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Education, girl, disability: an equation to solve. Ensuring the right to education for girls with disabilities in the Sahel

HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
January 2021

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Most girls with disabilities do not have the opportunity to access education and to thrive in school. They are exposed to multiple  discrimination owing to their identity as girls and as children with disabilities. Comprehensive measures are needed to ensure their right to inclusive and quality education.

The factsheet builds on the findings of a research conducted by Humanity & Inclusion in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger and conveys messages and recommendations aiming to inspire action and thus improve educational opportunities for girls with disabilities.

Key recommendations so that girls with disabilities are not left behind are made to governments, donors and civil society organisations

Cognitive behaviour therapy-based early intervention and prevention programme for anxiety in South African children with visual impairments

VISAGIE, Lisa
LOXTON, Helene
SWARTZ, Leslie
STALLARD, Paul
2021

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Background: Anxiety is the most common psychological difficulty reported by youth worldwide and may also be a significant problem for children with visual impairments. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) interventions have proven to be successful in treating childhood anxiety; however, mostly these are not suitable for children with visual impairments, as the materials used are not sufficiently accessible to this population.

 

Objectives: The present study was motivated by the dearth of research on this topic and aimed to examine the effects of a specifically tailored, group-based, universally delivered, CBT intervention for anxiety in children with visual impairments and to examine the influence of three predictor variables (i.e. age, gender and level of visual impairment) on prevention effects.

 

Method: A randomised wait-list control group design with pre-, post- and follow-up intervention measures was employed. The final sample of 52 children (aged 9–14) with varying degrees of visual impairment received the anxiety intervention. Participants were followed over a course of 10 months during which their anxiety symptoms were assessed quantitatively at four time points (T1–T4).

 

Results: The results indicated that the anxiety intervention did not significantly decrease symptoms of anxiety within the intervention groups. However, the intervention appeared beneficial for girls, younger children and legally blind participants.

 

Conclusion: This study demonstrated how CBT interventions can be adapted for use in children with visual impairments. Results obtained provide a foundation upon which future updated anxiety intervention programmes can be built, meeting the need for further research in this area.

“It’s not a simple answer.” A qualitative studyto explore how healthcare providers can bestsupport families with a child with autism spectrumdisorder and overweight or obesity

MCPHERSON, Amy C
PEREZ, Arnaldo
BUCHHOLZ, Annick
FORHAN, Mary
BALL, Geoff D C
January 2021

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Purpose: This qualitative study aimed to explore the experiences of parents supporting their child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and overweight or obesity (OW/OB), including their weight management support needs.

 

Methods: Interview transcripts were analysed using inductive thematic analysis. Nine parents (n = 9 mothers) of ten children with ASD (7 males, 3 females) participated in individual semi-structured interviews.

 

Results: The three themes developed were: (1) Our journey to obtain weight management support; (2) I need real-world solutions; and (3) The what, who and how of our weight management needs. Parents reported being proactive in seeking weight management support for their child but were disappointed with the services offered. Resources were not tailored to the child’s complex nutrition and behavioural issues or their abilities and functioning. A multidisciplinary approach that integrated both disability and weight management expertise was desired, but not experienced. A range of formal and informal programs were recommended.

 

Conclusion: This study provides a call to action for supports that ensure children with ASD and OW/OB receive integrated, individualised support to maximise their health and wellness.

Let’s not go back to ‘normal’! lessons from COVID-19 for professionals working in childhood disability

ROSENBAUM, Peter L
SILVA, Mindy
CAMDEN, Chantal
January 2021

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Purpose: The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has changed almost all aspects of our lives, and the field of childhood disability is no exception.

 

Methods: This article is based on an invited lecture by the first author at a conference–the eHealth Summit (“Pediatric Rehabilitation in a Digital Space”)–organized by the other authors and their colleagues in May 2020.

 

Results: The first author offers his own experiences and perspectives, supplemented by comments and observations contributed by many of the 9000+ attendees at this talk, as curated by the second and third authors. The basic messages are that while life for families of children with developmental disabilities, and for service providers who work with them, is significantly altered, many important lessons are being learned.

 

Conclusions: The comments from participants support the currency of the ideas that were presented, and encourage childhood disability professionals to reflect on what we are learning, so that we can seize the opportunities they afford to do things differently–and we believe better–moving forward.

