in any way helping these kids making them lag behind or even became worse compared to when there were in school.
By Silas Abbas