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The association between tactile, motor and cognitive capacities and braille reading performance: a scoping review of primary evidence to advance research on braille and aging

MARTINIELLO, Natalina
WITTICH, Walter
2020

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PURPOSE

As the prevalence of age-related visual impairment increases, a greater understanding of the physiological and cognitive capacities that are recruited during braille reading and the potential implications of age-related declines is required.

 

METHODS

This scoping review aimed to identify and describe primary studies exploring the relationship between tactile, motor and cognitive capacities and braille reading performance, the instruments used to measure these capacities, and the extent to which age is considered within these investigations. English peer-reviewed articles exploring the relationship between these capacities and braille reading performance were included. Articles were screened by two researchers, and 91% agreement was achieved (kappa = 0.84 [0.81, 0.87], p < 0.01).

 

RESULTS

 2405 articles were considered of which 36 met the inclusion criteria. Fifteen investigated the relationship between tactile capacities and braille reading performance, 25 explored motor capacities, and 5 considered cognitive capacities. Nineteen instruments were used to measure tactile capacity, 4 for motor dexterity, and 7 for cognitive capacity. These studies focus on younger participants and on those who learned braille early in life.

 

CONCLUSIONS

  • Although this overview underscores the importance of tactile perception and bimanual reading, future research is needed to explore the unique needs of older adults who learn braille later in life.
  • The studies in this review underscore the importance of developing both haptic tactile perception and efficient hand reading patterns early in the braille learning process.
  • Practitioners should consider whether specific pre-braille readiness activities can be used to address the unique needs of older adults who may experience tactile, motor or cognitive declines.
  • Most of the studies in this review require replication before they should serve as reliable clinical guidelines; however, braille reading (like print) is a complex process that draws on multiple capacities that should be developed in unison.
  • The studies in this review focus heavily on younger participants and on those who learned braille early in life, and highlight the need for future research on braille and aging.

The impact of an inclusive education intervention on learning outcomes for girls with disabilities within a resource-poor setting

CAREW, Mark
DELUCA, Marcella
GROCE, Nora
FWAGA, Sammy
KETT, Maria
May 2020

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Background: Despite a global commitment to the right to education for persons with disabilities, little is known about how to achieve inclusive education in practice, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where the majority of the world’s people with disabilities reside. Moreover, although exclusion from education is magnified by intersecting gender and socioeconomic inequalities, there is especially little knowledge regarding what approaches to inclusive education are effective amongst girls with disabilities living in resource-poor settings.

 

Objectives: The objective of this article was to assess the impact of an inclusive education intervention led by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) on the educational attainment of girls with disabilities in the resource-poor Lakes region of Kenya.

 

Method: A quasi-experimental design was employed, where the literacy and numeracy educational attainment of the intervention and control groups was compared over two time points a year apart (Time 1 and Time 2; total matched N = 353). During this period, activities pertaining to six core components of a holistic inclusive education model were implemented.

 

Results: Relative to the control group, girls with disabilities in the intervention group reported a greater increase in literacy and numeracy attainment, adjusted for grade and level of functional difficulty.

 

Conclusion: Findings suggest that the intervention was successful in engendering additional improvements in the educational attainment of girls with disabilities from the resource-poor Lakes region of Kenya. Results highlight both the applicability of NGO-led interventions in settings, where national implementation of inclusive education is constrained, and the potential of taking such interventions to scale.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 9, 2020

Bridging the mobile disability gap in refugee settings

DOWNER, Matthew
September 2019

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This case study highlights refugees with disabilities’ access to mobile services and the benefits and challenges associated with using these services in three different humanitarian contexts. The analysis is based on a representative survey of refugees in three contexts: Bidi Bidi refugee settlement (Uganda), Kiziba refugee camp (Rwanda) and with urban refugees in Jordan. It also includes qualitative data drawn from two focus groups conducted with refugees with disabilities in Bidi Bidi and Kiziba. The survey used the Washington Group Questions (WGQs) to assess prevalence of disability amongst the refugee population

What works to improve educational outcomes of children with disabilities in school?

HUNT, Xanthe
August 2019

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Question & problem

For people with disabilities, a major determinant of social and economic outcomes in adulthood, is access to, and the adequacy of, education in childhood and adolescence. Yet, children with disabilities are less likely to be enrolled in, or complete, school. Further, there are substantial gaps in the evidence regarding what works to improve educational outcomes of children with disabilities in school. Educational outcomes, here include academic achievement, pass rates, and grade completion. Many studies measure child behaviour and proxy or distal outcomes in response to various interventions, but not actually how children with disabilities do in these domains. This is particularly the case in LMIC, where there is a dearth data about the effects of educational policies and practices on child educational outcomes.