The impact of COVID-19 measures on children with disabilities and their families in Uganda

MBAZZI, Femke Bannink
NALUGYA, Ruth
KAWESA, Elizabeth
NIMUSIIMA, Claire
KING, Rachel
VAN HOVE, Geert
SEELEY, Janet
2021

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To understand the impact of the COVID-19 public health response on families of children with disabilities in Central Uganda we conducted phone interviews with parents and children during the first 5 months of the outbreak (March - July 2020). Most parents and children were well informed about COVID-19 and were keen to adhere to government prevention measures. The majority said lock-down measures had a negative effect on their mental and physical health, social life, finances, education and food security. Access to medical services and medication for chronic illness had been limited or absent due to restrictions in travel, some facilities restricting access, and limited financial resources. The majority of parents reported loss of work which resulted in difficulties in finding enough food and paying rent. Parents worried about children missing education and friends. We suggest greater attention to children with disabilities and their families when implementing mitigating and long-term responses.

Enhancing Function, Fun and Participation with Assistive Devices, Adaptive Positioning, and Augmented Mobility for Young Children with Infantile-Onset Spinal Muscular Atrophy: A Scoping Review and Illustrative Case Report

LIVINGSTONE, Roslyn
PALEG, Ginny
2021

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Recent advances in medical interventions have changed the prognosis for children with infantile-onset spinal muscular atrophy (SMA-1); however, little has been published regarding rehabilitation management. A rapid scoping review was conducted in November 2020 using Medline and CINAHL databases. Evidence supporting use of assistive devices and equipment to enhance participation, mobility, function, and posture in lying, sitting, and standing positions was sought. From 239 articles, only five studies (describing use of augmentative communication, manual and power mobility, supported standing and orthotic devices) met inclusion criteria. Results are presented alongside a case report of a 5-year-old boy (treated with Nusinersen since 7 months-of-age) who uses a variety of devices to enhance his activity and participation in family life. While reclined and tilted sitting positions as well as power mobility were previously considered for children with SMA-1, this child has progressed to supported upright standing, self-propelling a lightweight manual wheelchair indoors, communicating using multiple methods and taking steps in a dynamic mobility device. Power mobility was introduced in a switch-adapted cart at 11 months and he was independently exploring indoors and outside in his power wheelchair before 20 months. Research evidence is limited, but alongside the case report highlights the importance of a comprehensive and proactive approach to enhancing function, fun and participation with family and friends through adaptive equipment for children with significant and life-limiting disabilities.

Insisting on inclusion: Institutionalisation and barriers to education for children with disabilities in Kyrgyzstan

MILLS, Laura
December 2020

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Since 2012, the Kyrgyz government has pledged to close 17 residential institutions for children, including three for children with disabilities. But 3,000 children with disabilities remain in institutions.

This report is based on in-person visits to six institutions for children with disabilities and 111 interviews with children with disabilities, their parents, institution staff, and experts in four regions of Kyrgyzstan. It describes abuses in state care as well as barriers to education that often lead to a child’s segregation in a residential institution or special school, or their isolation at home.

 

 

Children with disabilities. Ensuring their inclusion in COVID-19 response strategies and evidence generation

UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN'S FUND (UNICEF)
December 2020

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Even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, children with disabilities were among the most disadvantaged, facing increased exposure to abuse and discrimination and reduced access to services in many parts of the world. Understanding these pre-existing vulnerabilities can help anticipate how the COVID-19 pandemic could sharpen existing inequities and can shed light on where targeted efforts may be required.

The publication below draws on pre-COVID data to highlight how children with disabilities face greater risks in the midst of this pandemic. It documents what has happened to services for children and adults with disabilities across the world and includes examples of what has been done to address disruptions in services. It also discusses the challenges in generating disability-inclusive data during the pandemic.

Effectiveness of Community-Based Rehabilitation on the lives of Parents of Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Mixed Method Study in Karnataka, India

Bokalial, Doly
Hossain, Forhad Md
Kumar, Senthil N S
Bajracharya, Shristi
2020

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Purpose: The study aimed to identify the effects of the CBR programme on parents of children with Cerebral Palsy, living in Karnataka State, India. It also tried to find the challenges and improvements needed to make the CBR programme more effective.

 

Method: A cross-sectional, descriptive study design was used to collect a sample of 100 parents of children with Cerebral Palsy, with GMFCS levels IV and V. The sample was drawn from various communities in Bangalore, Davanagere and Bijapur, where the services of The Association of People with Disability are available. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with the study subjects. Data was analysed by SPSS using descriptive and inferential statistics.

