15% of the entire globe is experiencing either one or another form of disability. 80% of these marginalized groups are from developing countries. The challenges of the specially-abled people are many but most of the outcomes of the hurdle that they face manifest in the form of socio-economic obstacles. One of the highest obstacles faced by specially-abled children includes the limited infrastructure which affects almost every share of their life including education. If provided with the right infrastructure, most of them will have a smooth growth in almost all the spheres of life and therefore, WHO is now considering disability as a human rights issue.
Global Literacy Rate Of Specially-Abled People
Every five years, since 1960, the world has seen an increase of four percent in the global literacy rate. The same cannot be said is true for the literacy rate of adult disabled people. According to UNESCO reports, 90% of the disabled children of developing children do not go to college. The high drop-out can be attributed to poor or no infrastructure, inaccessible reading material and untrained teachers. As a result of the high dropout, only a few disabled children make it to higher education.
Sadly, lack of education amongst disabled children sees a trickle-down effect which also affects their employability. 90% of the specially-abled people belonging from developing countries are unemployed.
Did Online Education Benefit The Specially-Abled Children?
When a pandemic hit the world, after a long vacation, many schools resumed their education through the online mode. Online education proved to be pretty helpful for disabled children by making it accessible to them. For instance, with online education, specially-abled children do not have to encounter physical barriers like mobility issues. In addition to that, they further are provided with the comfort zone of their home to continue their education. In addition to that, the specially-abled children also finally could access the necessary services like libraries, lectures and resources without the need to physically visit the remote campuses which would help them to prepare for even Government Jobs which is possible after bringing colourful marks in Sarkari Result. This will increase the employability chances of the adult specially-abled children.
Online education provides greater flexibility by enabling the students to learn their lessons at their own pace. This is possible due to the video lectures which allow the students to rewatch the videos, again and again, to absorb the lessons properly. In addition to that, e-learning also comes with advanced technology that supports text magnifiers, braille keyboards, videos with subtitles, screen readers, speech recognition software, sign language interpreters and audio recordings.
Is It Possible To Meet The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals?
One of the many goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals is inclusive and quality education for all. Not many years are left to meet these sustainable development goals and online education might make it possible to reach the goal finally. Both the education bodies and governments are playing key roles in making ICT crucial and accessible for specially-abled children.
The Psychological Impact Of Online Education
Even though the online classes have removed the barriers of physical infrastructure for specially-abled children, it has taken a toll on the mental health of the children especially those with special needs. The increased screen time is resulting in a lack of sleep or mood swings in children suffering from autism. In addition to that, the children with special needs who belong to low-income groups have comparatively lesser or no accessibility. According to special educators, it is difficult to fulfil the requirements of special needs. It is mainly because not all the resources and tools are available for specially-abled children. Further, children with special needs have to go to occupational therapy and special education which sometimes is not available online and this might cause disruption in their growth.
Even though students who are specially abled may benefit from online education due to the removal of physical barriers from their life, on other hand, children with special needs might face problems due to increased online screen time. A balance should be conducted between online and offline classes should be brought to ensure that all the students fulfil their educational needs and requirements for their brighter future.
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