Multilingualism and augmentative and alternative communication in South Africa – Exploring the views of persons with complex communication needs

TONSING, Kerstin M.
Van NIEKERK, Karin
SCHLUNZ, Georg
WILKEN, Ilana
2019

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Background: Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) can assist persons with complex communication needs to communicate competently with a variety of communication partners in a variety of contexts. However, AAC systems and intervention often do not take multilingual aspects into consideration.

 

Objective: This small-scale exploratory study had three aims, namely: (1) to describe the self-reported language skills of multilingual South African adults using AAC, (2) to describe the languages and communication modalities they used in interaction and (3) to obtain their views regarding access to various languages.

 

Methods: Twenty-seven adults using AAC were recruited via an empowerment programme, as well as an email list for persons interested in AAC, and provided responses to a questionnaire. To compensate for access and written language challenges, the questionnaire was administered with help and/or as a face-to-face interview where needed. Responses were analysed using mostly descriptive statistics.

 

Results: Participants generally could not express themselves in all the languages they understood and were regularly exposed to. Speech-generating devices specifically gave access almost exclusively to English. Participants expressed a desire to increase their expressive language repertoire, and mentioned both limitations of communication technology as well as their own literacy skills as barriers to overcome in this regard.

 

Conclusion: In order for multilingual South African adults using AAC to express themselves in multiple languages, appropriate AAC systems and interventions as well as literacy learning opportunities need to be developed and provided.

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 8, 2019

India inclusion summit 2018

March 2019

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India Inclusion Summit is a community driven initiative that aspires to build an Inclusive India by 2030. It is an annual event that began in 2012 to create awareness about disabilities and the need for Inclusion. The event brings together thought leaders and unsung heroes from the field of disability and inclusion to deliberate, discuss and drive change in our society.

 

Videos of some of the presentations are available including:

My Journey and ‘Deaf gain’ing an accessible India:  Vaibhav Kothari (18 mins), signed

You’re not just special. You’re Special Edition:  SwarnaLatha (11 mins)

Don’t let disability come in the way of things you love: Zoyeb Zia (10 mins), signed

The Adventure of Autism and quest to serve each other: Rupert Isaacson (20 mins), signed

Making a billion people read despite their disabilities: Brij Kothari (21 mins), signed

The ability needed to be whoever you want to be: Devika Malik (13 mins), signed

Everyone has something to give: Suchitra Shenoy (11 mins), signed

From being inclusive to doing acts of inclusion: Yetnebersh Niguissie (12 mins), signed

Finding your missing piece: Jerry White (18 mins), signed

Listening to the voice within that opens infinite possibilities: Rajni Bakshi (15 mins), signed

Being a mother is the most satisfying role: Suhasini Maniratnam (21 mins) signed

 

 

Community knowledge, attitude, and perceived stigma of leprosy amongst community members living in Dhanusha and Parsa districts of Southern Central Nepal

SINGH, Rakesh
SINGH, Babita
MAHATO, Sharika
January 2019

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The main objective of this study was to assess the knowledge, attitude and stigma of leprosy amongst the community members living in Dhanusha and Parsa districts of Southern Central Nepal. A total of 423 individuals were interviewed using a structured questionnaire in Dhanusha and Parsa districts. Data was analyzed using both descriptive (frequency, percentage, median) and statistical inferences.

Universal design for learning to help all children read: Promoting literacy for learners with disabilities (First Edition)

HAYES, Anne
TURNBULL, Ann
MORAN, Norma
November 2018

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Providing evidence-based research and information on effective teaching techniques, the toolkit offers information on how to teach early literacy skills to students with different categories of disabilities, including how to best apply these theoretical approaches in practice in Low- and Moderate- Income Country (LMIC) settings. Although the toolkit provides information on multiple aspects of literacy (grammar, spelling and writing), the techniques and interventions focus on the concept of reading as taught in the early years of primary school.

 

Specifically, the toolkit describes:

  • the phases of literacy for students with disabilities
  • supports and services that can be used to gain literacy skills
  • specific instructional techniques using the framework of UDL (Universal Design for Learning)
  • suggestions to monitor students’ progress
  • funding practices and suggestions for a phased approach to move towards inclusive education
  • a self-reflection checklist that covers many of the items in the toolkit to help educational systems recognize possible gaps and areas for improvement

Dyslexic learners’ experiences with their peers and teachers in special and mainstream primary schools in North-West Province

LESEYANE, Monicca
MANDENDE, Peter
MAKGATO, Mary
CEKISO, Madoda
2018

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Background: Inclusive education requires that the framework within which education is delivered should be broad enough to accommodate equally the needs and circumstances of every learner in the society. This includes learners with disabilities like dyslexia who have been excluded from the formal education system. This article reports the findings of a qualitative study that explored and described the dyslexic learners’ experiences with their peers and teachers in special and public schools in North-West Province of South Africa.


