Everyone deserves the opportunity to learn and grow in a way that works best for them. This can be incredibly challenging to those living with disability.
People with disability often face barriers to education that prevent them from achieving their fullest potential. In this article we will explore the importance of accessible education and discuss some of the ways you can make sure every child thrives in an inclusive learning environment.
What Is Accessible Education And Why Is It Important?
Accessible education ensures that the learning programs are designed in a way that can be accessed by everyone, regardless of ability or disability. It promotes inclusivity so participants can express themselves during learning activities, so their needs don’t go unnoticed.
Inclusion doesn’t stop at encouraging them to get involved– it follows adequate policies and practices to make everyone feel welcomed, included, and valued.
People living with disability deserve to be included in everyday activities, so they feel equal to their peers. When they feel welcomed and included in the community, they can become more confident to take up more social responsibilities, such as working on a day job or volunteering at a local organisation.
Challenges To Inclusive And Accessible Education
Inclusive and accessible education is not always guaranteed, unfortunately. Despite the educational developments over the years, it still poses a massive challenge for schools and educators.
Some of these limitations include:
1. Lack of information.
Some families know that a loved one with disability will need to have some form of learning support. Sadly, not a lot of them are aware of the options available.
In some cases, they might know what support is available but may not have a convenient or affordable way to access them.
Families and participants must be educated on the disability support services available for them and how they can use them to further their loved one’s education.
2. Limited local support.
One of the biggest challenges people with disability face is the limited support and coordination from their local community.
A person with disability must be given the same opportunities as the rest of the community. Meaningful community participation allows them to feel accepted and included. Their community should recognise their contributions and encourage them to become more involved in other relevant aspects of society.
3. Undiagnosed or misdiagnosed disability.
When it comes to providing access for students with disabilities, teachers and administrators need a firm grasp of the situation. The first step in achieving such is a proper diagnosis and evaluation backed by medical support.
An undiagnosed disability may lead to lifelong repercussions, and they may be unable to access the necessary learning support their condition requires.
There should be an open collaboration between educators and the medical team to ensure that each is given the assistance based on their learning needs.
Career Paths For People WIth Disability
While accessible education still has a long way to go, it’s promising to see how various industries have opened their doors to people living with various mental or physical disabilities.
The job market has been considerably welcoming of people with disability, especially with the growing work-from-home arrangement.
Here are some suggested career paths where people with disability can thrive:
A person with a mental or physical disability can do well in the banking or finance industry. Some job options include bank teller or accountant, which are fantastic ways to practise critical thinking while following an organised set of instructions.
Admin and executive functions are suitable job positions for people who do well with organising and planning. It also allows them to practice their communication skills, whether face-to-face, via phone, or virtually.
3. Graphic Design/Digital Illustration
If your loved one is passionate about creating art or drawing, they can excel in graphic designing or digital illustration. The good thing about this is that almost every type of business needs some form of graphic design to market its products or services.
They can also venture into filmmaking, music production, or photography, depending on what their interests and motivations are.
4. Computer and Information Systems
People with physical disability tend to choose computer-related careers because the industry offers certain flexibility and adjustments that they can take advantage of. For instance, companies that offer remote and flexible hours allow them to stay comfortably at home without compromising the quality of work.
Accessible education is an essential aspect of learning that benefits people with physical or mental disabilities.
It creates an inclusive environment where they feel secure and confident and thus makes them more productive in their participation in the community. Inclusivity also opens them to various career options, opening them to a more extensive network of people and ideas.
Government agencies provide medical and financial support to learning institutions to improve their accessibility to people living with disability.