 

Results: It was observed that the CBR programme had a positive effect on parents’ health, knowledge, social lives and empowerment. A binary logistic regression was done to find the relationship between health, knowledge, social lives and assistive devices use. A strong association was found between all the areas (p=.001) except GMFCS and assistive devices use (p=.004) at 95% CI. The odds ratios between them were greater than 1 and showed the strong positive effect of the CBR programme on parents.

 

Conclusion: The CBR programme not only has a positive effect on children with Cerebral Palsy, but also plays an important role in parents’ lives. It contributes in a positive way to parents’ overall activity.

Accessible to All: Creating learning materials for children with disabilities in Cambodia, Kenya, Rwanda, and Tajikistan

EducationLinks
December 2020

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Examples are outlined of how good practices in the provision of accessible learning materials are being put into practice by USAID in partnership with organisations addressing the education needs of students with disabilities:

  • Expanding access through Universal Design for Learning in Cambodia: All Children Reading
  • Applying a user-centered design approach in Kenya: eKitabu and Deaf-led Sign Language Video Stories
  • Promoting sustainable accessible standards in Rwanda: Soma Umenye
  • Supporting underserved languages in accessible formats: The Global Digital Library
  • Fostering parental involvement in Tajikistan: USAID Read with Me

 

Children with disabilities have a right to quality education

ORSANDER, Martina
December 2020

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Save the Children aims to contribute to more children with disabilities receiving a quality education by both mainstreaming disability into their programmes and offering targeted interventions to them and their families where needed.

Examples are given from their current programmes in Uganda, Rwanda and Kosovo.

The impact of COVID-19 is examined.

Let’s break silos now! Achieving disability-inclusive education in a post-COVID world

HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
November 2020

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Children with disabilities face multiple obstacles to access and thrive in education. In low- and middle-income countries, 50% of children with disabilities are out of school.  More than 40% of countries in the regions of Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean still lean towards segregated education systems. Obstacles for the education of children with disabilities exist both within and outside the education system. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated inequalities in education. In times of crisis, coordinated multi-sectoral approaches are even more important to address the complexity and interdependency of children’s care, safety, wellbeing and education. 

The extensive experience of Humanity & Inclusion and its partners across the 27 countries where they implement Inclusive education projects was crucial to develop this report and to nourish it with first-hand expertise and evidence. The Report contains arguments, testimonies, case-studies, and a list of actionable recommendations for governments in low and middle income countries, aid donors, and multilateral agencies

Postural asymmetries, pain, and ability to change position of children with cerebral palsy in sitting and supine: a cross-sectional study

CASEY, Jackie
ROSENBLAD, Andreas
RODBY-BOUSQUET, Elisabet
2020

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Purpose: To examine any associations between postural asymmetries, postural ability, and pain for chil- dren with cerebral palsy in sitting and supine positions.

 

Methods: A cross-sectional study of 2,735 children with cerebral palsy, 0-18years old, reported into the Swedish CPUP registry. Postural asymmetries, postural ability, the gross motor function classification sys- tem levels I–V, sex, age and report of pain were used to determine any relationship between these variables.

 

Results: Over half the children had postural asymmetries in sitting (n1⁄41,646; 60.2%) or supine (n1⁄41,467; 53.6%). These increased with age and as motor function decreased. Children were twice as likely to have pain if they had an asymmetric posture (OR 2.1–2.7), regardless of age, sex and motor func- tion. Children unable to maintain or change position independently were at higher risk for postural asym- metries in both supine (OR 2.6–7.8) and sitting positions (OR 1.5–4.2).

 

Conclusions: An association was found between having an asymmetric posture and ability to change position in sitting and/or lying; and with pain. The results indicate the need to assess posture and provide interventions to address asymmetric posture and pain.

Leaving no one behind in education - A focus on children with disabilities

ADEREMI-IGE, Toyin
KAPUSCINKI DEVELOPMENT LECTURES
November 2020

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This lecture by Dr. Toyin Aderemi-Ige shed light on the educational situation of children with disabilities in low and middle income countries, highlighting how the interaction of multiple discriminatory factors (like gender and disability) results in increased exclusion. The 2030 Agenda sets the commitment to “leave no one behind” and its Sustainable Development Goal 4 calls to ensure inclusive and quality education for all. However, 10 years away from the 2030 deadline, children with disabilities are still significantly excluded from education and, consequently, from life’s opportunities.

 

The event was moderated by Dr. Harlan Koff of the Luxembourg University.