Methods: The study adopted a qualitative methodology and used a phenomenology research design. The sample was purposively selected and comprised nine dyslexic learners. All the learners were in public schools previously and were later moved to a special school after being diagnosed as dyslexic. The participants were aged 9–12 years. The researchers conducted one-on-one interviews with the participants and content-analysed the data.


Findings: The findings revealed that in public schools the dyslexic learners were exposed to ill-treatment by other learners who despised, ridiculed, bullied and undermined them. The findings further revealed that teachers in public schools were not patient with dyslexic learners, did not give them extra attention and that some teachers used negative comments that embarrassed them.


Conclusion: The article spells out the barriers experienced by dyslexic learners in public schools and also recommends training of teachers so that they know how to deal with dyslexic learners, thereby eliminating the barriers. The study further recommended awareness campaigns among the student body about dyslexia.

Cognitive Constraints on the Simple View of Reading: A Longitudinal Study in Children With Intellectual Disabilities

VAN WINGERDEN, Evelien
SEGERS, Eliane
VAN BALKOM, Hans
VERHOEVEN, Ludo
2018

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The present article aimed to explore how the development of reading comprehension is affected when its cognitive basis is compromised. The simple view of reading was adopted as the theoretical framework. The study followed 76 children with mild intellectual disabilities (average IQ = 60.38, age 121 months) across a period of 3 years. The children were assessed for level of reading comprehension (outcome variable) and its precursors decoding and listening comprehension, in addition to linguistic skills (foundational literacy skills, rapid naming, phonological short-term memory, verbal working memory, vocabulary, and grammar) and non- linguistic skills (nonverbal reasoning and temporal processing). Reading comprehension was predicted by decoding and listening comprehension but also by foundational literacy skills and nonverbal reasoning. It is con- cluded that intellectual disabilities can affect the development of reading comprehension indirectly via linguistic skills but also directly via nonlinguis- tic nonverbal reasoning ability.

‘Black on the inside’: albino subjectivity in the African novel

LIPENGA, Ken Junior
NGMIRA, Emmanuel
2018

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The last decade has seen increased attention to the treatment of people with albinism in several African countries, particularly the peril they find themselves in due to stigma and superstition. As a way of countering these misconceptions, there has been educative activism from legal, medical as well as religious perspectives. In this paper, we draw upon a different discourse- literary representation- arguing that in selected African novels, the authors employ a variety of strategies that counter harmful stereotypes about albinism, and in the process act as literary interventions that enable an appreciation of the person behind the skin condition. Drawing from insights in Literary Disability Studies, the discussion examines the representation of albinism in four African novels: Petina Gappah’s The Book of Memory (2015), Meg Vandermerwe’s Zebra Crossing (2013), Unathi Magubeni’s Nwelezelanga: The Star Child (2016), and Jenny Robson’s Because Pula Means Rain (2000), and highlights the way albinism is presented as bodily condition that intersects with other experiences on the continent, including indigenous epistemologies, gender, sexuality and family relationships. 

 

Disability and the Global South, 2018, Vol.5, No. 2

Disability gaps in educational attainment and literacy - The price of exclusion : disability and education.

MALE, Chata
WODON, Quentin
December 2017

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This note provides an analysis of gaps in educational opportunities for children with disabilities. It also measures the impact at the margin of exclusion related to various types of disabilities on education outcomes for children. Four main outcomes are considered: whether children ever enroll in school, whether they complete their primary education, whether they complete their secondary education, and whether they are literate. The analysis is implemented using the most recent census data available for a total of 19 countries.

Able to include

INCLUSION EUROPE
February 2017

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"The ABLE TO INCLUDE solution improves the quality of life of people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD) and similar conditions such as people affected by dementia or any kind of cognitive impairment. To achieve this, the project integrates a set of already-developed technologies to create a context-aware accessibility layer that, by being integrated with existing and future ICT tools, can improve the day-to-day life of people with IDD by understanding their surroundings and helping them to interact with the information society. The project focuses on the most important areas that a person needs to live independently and find fulfilment as an individual: to socialize in the context of the web 2.0, to travel independently and be able to work.

Three key technologies are used as a framework to develop everyday tasks:

Text and content simplifier
A pictogram-to-text, text-to-pictogram and pictogram-pictogram translation tool
Text-to-speech functionalities

These technologies are utilised to create an accessibility layer for people with IDD in everyday tasks within the framework of the information society. The accessibility layer is accessed through an open and free API that foster the introduction of an assistive technologies layer for people with IDD in any software development."

Teaching science and mathematics to students with visual impairments: Reflections of a visually impaired technician

MAGUVHE, Mbulaheni
2016

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This study reports on factors that limit the participation of blind and partially sighted learners in mathematics and science education. Since the teacher, still remains one of the most crucial factors in any education system, the researcher deemed it important to investigate the role of the teacher as understood by a blind technician in promoting the participation of blind and partially sighted learners in mathematics and science subjects, which few of these learners take beyond primary school. A case study was conducted interrogating a blind technician, who regards himself as an unqualified scientist, in his understanding of various school factors that could entice blind and partially sighted learners to participate in mathematics and science education, and to promote their retention in related professions. The participant thus drew from his own experiences of the school environment and wider concentric social institutions. A semi-structured interview schedule was followed and the responses were recorded by mutual consent. Analysis was conducted based on questions put to the participant. The study revealed that teacher motivation and mentorship in mathematics and science methodologies and the use of tools for learner empowerment are lacking. It further revealed that teachers lack the requisite skills in special education to harness learner potential in mathematics and science. This situation necessitates government action in teacher training and development.

Freedom to read: A personal account of the ‘book famine’

WATERMEYE, Brian
2014

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Even in the digital age, access to literature and other information for people with print impairments remains extremely poor, especially in the developing world. Reading access holds cascading implications for education, economic empowerment, social participation and self-worth. In June 2013 member states of WIPO (the World Intellectual Property Organization)concluded a landmark treaty to reduce copyright impediments to the dissemination of literature to print impaired people. Its effectiveness is not yet clear. Meanwhile, critics hold that disability studies’ analyses have too often lacked insight into the personal and psychological ramifications of exclusion. This article provides an account of the ‘book famine’ from the perspective of a print impaired South African disability researcher, arguing that thorough investigation of the impressions of exclusion is necessary for change. The account highlights the personal, even malignant psychological reverberations of deprivations such as the ‘bookfamine’, which may carry traumatic effects which cement the status quo.

Do reading disabilities explain the increase of depressive symptoms in late adolescence?

HAVERINEN, Kaisa
SAVOLAINEN, Hannu
HOLOPAINEN, Leena
2014

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The present study examined how depressive symptoms change in late adolescence and whether reading disabilities (RD) affect the level or change of the symptoms. The sample consisted of 293 Finnish adolescents (150 girls, 143 boys; 58 with RD). Participants completed a screening test for reading and spelling skills in ninth grade (age 15), and a depression screening test three times during upper secondary education (ages 16–18). Longitudinal data were analysed using repeated measures ANOVA. Adolescents’ self-reported level of depressive symptoms increased in late adolescence ( p , 0.001). RD did not directly affect the level or change of depressive symptoms. Girls reported a greater increase in depressive symptoms than boys, and this interaction effect held especially for girls with RD.

Equity and inclusion for all in education

GRIMES, Peter
BAGREE, Sunit
2012

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"This report advocates that DFID dedicate adequate resources to tackling the exclusion of all marginalised groups from education in a strategic manner, in line with Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 2 to achieve universal primary education, the Education for All (EFA) goals and international human rights instruments such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Mainly, it focuses on these wider issues of marginalization"

Illiteracy among adults with disabilities in the developing world: A review of the literature and a call for action

GROCE, Nora
BAKHSHI, Parul
2011

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In the early 1990s, UNESCO estimated that perhaps 97% of the world's 650 million disabled persons were unable to read or write, leading to significant efforts throughout the developing world to ensure that all children with disabilities attended school through ‘inclusive education’ programmes. But what of the vast majority of persons with disabilities who now are adolescents or adults, well beyond the reach of classroom education, or the estimated 90% of disabled children who will still ‘age out’ of the system before such inclusive education is available in their communities? In this paper, we review findings from a global literature search on literacy of adults with disability in developing countries which shows that there is currently little in international development, education, health or disability research policies or programmes that addresses this issue. On the basis of these findings we argue that while inclusive education efforts for children are important, more attention also needs to be directed to providing literacy skills to illiterate and marginally literate disabled adolescents and adults.

Guidebook for planning education in emergencies and reconstruction

INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR EDUCATIONAL PLANNING (IIEP)
2010

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This practical guide presents non-formal education in the contexts of emergencies and reconstruction to provide emergency-affected out of school children, youth and adults with educational activities that meet their needs and interests, and to supplement formal schooling of those children and youth with subjects relevant to their protection well-being and psycho-social needs. This guide is useful to anyone interested in non-formal education in the contexts of emergency and reconstruction

Community-based rehabilitation : CBR Guidelines|Education component

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)
et al
2010

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This component of the CBR Guidelines focuses on education and how to make it inclusive. It describes "the role of CBR is to work with the education sector to help make education inclusive at all levels, and to facilitate access to education and lifelong learning for people with disabilities." It outlines key concepts and then presents the core concepts, examples and areas of suggested activities in each of the following five elements: Early childhood care and education; Primary education; Secondary and higher education; Non-formal education; and Lifelong learning. This guideline is useful for anyone interested in the education component of CBR

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