The lecture was followed by a panel discussion with:

  • Catherine Léglu, Vice-rector for Academic Affairs, University of Luxembourg
  • Julia McGeown, Global Education Specialist, Handicap International
  • Graham Lang, Chief of Education at Education Cannot Wait

Ensuring the right to quality inclusive education for persons with disabilities: From commitment to action

UNESCO
November 2020

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The international symposium "Ensuring the right to quality inclusive education for persons with disabilities: From commitment to action", co-organized by UNESCO, the Leonard Cheshire, and the Ministry of Education of Portugal brought together a wide range of stakeholders across the globe to discuss progress, successes achieved and challenges to ensure full participation and access to quality learning opportunities for all learners.

The symposium aims were to:

  • review persisting, as well as new challenges, due to the COVID-19 pandemic that are hindering the fulfilment of the right to inclusive education for learners with disabilities.
  • facilitate the exchange of experiences on factors influencing successful inclusive policies and practices for learners with disabilities and strengthen dialogue and cooperation amongst stakeholders at policy and practice levels.
  • explore how the inclusion of learners with disabilities in inclusive settings can be more effectively addressed by governments with regards to the commitments of Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the CRPD General Comment 4 on article 24, and Sustainable Development 4 SDG 4, to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

The programme included:

Opening session - Accelerating efforts towards inclusive education for learners with disabilities. (Video recording: English - French - Spanish)

Session 1 - From legislation to inclusive practices: Re-designing policy frameworks, funding and monitoring arrangements across sectors for inclusive education for learners with disabilities. (Video recording: English - French - Spanish)

Session 2 - Revisiting the teaching and learning process to ensure access and participation of learners with disabilities.

Session 3 - Moving towards inclusive and safe learning environments, including by addressing violence and bullying against learners with disabilities.
 

Closing session - Rebuilding a Stronger Global Disability Inclusive Education System post COVID-19. (Video recording: English - French - Spanish)

Teaching for inclusion – a review of research on the cooperation between regular teachers and special educators in the work with students in need of special support

PAULSRUD, David
NILHOLM, Claes
2020

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This article presents a review of qualitative research on interprofessional cooperation between regular teachers and special educators published from 2005 to 2019. The aim of the review was to gain knowledge about how different forms of cooperation take shape and about factors at multiple levels that facilitate or constrain cooperation as a means of achieving inclusion. In total, 25 studies were selected. The results are discussed in relation to Thomas Skrtic’s theory of bureaucracies within the school organisation in order to compare and analyse different forms of interprofessional cooperation and schools’ organisations of special educational work. Cooperative teaching, special educational consultations and mixed forms of cooperation were found to entail different benefits and challenges related to communication and the cooperating actors’ roles. Facilitating factors included personal chemistry, an equal distribution of power and responsibilities and support from the school management through provision of professional development and adequate planning time. In several studies, a flexible cooperation was argued to be hindered by curricular constraints and standardised testing. Education policy is therefore emphasised in this review as important for understanding the conditions under which school staff are responsible for inclusion.

Unheard children. Championing deaf children’s rights to family, community, education and independence in developing countries

DEAF CHILDREN WORLDWIDE
November 2020

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This report highlights the specific barriers facing deaf children and young people and demonstrates a number of smallscale approaches and initiatives that have succeeded in breaking down some of these barriers.

Topics are:

  • Language and communication. Early diagnosis and support (example from Bangladesh). Effective and affordable hearing technology. Communication choices. What is sign language? Tanzanian Sign Language – the need for more interpreters
  • Families. Early diagnosis and support. Upskilling parents and primary caregivers. Power to the parents (example from Uganda). Catalyst for change (example from India). 
  • Communities. Deaf role models (example from Bangladesh). Challenging the public and professionals. Educating the police force (example from India). Sharing knowledge across organisations
  • Education. Intensive communication. Extra help in the classroom (example from Kenya). Making secondary education accessible. Developing sign language skills. Inclusive further and higher education
  • Independence. Listening to deaf young people. Involving deaf young people in research. Support to make informed choices. Challenging perceptions in the workplace (example from Kenya)

 

 

Promoting Inclusive Education in Mongolia

SHELZIG, Karin
NEWMAN, Kirsty
November 2020

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This paper explores inclusive education for children with disabilities in Mongolia in line with the global commitment captured in SDG 4, based on data from a 2019 survey of more than 5,000 households in Ulaanbaatar, and 4 provinces.

 

ADB EAST ASIA WORKING PAPER SERIES No.28

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